Noob Reviews: Blade of the Immortal (Season 01)
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included to help explain certain points.
Season 01 is currently been released episode by episode each week. This review is based on the six episodes available so far on Amazon's streaming service.
What is Blade of the Immortal?
Legends tell of Manji, the Slayer of Hundreds, a nickname earned when he slew one hundred samurai including the husband of his sister. An immortal swordsman with a slightly skewed view on life who is cursed to live with all the death he has caused until he is able to complete a great act that will redeem him. To slay one thousand evil men. Then and only then may he become mortal once more.
Luckily for Manji and his quest of redemption, he will not be able to keep his hands (nor blade) clean for long as he is unknowingly set to meet Rin. Heiress to a dojo in disgrace, her parents slain and family name besmirched. All at the hands of the Ittou-ryu, a group of swordmasters who wished to prove their master’s fighting style was superior to that of Rin’s father. In their eyes, theirs was the true form every swordmaster should aspire to master.
Enlisting the help of Manji, Manji and Rin go in search of the Ittou-ryu who killed her parents and took everything from her. She will have her revenge upon them all.
Do you have the trailers to show us?
- Season 01 | Official Trailer -
When did it come out?
There have been various incarnations, both anime and live action, of Blade of the Immortal. The one on Amazon had its first episode released on the 10th October 2019.
The most recent episode (episode six) was released on the 07th November.
Episode seven is due for release on the 14th November.
How many episodes are there?
To date, there have been six episodes released.
Can you give us an example of some story lines?
Unlike many animes with subplots and twists that will make your head spin. Blade of the Immortal is a simple tail of redemption and revenge. Manji seeks to slay the Ittou-ryu to further his goal of slaying one thousand evil men. Rin on the other hand seeks the total destruction of the Ittou-ryu for taking from her everything she ever had and those she loved.
Although these sound simple plot lines, they are revealed to us really well. Always provoking curiosity as to what part enemy x had to play or where their path will take the protagonists next.
Who is behind Blade of the Immortal?
Blade of the Immortal then got it’s very first television adaptation in 2008 on AT-X and ABC2. A novel (named Blade of the Immortal: Legend of the Sword Demon) was published in the same year and then some nine years later a live action adaptation in April 2017 which again was simply called Blade of the Immortal.
October 2019 saw the latest adaptation (and somewhat of a reboot) for the Blade of the Immortal television side of things, when Amazon Video acquired the licence. Teaming up with Liden Films, they bring to us the season we have now.
How is the series so far?
Coming into the Blade of the Immortal franchise without having read the manga or seen any of the previous adaptations, it is a very interesting story line. True, many a samurai story are about revenge and redemption, but this seems to go about it in a slightly different way. The immortal aspect for one is a nice addition.
Art style wise, the art style definitely gives me more of an old school vibe but this is in a good way. The character design and scenery is beautifully done with several styles been utilised depending on whether it is the main story unfolding, intro and outro, or a memory. Again all of the art styles are interesting but well executed and flow seamlessly into one another.
All the positives aside I do have a few niggling issues though. At times, some episodes seem slow and dull. Not as thought-provoking as others. The combat although well choreographed and designed, also sometimes seems rushed or unsatisfactory. On more than one occasion, Manji is cut down only to re appear behind his opponent and kill them. Moments later the episode begins to wrap up or end.
Overall, thoughts and opinions are very positive for Blade of the Immortal and I can’t wait for the future episodes. I only hope they begin to find a more stable pacing and immersive story. Especially in the later episodes (released so far) they do start to do this. I just hope they keep it up.
What overall rating would you give the season so far?
So far I am going to be cruel and give Blade of the Immortal an iffy 3 bananas out of 5.
As explained above, the first season is starting to pick up, pique interest and I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season plays out. There was just a few too many slow and disjointed moments in the episodes so far, for my taste.
Have no fear, for the seasons we do review part way though, we will be coming back to them to update views and opinions when everything is wrapped up at the end of the season. Personally, I can see Blade of the Immortal becoming a firm 5 out of 5 bananas if things continue the way they are going at the moment.
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