Blade of the Phantom Master was one of those moments that you wished would live. Unfortunately, this was a still born cut short long before it could take its first wailing breath.
Blade of the Phantom Master dangles many promises akin to the carrot dangling forever out of reach before the plodding turtle, overburdened with a moth-eaten plot that left me hand flailing at the screen asking the heavens, "why did that just happen? What--what did I just...What is this? I don't even..."
And it is a crying shame, because the beginning sequences reek of a great story. In fact, the beginning lulls you into a sense of excitement and false peace; a viewer might even begin feeling the thrill of an epic ending coming on.
Alas, something happens in the middle of Blade of the Phantom Master, a mix of stilted pacing, random happenings that don't rightly fit into any other parts of the story--completely unexplained randomness--that starts the disastrous unwinding of the entire piece.
The animation at least, was excellent.
And honestly, the fact it was horrendous and the animation was good is about the best I can walk away with when it comes to Blade of the Phantom Master.
That in itself, should tell you what you need to know.