Blade of the Immortal

Alt title: Mugen no Juunin

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ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
Apr 14, 2012

Boy, adaptations are usually messed up but this was overkill…

Animated by Studio Bee Train, which usually has high budgets and places most of its appeal on aesthetics rather than anything else. They messed up in this one though. Directed by Mashimo Kouichi, who pretty much directed all of Bee Train’s infamous “chicks with guns” shows that made it so rich.

I find very little to write about animation and sound. They are pretty standard with what you can get in modern anime. Almost uninspiring, there is nothing outstanding in overall. Although the battles are decent with catchy visual effects and a lot of gore and the music is fitting in ok, it is still not something you have any reason to remember.

On the other hand it is something to remember and hate if you happen to have read the manga this anime is the adaptation of. Not only the aesthetics flew out the window but also even the gore was toned down a lot. As far as the source material goes, its adaptation is disappointing at the least. For you see, the artwork in the manga was full of rough outlines and a dynamic pen that was giving a feeling of fear and unrest to everything. Making the anime look… normal is like taking a Picasso painting and redrawing the people in order to look real. Art is not there. Remember how cool Ichigo’s Vizard mask looks in the Bleach manga and how lame it is in the Bleach anime? Something like that.

Just for that, the general animation is pretty generic to make an actual impression on you. Taking out the unresting looks that made the manga special, toning down the violence and even adding some humor here and there, turned a story like the Watchmen to look like Super Friends in aesthetics. Because let’s face it; the manga was good mostly as art and emotion rather than anything else. This adaptation killed all the good parts.

And even going beyond that, this series is not good not even as a standard action series. Although there are many brutal swordfights you lose interest pretty fast as you realize the main character can never die no matter how many times he gets stabbed, clubbed or thrown into a huge blender. Because he is immortal. Not Dragonball Z immortal; he doesn’t get resurrected. Not even One Piece immortal who miraculously never dies no matter how many times he is hit. He simply heals any type of wound in seconds. Although it looks cooler this way, down to it, it doesn’t really matter how strong his opponent is or what technique he is using. The protagonist just gets hit without caring and waits for the adversary to make an opening and kills him. Because he is unstoppable and they are not. Man, I hadn’t seen such boredom in action since Ninja Scroll TV.

And he is not even cool like Alucard from Hellsing or Dark Shneider of Bastard!! Therefore he makes no real impression on you. Neither do his random enemies and allies. Because the story is basically a revenge quest you have probably seen a billion times already, made up of stand alone missions. Plus, it ends without concluding anything. So although the story of someone who must kill all the bad guys in order to be allowed to die sounds very special at first, the fact that nothing actually happens kind of ruins everything.

In all this is quite a passable series. Personally, not even the aesthetics of the manga managed to keep me interested for long. It was the gore that mattered the most and even that fell short before an all mighty protagonist without any special features that kills senselessly. Therefore I say the manga may be a good time killer if gore and aesthetics is all you want but the anime is one big failure you better never even try to watch.

SUGGESTION LIST
Hellsing
Bastard!!
Basilisk

4/10 story
5/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
3.5/10 overall
PandaBeard's avatar
Sep 10, 2010

As anyone who starts to learn more about me from anywhere. ( hopefully from my reviews!) I love Chanbara. With that being said, I was all gun ho about watching Blade Of The Immortal. Sadly I was not as impressed as I was hoping to believe. Defiantly your "run of the mill" genre story. Very similar to other anime in general and its genre kind. (Samurai Champloo

Its opening theme animation was fantastic as the animation opening theme proved not to stand up in my "standards". Sounds like Shakira singing in Japanese. (not a fan)

The only saving grace of this anime is it animation. Brought by the fine anime house of               BEE TRAIN ,Production I.G. The house that brought us some of the finest in the field.(.hack//SIGN series,Noir,Tsubasa Chronicle, etc)

Characters are quite boring. The Hero Manji, feels like Mugen and Jin from Samurai Champloo. As well does Rin almost down to Sandals reminiscent of Fuu. Thankfully the amazing animation from Bee Train doesn't let us down to show an individual beauty that is of Rin and yes even the same "rough around the edges" Manji.

Thankfully this series was only 12 episode. Any longer and I felt it would have become quite mundane. While the last two episodes were worth finishing the series I would sugest a possible pass for a diehard Otaku or Chanbara fan. 

PandaBeard!

6/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
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okami31's avatar
Aug 29, 2012

I decided to watch this anime based on the main character's design.  I had seen him in a couple of manga covers and thought he was like a samurai Wolverine, maybe with a carefree attitude like a typical ronin.  Too bad the anime did not support my vision.

 

WHAT’S GOOD?

Animation is fine.  Main character looks cool.

The series is short.

I don’t know.  Nothing made an impression on me.

WHAT’S BAD?

I have always enjoyed samurai characters that employ many swords in one fight, even if it is a silly notion.  There was a villain in "Rurouni Kenshin" and a character in "Samurai Shodown" that did so.  However, it's much dumber in this anime when half-a-dozen blades drop down his kimono sleeves.  Really?  They were not attached or anything? Ooookay.

The story slows down at parts too and this is a series with just 13 episodes!  Did they plan it well? No.

The villains can be quite laughable too.  I mean, the first bad guy is a ninja with two female heads sewn onto his shoulders.  He has had them for a while and they are not even rotten.  That's way out there for me.  At least in "Naruto", Sasori and Kakuzu took a long time to appear, so that we were comfortable by then to see some really weird ninja character concepts.

The fights go more for an artistic style than a clear style.  So if you like clear sword-fighting scenes like me, this might not be your anime.

RECOMMEND?

No.

There’s better stuff out there.

Even if I’m not a big fan of it, “Samurai Champloo” is better.

For the most part, “Rurouni Kenshin” is better.

Basically, you can’t watch this anime for the fights or the story, so there’s no point.

6/10 story
7/10 animation
?/10 sound
6/10 characters
5/10 overall
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TheMajor5's avatar
Nov 22, 2009

Story 2/10

You ever eye a piece of food that looks incredibly good, but after you taste it turns out horrible but you feel you have to finish it? This is what Blade of the Immortal is, a piece of bad food. Blade of the Immortal is about a man named Manji who has lived for quite some time purging evil people of their sin to achieve his goal. Manji was cursed somehow way back in the day and the only thing that can uplift the curse is to kill 1000 evil men. One day on his walk around the village he meets a little girl by the river.  The little girl known as Asano Rin seeks him out to help her get revenge for her parents’ death.  We all know how this is going to end, the guy will say yes in the end and help right?  Exactly, just like any other anime he decides to help this girl seek revenge.  Well if you’re looking for in-depth characterization and emotional impact in some way, this anime isnt for you.

To add a little development, Rin’s family died off because an organization who is lead by Anotsu Kagehisa, wants to rid every dojo’s existence so his dojo will be #1.  His dojo knows how to make a sure win no matter what.  His dojo will not lose to anyone, not even other dojos with ten members. This guy is a puss; he has gathered all the best martial artists for the sake of a lame, idiotic dream.

To add more icing to the cake, Manji is an immortal. There is no excitement as you wait to see a fight scene.  Manji can’t die ever and no matter how bad he is at fighting, eventually the other guy will give up and he will get stabbed.  It’s a very interesting (dull) plot and has no development at all.  When all said and done, the hero walks off in to the sunset to kill more people. It’s almost like the writer had one day to write the story and thought, “Immortal, dojo, young girl, AHA, an immortal helps girl revenge fallen dojo”.  It can also be taken as the developer decided to take the ideas no one else used and try to make it worth watching.  Cliché, boring, and most of all, if I can’t think of anything to say good after writing all these bad points, it has to be bad.

Animation 7/10

Animation was overall nothing to brag about.  In these 21st century times, I’d hope an anime has better quality than some incredibly bad quality Veoh video.  The cleaving of people in two is nice and the pools of blood have a nice moon reflect shine to them.  Details really show well, it’s almost as if you are watching the fight.  The contrast of the grey sky, no bright colors, and dark atmosphere really make a good impression for an anime such as this. They really do.  The animation is worthy of getting high marks because they really tried to make up for the bad story and everything else that gets low marks.

Sound 5/10   

The sound if I recall is decent.  When you don’t recall the sound it’s really not anything special.  There is no amazing OST in this series but the sound effects are good.  When being stabbed or frightened, the usual, “ugh” or “ahhh!” are heard and everything is in check.  Blood splattering and fight music go with what’s being done.  Nothing in this anime is really worthy of notice or extremely high marks.

Characters 2/10

The characters are what some call, overused or “haven’t I seen them before” also known as Déjà vu.  They help make this anime what it is.

Rin

To begin with Rin, one needs to know that she is like any other girl character who tries to become stronger.  I want to say in general she’s like Ino from Naruto, she’s weak and wants to become stronger, except Ino becomes strong and Rin does not.  Rin is a weak girl who has to seek a guy who can’t die, her opponents are so tough.  One good point is even when begging the man to teach and help her; she had a woman’s determination and strength.  She was willing to go the distance and get what she wants no matter how the man would suffer or not.  Though she trained for awhile and learned new moves, her new move left her more defenseless than if she would have never learned it.  She doesn’t know when to quit while ahead and instead is useless until the end.

Manji  

Manji is one of those people that look like he is going to open a can of whoop-ass on everyone, but has a huge handicap and still struggles.  After his many years of immortality, one would think he would become the greatest martial artist and hardly break a sweat when fighting people right?  Wrong, Manji instead learned how to use 100 different weapons half-ass and instead of being top dog, he comes close to death every time.  He has a crappy fighting style, and when one sword can’t cut, well then he pulls out a different weapon that should be able to, but cant. Only when he tires his enemy out, can he pull off a victory.

Manji after living for so long it’s understandable how he feels.  He has given up and doesn’t care about anything in the world and shows no facial expressions either.  What a great choice for a main anime character right!  I mean, why in __’s name would you pick the most boring part of an Immortals life?  I’m sure they wrote this anime as a joke.  Why not pick the part when he became an immortal and showed emotion and owned everyone and just found out he couldn’t die.  Manji was just half-assed and not worthy of anyone to disagree with me.

A good note I will mention was his clothing.  He has a very nice taste in togas.  The black and white I thought was the best part and I seriously would take one if I found one.  Another good note was knowing that he could die, by poison, but no one chose to use it on him (irritated). All in all if I have more bad points about Manji, than he’s a horrible character.

Overall 3/10       

Overall the anime in my book was not even worth reading the manga, if it has different ending (will try it since i hear it is really good*).  It’s one of these, “I warned you not to watch it” animes.  The ending is rather cliché, you saw it a lot in Pokémon, you know, walking off nothing happens.  You may like it if you are really trying to watch every samurai anime, but don’t be deceived by the synopsis, it’s not as good as you may interpret it to be.  “When will the end be in sight?” is what I said on episode 3 after an hour of forcing myself to continue.  Seriously with average music, horrible characters, incredibly lame plot, and decent animation, this anime is probably not for anyone seeking in depth plot or loveable characters. Well I should be broader and say it’s not really for anybody.  

2/10 story
5/10 animation
5/10 sound
2/10 characters
3/10 overall
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