Munsu is an Angyou Onshi - an arbiter for the country of Jushin. Fighting evil is all he knows, but since Jushin has recently collapsed, what is he fighting for? Wandering from place to place, Munsu finds himself battling those who would further destabilize the country, whether they be arms dealers, smugglers, tyrants, or necromancers. Accompanied by a female warrior named Chunhyan and able to call upon the strength of a ghostly legion with his Angyou Onshi powers, Munsu sets out to help those who are willing to take a step towards helping themselves, and bring justice against all that is evil in the world.
As someone who read the manga, I can say that they did a decent job animating the parts of the story that they did do. However, I think that some of the parts that were left out, were vital to making the story good for those who have no experience with the manga. It is for that reason I could not give the movie's story high marks. The animation had no issues. It was fluid and done properly. However, nothing really jumped out at me about it one way or the other. So I gave it a 7 for being average. The Sound is also quite average. I feel the voice actors did a pretty good job and were well casted. The music was also decent. Not really remarkable in a good or bad way. The Characters are decent. I feel they did a good job with portraying the characters shown as they were in the manga... but I also feel that the male main character, Munsu's background is not touched on enough. This is also a issue within the manga as well. I always felt that they should go into his past more. The female main character is very quiet and her drive to follow and protect Munsu feels kinda forced but it doesn't really bother me either. Her character, as compared to how she is in the manga, is spot on in the movie. The rest of the characters are also portrayed fairly well. Overall, I'd say that if you have read the manga and liked it, you should check it out, for those who have a better understanding from the manga, the movie is enjoyable enough. However, if you don't know this series already, I think the movie is not probably the best place to start.
This is one of those movies that feels more like an episode than an actual movie. It starts off great but by the time the movie is over, you're expecting more. It felt like the ending was a "monster of the week" or "calamity of the week" type situation but it just ends there. The characters are pretty vague due to the timespan, meaning you don't know much more about the characters than you find out in the first 15 minutes of the show. Two things would have made this movie better in my opinion. More time spent developing the main characters and a point to it all. If the movie had been longer, we might have gotten both but somehow they managed to not give us either. They literally stumble upon the "Big Baddie" of the movie. It probably would have made a good series to be honest. I'm grasping at straws by guessing the title refers to Songo as the Blade, because for heavens sakes, the main male lead only ever uses guns.
So besides the title not making any sense, the story is alright. Sadly, it feels like an episode instead of an actual movie. I felt I was watching a couple of anime TV shows. There were about 2 or three stories that were there about how Munsu ends up getting a Sando, a servant, and then ends up going to an Island for the rest of the show. It didn’t stand out next to any other anime show that came out in 2004. It felt lack luster as a movie but as a TV show, it would have done much better. The storyline was basic to many shows where we have a wonderer who is alone and ends up getting a companion… might I add female companion… who follows him around all the time. Only real difference is that she can actually fight but she doesn’t listen to his every word at times. They never explain if Munsu has something wrong with him and that’s why he has a inhaler or if it’s something to do with the power he bears. There are a lot of open endings that they really should have filled in if this was going to be its own movie. The animation has a slightly interesting mix of CG and animation. It isn’t that it doesn’t fit right; it just is a bit easy to see that this is CG and this is not. There are still images mixed with the CG that just looks a little off in the beginning. As the show goes on, the only real thing that shows up CG is the dark soldiers he summons. Half the time, the background would look very detailed and the only time when it doesn’t fit with the characters is when they are in the desert because the color of the characters really threw me off. There is a headband that Munsu wears is actually supposed to be left on a cross but he wears it throughout the whole show. The voices and music are what I would expect for the time it was made. There is nothing that seriously stands out for the voices although I do sort of like Munsu’s more then any other. Other then that, not much else.
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