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EP. REVIEW: Blade of the Immortal


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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 391
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:19 pm Reply with quote
For anyone getting tired of this "formula", good news, I predict that this will end with this episode.
If you think about this, Rin wants revenge against the people who attacked her. Didn't we already see everyone that was at that scene? Someone is missing? I don't remember other besides Anotsu, so now is a hunt for him.

I wish I could talk more, but this is about the anime, I can't stop now trying to remember the manga and discuss future events.
But once again, I'm really surprised how the episodes are working the "cycle of violence" theme.
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RedSwirl



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:19 am Reply with quote
Very interested in seeing how the anime adapts this from this point, especially the next few episodes.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:56 pm Reply with quote
#7
He's here... Shira.
There are "bad guys" in this story, but you noticed that despite them the anime was still trying to tell a history with "characters", right? Not with Shira. It's not without reason that he kills the dog.
He is bad.
He is irredeemable.
Compared with him that freak from episode 1 was actually almost inoffensive.

Now I pray that the writer made the wise decision to cut half of his participation in this story because for me (and not me alone) Samura made the mistake to allow him to remain in the story far beyond what was reasonable.
I don't consider this a spoiler, take this more as a warning, because if you want a single reason to drop this, this is it.
Didn't liked what happened with Ren? Be warned that in the episode that comes after the next one we'll probable have the "privilege" of seeing he doing again on screen. I can't tell before hand how much the anime will show, but either way it'll be ugly, very ugly, and revolting.

a bit off-topic
spoiler[You know, this character made me wonder for a long time how much of a pervert Samura was. Seeing how Samura refused for so long to kill him, how long he keep Shira in this story committing his atrocities, almost always with a woman involved... you can't help but start to have some thoughts about the man, right? ]

Now that I wrote all this, I actually liked this episode.
It's miracle that LINDEN is managing to keep the character on model most of the time. I had thought that this episode would be as ugly was the fourth but I was wrong.
Another thing that surprised me was Hyakurin's voice, very deep.
I liked.

As predicted this episode was much more conventional, not a stand alone story like the others, but makes me fear that this pace will end "ruining" this anime by the end. If the characters and their relationships is said to be "good" half the reason is the dialogue between them. But there's not time for the characters to sit an talk here, the anime have to condense the dialogue as much as possible.
Episode 5 was a mistake. That poising is practically irrelevant, the information about Anotsu could be acquired another way. It was a whole full episode of time wasted that could be used for more important scenes. Maybe the anime will give more importance to the violent scenes than they deserve, when many of the most memorable scenes are just characters talking.
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RedSwirl



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 315
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:40 pm Reply with quote
Panino Manino wrote:
#7
He's here... Shira.
There are "bad guys" in this story, but you noticed that despite them the anime was still trying to tell a history with "characters", right? Not with Shira. It's not without reason that he kills the dog.
He is bad.
He is irredeemable.
Compared with him that freak from episode 1 was actually almost inoffensive.

Now I pray that the writer made the wise decision to cut half of his participation in this story because for me (and not me alone) Samura made the mistake to allow him to remain in the story far beyond what was reasonable.
I don't consider this a spoiler, take this more as a warning, because if you want a single reason to drop this, this is it.
Didn't liked what happened with Ren? Be warned that in the episode that comes after the next one we'll probable have the "privilege" of seeing he doing again on screen. I can't tell before hand how much the anime will show, but either way it'll be ugly, very ugly, and revolting.

a bit off-topic
spoiler[You know, this character made me wonder for a long time how much of a pervert Samura was. Seeing how Samura refused for so long to kill him, how long he keep Shira in this story committing his atrocities, almost always with a woman involved... you can't help but start to have some thoughts about the man, right? ]


off-topic
spoiler[I'm guessing you haven't read Samura's other manga. The guy has range in terms of tone and genre, but Samura has done a fairly significant amount of manga that's primarily made up of the kind of stuff Shira does. Part of it might come from his medical school background (which explains the anatomically detailed nature of the manga's art, especially the gore scenes), but other parts of it are... yeah...]

actual spoilers
spoiler[I'm not sure you can cut off Shira's story without also cutting off Renzo's story. Maybe I'm wrong. In any case, I imagine the anime can just decide to tone things a bit down compared to the manga. The Vinland Saga anime made a similar decision in one episode.]
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 391
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:35 pm Reply with quote
RedSwirl wrote:

off-topic
spoiler[I'm guessing you haven't read Samura's other manga. The guy has range in terms of tone and genre, but Samura has done a fairly significant amount of manga that's primarily made up of the kind of stuff Shira does. Part of it might come from his medical school background (which explains the anatomically detailed nature of the manga's art, especially the gore scenes), but other parts of it are... yeah...]

Blade was just the first Samura's manga that I read, I read his other works.
I'm glad that he "overcame" this and is doing "Wave" now (anime next year!).

RedSwirl wrote:

actual spoilers
spoiler[I'm not sure you can cut off Shira's story without also cutting off Renzo's story. Maybe I'm wrong. In any case, I imagine the anime can just decide to tone things a bit down compared to the manga. The Vinland Saga anime made a similar decision in one episode.]


spoiler[Shira's presence actually weakens Renzo's story. Instead of doing his own thing he is just Shira's victim and hostage.]
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Cam0



Joined: 13 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:37 pm Reply with quote
I don't like the massive satellite dish ears... I do like that they went with Jouji Nakata as the moustache guy (whatever his name was).
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 391
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:44 am Reply with quote
A nitpick.
The way this anime is being made may be praise worthy, the art, the style. But sometimes... Like in episode 4, the photography in episode 7 failed to show what was really important in the scene during this character moment. Instead of showing Anotsu's pained expression the anime showed... his feet, while he parted with Magatsu.
i.imgur.com/5XEMMUf.jpg
Looking closer, they also missed his head hanging down.
Cases like this are really hard to understand, how could they let this pass?
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Charou



Joined: 01 May 2018
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:19 pm Reply with quote
As someone who periodically rereads the entire series, I'm definitely still digging this blisteringly tense adaptation BUT I can see how some of the elements, sharp and shocking at the time, might seem dated or cliched now. Especially Shira, whose appearance this time around still probably chilled anyone already familiar with BOTI almost instantly. It's a very good depiction of him, true to source in almost every respect. As noted, though: that source is now over 20 years old. Since then we've had to come up with terms like 'edgelord' just to cope with the ubiquity of po-faced badasses and psychopaths. Can we retroactively apply this term? For a new adaptation, sure. But it couldn't have gone many other ways. By today's standards, Shira is 100% edgelord. He's 100% Evil-Very-Bad-Not-Good. Anything less in the show even now and it would be an inadequate adaptation. I knew what was coming with Ren. With the 'boar'. I still wanted to see it; I still didn't want to see it. Shira gonna Shira.

His fate in Miike's movie was pretty satisfying, and that thing's only a few hours long if you want to nope out now. I'm still convinced it's as good a summary of BOTI as you'll likely get. This series isn't that -- it's more like an overzealous sequence of bullet-points, some less points and more paragraphs. Half manga-bait, half fan-service. It is what it is.

Speaking of dated, Hamasaki's style sort of is too. You can feel the summer listlessness of both Shigurui and Steins;Gate in every shot of this show, so the sudden over-the-top eruption of Shira's madness in pretty bog-standard style came as no real surprise either. However, it's from Rin's perspective and she's excessively naive. She would perceive something we genre-weary veterans as tired or overdone as original and horrifying. So for me it worked in that respect. Seeing Shira (and pretty much everyone else in BOTI) through Rin's eyes helps a LOT here. I urge other viewers to try to do that, or a lot of what's coming might seem...eh, hard to swallow, pardon the pun.

Kuwashima Houko's version of Hyakurin was a bit of a shock. She's a prolific seiyuu with an impressive range, so to hear something so deep for a character not that old caught me off-guard. Which was awesome, because the more this show surprises someone very familiar with the source the better. In my mind, Makie always had the deeper voice, because she's the one who had to grow up very quickly thanks to her unfortunate exposure to the Anotsu. Hyakurin is depicted in the manga as quite playful at times, so it'll be interesting to see how many layers Kuwashima can get in there.

Oh, and bless Jouji. His casting as Kagimura might be more than a little typecast (it's a VERY similar role to his Golden Kamuy turn) but this show can do with some of that right now. I expect his presence will be a good anchor for an otherwise wild card of a series. I mean, I'm still reeling at how much Tsuda is owning Manji, given he's everywhere this season, mostly in some sort of bad-guy uniform. Kudos to Sakura Akane too though -- here she's the agonisingly gullible Rin and a mere few clicks away on Amazon Prime, she's a much different character in Psycho-Pass. BOTI might not have an A-grade seiyuu cast but it also doesn't have A-grade animation. It does the best with what it does have, and that's good enough for me.
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Panino Manino



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:05 pm Reply with quote
James Beckett wrote:

It's cruel not just on Shira's part, but on Blade of the Immortal's too, and there was more than a whiff of fetishization to Ren's death that rubbed me the wrong way, too.

I also don't like to see what happened with Ren, but if any scene of violence against women in this anime had a reason to show the aftermath, it was this one. I think that it wasn't 100% unnecessary, at least not in this isolated case.
Ren didn't knew where exactly Magatsu went, but she knew that he would com back soon. Magatsu didn't "went on a journey", implying that he wouldn't come back soon, she managed to lie to Shira. Showing how much she had to endure serves the purpose to tell how much she cared about Magatsu, and as you can imagine her death is important. It'll set Magatsu in his own path of revenge, right?

But I have to say, if there's one thing that I never understood and never made sense in Blame is Manji lefting Rin alone with Shira.
Think about this, after the day before makes sense to you that Manji would go some place alone and trust Rin to some stranger?
In the end that scene wasn't even half as disturbing as it could've be, seeing how much the anime has to rush and cut conversations short.

James Beckett wrote:

Those dummies that attacked Mangatsu kind of had their deaths coming, I must admit. I mean, they each just stab the palanquin once with their blades, and they don't even check to see if there's a little bit of blood seeping out to verify the kill? The Mugai-ryu has got some chumps on their payroll is all I'm saying.

This is the anime's fault.
They stop because, apart from the fear of going after some "famous" Itto-ryu, a stream of blood comes from inside the palanquin. The cuts were superficial, but Magatsu was cut and bleeding inside there.
Their mistake was not using poison.

What bothered me in this episode was that when Magatsu parts with Anotsu the camera shows Anotsu's FEET(!) instead of his pained expression. And on that shoot of him alone after Magatsu goes away Anotsu is looking head on instead of down.
When they have to cut so much (good) dialogues these little details makes a lot of difference, the production team should take much more attention and care to these little things that convey so much information.
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Amarantine



Joined: 14 Sep 2019
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:15 am Reply with quote
Reading the review for episode 7, I can’t help but feel the point of certain scenes is being missed (which could in part be due to how condensed the story is in the anime), or the reviewer is being too hasty in their judgment and condemning story events before even giving the anime enough time to show where these plot threads are going to lead.

For example, Ren’s death. It was absolutely necessary to show it. Besides already showing how much she cared about Magatsu that she resisted Shira's interrogation and torture, her death is going to become a major plot point in the future, so they very much needed to show it so it leaves the impact it should have and the audience can properly remember it and remember her. And they could’ve actually shown Shira torturing her and stabbing her, but chose not to, so it wasn’t even nearly as graphic as it could have been (I do agree the blood didn’t look very good though).

And I’m sorry, but killing and eating a dog (and that was a grown dog, not a puppy like the review suggests) does not instantly make a character cartoonishly evil. Do you realize people still eat dogs to this day in many parts of Asia? I’m not saying it’s not cruel, but it’s no more cruel than if it really had been a boar like Rin thought. Well, it might be more cruel towards her, since she had formed a bond with that particular dog, but that’s part of the purpose of the scene: being exposed to someone like Shira is obviously going to have an impact on Rin, who’s desperate to become stronger, and recognizes Shira’s strength and fearlessness, but as she realizes the kind of person he is, she must ask herself the question, what price is she willing to pay to have the kind of strength he does?

The scene also served to highlight (admittedly not for the first time) Rin’s naivety and how she’s clearly unsuited to traverse the world of violence she’s flung herself into. Also, I don’t really agree with the idea that she needs to learn to kick ass to contribute to the story. There are more ways to contribute to a story than to kill the bad guys. Blade of the Immortal is first and foremost about Rin's inner journey, and she gets tons of development. And Shira’s presence in her life will contribute to that. He’s a piece of shit, yeah, so obviously he can be good manure for her growth. :p

I also feel the condensed nature of the dialogue between Rin and Shira hurt the scene (sadly this happens in pretty much every dialogue scene, there’s always some good lines cut here and there), because Shira’s speech is much more elaborate in the manga, and the scene is key to establish his unique outlook on life, fighting and killing (and, as always, how Rin feels about it). Shira uses killing an animal and eating their flesh to become stronger as an analogy for fighting and killing other people and becoming stronger as a result. And in the manga, there’s one exchange which sadly the anime cut, with Rin asking him “So people are like food?” and Shira replying “Yeah, to me they are.” And that makes Rin’s follow up of “I can’t sympathize with your way of thinking at all, but if it’ll make me strong, then I’ll do the same.” that much more powerful. That’s how desperate she is to become stronger, because she’s come to realize she’s way out of her depths in throwing herself into such a brutal world in search for revenge. And then, of course, as soon as she says that, Shira immediately shows her she’s even more naïve and unprepared than she thought. It’s brutal and it does a great job of establishing Shira’s philosophy and challenging Rin’s tenacity and resolve.

So yeah, basically what I’m trying to say is, that scene has tons of purpose beyond mere shock factor (although sadly not all of it might be apparent in this breakneck pace adaptation). As did O-Ren’s death, although that might not be as clear yet. But if you judge the purpose of every single scene as soon as it happens and without giving the story time to see where these plot threads will lead and how they fit into the bigger picture and how they will fuel the characters’ growth, well, said judgment won’t be very accurate and will inevitably miss the point IMO.

Charou wrote:
Kuwashima Houko's version of Hyakurin was a bit of a shock. She's a prolific seiyuu with an impressive range, so to hear something so deep for a character not that old caught me off-guard. Which was awesome, because the more this show surprises someone very familiar with the source the better. In my mind, Makie always had the deeper voice, because she's the one who had to grow up very quickly thanks to her unfortunate exposure to the Anotsu. Hyakurin is depicted in the manga as quite playful at times, so it'll be interesting to see how many layers Kuwashima can get in there.


Uh, I think you're a little confused. :p Makie is voiced by Kuwashima Houko, but Hyakurin is not. She's voiced by Hayashi Marika:

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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:03 am Reply with quote
Amarantine wrote:
But if you judge the purpose of every single scene as soon as it happens and without giving the story time to see where these plot threads will lead and how they fit into the bigger picture and how they will fuel the characters’ growth, well, said judgment won’t be very accurate and will inevitably miss the point IMO.

A bit hard to remember this when the episodes until now were all stand alones.
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Amarantine



Joined: 14 Sep 2019
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:15 pm Reply with quote
Panino Manino wrote:
A bit hard to remember this when the episodes until now were all stand alones.


True, but it's clear that formula's changed starting with this episode, which didn't conclude any of the various new plot threads it introduced.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:23 pm Reply with quote
#8

This is the episode that I warned you and... it got me optimistic? Because the violence in this episode wasn't as disturbing as I feared it could be.
Judging by this episode I get the sense that the production have priorities other than to "shock" the audience with the violence.
So people, come watch! Surprised

You may argue, "they cut the torturing of the other two and just showed on screen the woman" and you're not wrong, but how do this differently?
It was the violence that mattered the most for Rin, to make her act and reflect.
Remember episode three?
She overcame this fast, a good thing.
If she intends to claim any moral high ground, she can't just descent as far down as necessary at the expense of others.

Overall this episode was very good, there was just one single moment that I thought that the scene could be 5 seconds better. Apart from those few seconds I'm very satisfied how they edited all the scenes cut and kept.
Don't tell me, please, that "it's confusing" or "hard to follow".
Asking for just a bit of attention and thinking is not asking too much to the audience. The story here was simply and the scenes flowed naturally (IMO).
And believe you cowards or not, there's cute moments in this.
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Amarantine



Joined: 14 Sep 2019
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:27 pm Reply with quote
Panino Manino wrote:
You may argue, "they cut the torturing of the other two and just showed on screen the woman" and you're not wrong, but how do this differently?
It was the violence that mattered the most for Rin, to make her act and reflect.


I think it was still important to show Shira fighting the two men though, to let the audience see how thoroughly he dominated and destroyed them and, more importantly, how his overwhelming strength inspired both fear and awe in Rin, who’s desperate to become stronger and tired of being unable to help Manji, who always ends up in a bloody mess as a result. When he's beating and torturing the men, she's simultaneously horrified by and envious of him, because as you said she had resolved to become capable of doing anything for the sake of her revenge, but once Shira turns to the unarmed woman and shows just how nasty he can be, she realizes she wants nothing to do with his kind of strength.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:41 pm Reply with quote
Amarantine wrote:

I think it was still important to show Shira fighting the two men though, to let the audience see how thoroughly he dominated and destroyed them and, more importantly, how his overwhelming strength inspired both fear and awe in Rin, who’s desperate to become stronger and tired of being unable to help Manji, who always ends up in a bloody mess as a result. When he's beating and torturing the men, she's simultaneously horrified by and envious of him, because as you said she had resolved to become capable of doing anything for the sake of her revenge, but once Shira turns to the unarmed woman and shows just how nasty he can be, she realizes she wants nothing to do with his kind of strength.

But they already had cut and weakened their conversation in the last episode anyway, this little arc had already been aborted by the anime. A shame.
(I see people complaining that Amazon's translation here lacks "finesse", it's subpar compared to what Dark Horse did with the manga)

Rin still wants to be strong, but there are other ways to be strong and help, other ways that don't mean being able to kill strong swordsman, or abuse her skills with the sword. Rin will show a lot of that in the story, she already started in this episode.
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