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EP. REVIEW: Blade of the Immortal


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Amarantine



Joined: 14 Sep 2019
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:06 am Reply with quote
They kept Rin's "I can't sympathize with your way of thinking at all, but if it'll make me strong, then that's how I want to be" in the previous episode, so albeit weakened (which will always be the case with all the cut material) the story was still there in part, which is why I think they should've showed more of Rin being amazed by his strength before that amazement turned to disgust.

And yes, I agree that the Amazon translation is very bland and stilted, especially compared to Dark Horse's excellent translation in the official English release of the manga. The Vinland Saga anime, also translated by Amazon, has the exact same problem. Their subtitles really don't do a good job showing the quality of the writing and the dialogues in these series.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:15 pm Reply with quote
The reviewer reads our comments?
He have some doubts that we could answer.

You know, I don't like violence, I don't read nor watch series that are overly violent and graphic (and "edgy"). I dropped some because it was not for my delicate tastes, but because I had contact with Blame long ago, when I had not much else to read and had paid for it... I'm familiar with it's violence, I can't feel shocked anymore as I once was. This makes seeing the reactions "a bit funny". Partliy because I can comprehend better why it's there.

The violence in this episode was "necessary" as we already discussed, but there are others that... not. At least it's not necessary to be shown in detail. People who read the manga, what are your bets? Will the anime show that spoiler[lengthy torture scene]? That one I can't see how can really be necessary to show on screen. Going for this episode they'll probably cut most of it but who knows?

However that whole "dungeon arc" can't be skipped.

I mention that one because it's easy to get mad at obvious unstable psychopaths, "monsters". But when the monster looks more refined and dignified people may give him a pass, even if he does horrible things. I wonder how the discussions will be like.

[Edit]: added spoiler tags. Errinundra.
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RedSwirl



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 315
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:20 pm Reply with quote
[quote="Panino Manino"]
Amarantine wrote:

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)


Amarantine wrote:
And yes, I agree that the Amazon translation is very bland and stilted, especially compared to Dark Horse's excellent translation in the official English release of the manga. The Vinland Saga anime, also translated by Amazon, has the exact same problem. Their subtitles really don't do a good job showing the quality of the writing and the dialogues in these series.


Based on this and how all the advertising and PR I've seen for these anime has been in Japanese, I think the subs might be little more than an afterthought. A major difference between these shows and say, Kimetsu no Yaiba, is there don't seem to be any overseas licensors involved to handle translation and all that stuff. As far as I know it's just the original Japanese production companies putting the shows on a single service that streams them globally, and I guess throwing some subtitles up there (I have no idea if they're subbing this in other languages too).

It's simpler, and apparently Amazon Prime is the most popular streaming service in Japan. These streams might primarily be for the domestic Japanese audience rather than proper overseas releases. Shows like KnY or Attack on Titan on the other hand get picked up by actual foreign licensors that are designed specifically to translate and push these shows to western audiences on western services. The same could be said for how Dark Horse handled the BOTI manga, getting really creative with the translation and even rearranging the panels.

We'll see if any of this changes when/if these anime get dubs.
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Amaranth Sparrow



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:37 am Reply with quote
Amarantine wrote:
And yes, I agree that the Amazon translation is very bland and stilted, especially compared to Dark Horse's excellent translation in the official English release of the manga.

I've actually felt tempted to rewrite the subtitles based on the Dark Horse translation, which far more accurately conveys the cool Tarantino-esque dialogue that suffuses the whole thing. Samura has the characters using anachronistic yakuza lingo for a reason, and it really adds to the tone and style of the manga.
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Amarantine



Joined: 14 Sep 2019
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:50 am Reply with quote
Panino Manino wrote:
The reviewer reads our comments?


Clearly not, since everything they complained about this week was already addressed here last week. Well, they're free to disagree, of course, but the review of episode 8 simply made more obvious how the point of this whole arc went over their head (the rushed nature of the anime doesn't help of course, but I've seen anime-only viewers who still got it just fine). The episode was bad in terms of character development because it had a violent scene that showed us something we already knew, that Shira is a bastard? The point of the scene was not to develop Shira, but Rin.

Panino Manino wrote:
The violence in this episode was "necessary" as we already discussed, but there are others that... not. At least it's not necessary to be shown in detail. People who read the manga, what are your bets? Will the anime show that spoiler[lengthy torture scene]? That one I can't see how can really be necessary to show on screen. Going for this episode they'll probably cut most of it but who knows?

However that whole "dungeon arc" can't be skipped.


They'll probably show spoiler[some of the torture, but not all of it simply because of time constraints. Either way, I'm sure this reviewer will criticize that scene too, and of course they'll condemn it as soon as it happens before even seeing the character development that it will lead to.]

As for that arc, it seems to me like a prime candidate for, if not skipping, at least massively condensing, since it already dragged horribly in the manga. It's 6 volumes long, but I could see it being done in a single episode in this adaptation (skipping completely would be difficult since it does have a few developments that play into later arcs).
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 391
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:24 am Reply with quote
@Amarantine
Of course the whole thing will be condensed because of time. I'm thinking more about if the episode will suggest more than what little they end actually showing.
But, if anyone complains... I must say, I'm not the fan of that character' arc, the whole thing. spoiler[With Hyakurin get getting pregnant against her will. That typical "it's not the baby fault", you know? I would have liked if her and Gyiti had ended together with the baby being his.]

And thus far, part of the complaints about the violence against women are justified. It's different when Manji, a contract assassin goes to kill someone and gets hacked to pieces. It's different when the violence is just the natural result of two swordsman crossing swords, or a tired immortal getting rid of unnecessary annoyances.
Rin's mother and Kuroi's wife weren't just murdered, the two women were toyed for a man's pleasure. Same thing with Ren and the woman pretending to be Anotsu. Yes, Shira also takes pleasure in killing and torturing men, but with women he goes beyond just the physical pain. There's an additional element of cruelty to which these women are subject that it's frequently used to progress the story.
This is something rather common and while we can talk about for which purpose it's serving the story we can't praise this series for managing to avoid doing it.

RedSwirl wrote:

As far as I know it's just the original Japanese production companies putting the shows on a single service that streams them globally, and I guess throwing some subtitles up there (I have no idea if they're subbing this in other languages too).

I never see any Amazon's subtitles being praised.
For the record, Mugen no Juunin is available in: english, german, spanish, french, italian, brazilian, corean and mandarin.

Perhaps better subtitles wouldn't help much.
Giving it a look at the manga, there's so much stuff being cut! All the personality of the characters are being left at the editing room. It's hard to care about characters when you don't have the opportunity and time to see them being themselves and interacting casually with each other.
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Amarantine



Joined: 14 Sep 2019
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:49 pm Reply with quote
spoiler[You say it's typical, but I've never seen that kind of story in any other anime or manga. And I still think it makes for compelling drama, even if one would prefer the characters find happier outcomes in their lives.]

And I'm not sure what you mean by "we can't praise this series for managing to avoid it." Why should a story set in a time and place where life was incredibly harsh and brutal (for everyone but as usual women had it particularly bad) go out of its way to avoid showing said harshness and brutality? Fiction is meant to be a mirror to reality, not to hide its warts. It's one thing if a scene like that serves no purpose to the story, but I don't think that's been the case in any of the scenes so far.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:39 pm Reply with quote
Amarantine wrote:
spoiler[You say it's typical, but I've never seen that kind of story in any other anime or manga. And I still think it makes for compelling drama, even if one would prefer the characters find happier outcomes in their lives.]

It's "typical" for a history to use violence against women as a motivation for a male character. Isn't this true?

Amarantine wrote:

And I'm not sure what you mean by "we can't praise this series for managing to avoid it." Why should a story set in a time and place where life was incredibly harsh and brutal (for everyone but as usual women had it particularly bad) go out of its way to avoid showing said harshness and brutality? Fiction is meant to be a mirror to reality, not to hide its warts. It's one thing if a scene like that serves no purpose to the story, but I don't think that's been the case in any of the scenes so far.

We "can't praise for managing to avoid it" because no matter how good of a use Samura makes from this violence against his women allowing the story to not appear just "edgy", he is still uses violence against women to give a motivation for the characters, most of them male.

"Amaranth Sparrow" mentioned the anachronistic speech and yakuza lingo, so why not draw more from there when writing the story? Instead of kill a woman why not kill someone "aniki"? Or just make some widow do the revenge instead?
spoiler[I realize that there's at least one occurrence of this happening in the story (the dungeon arc) but it's too little.]
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Amarantine



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:59 am Reply with quote
Panino Manino wrote:
It's "typical" for a history to use violence against women as a motivation for a male character. Isn't this true?


That's not what I meant. But I'd prefer not to continue to talk about future spoiler-y story events, even within tags.

Panino Manino wrote:
We "can't praise for managing to avoid it" because no matter how good of a use Samura makes from this violence against his women allowing the story to not appear just "edgy", he is still uses violence against women to give a motivation for the characters, most of them male.


I would say that's a pretty reductive way of looking at it. Rin is a woman and she herself wants revenge for her father's death (as well as her mother's). Anotsu is motivated by how his grandfather was wronged and mistreated and went insane as a result. And he was also a victim of abuse himself, despite being a male. There's other future examples too. But regardless, of course there's more instances of women being victims of incidents like that, since they historically weren't warriors and most of them would have been defenseless against the violent urges of samurai and swordsmen. Turning the portrayal of that reality into a gender issues thing feels like needless politicizing to me, but I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree.
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Panino Manino



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:29 am Reply with quote
Amarantine wrote:

Panino Manino wrote:
We "can't praise for managing to avoid it" because no matter how good of a use Samura makes from this violence against his women allowing the story to not appear just "edgy", he is still uses violence against women to give a motivation for the characters, most of them male.


I would say that's a pretty reductive way of looking at it. Rin is a woman and she herself wants revenge for her father's death (as well as her mother's). Anotsu is motivated by how his grandfather was wronged and mistreated and went insane as a result. And he was also a victim of abuse himself, despite being a male. There's other future examples too. But regardless, of course there's more instances of women being victims of incidents like that, since they historically weren't warriors and most of them would have been defenseless against the violent urges of samurai and swordsmen. Turning the portrayal of that reality into a gender issues thing feels like needless politicizing to me, but I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree.

I also don't want to make this issue political.
We know Samura, we know that he doesn't hate women or something similar. We know that it's maybe just his fetish, he likes that violence in a "more artistically way", it's just a fetish that we also know that he can satisfy without resorting to drawing blood.

But I maintain what I said.
The examples that you gave don't negate what I criticized. Men also die in this story, but the women tends to died "and worse".
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 391
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:56 pm Reply with quote
#9
"This week, in Mugen no Juunin.
The women join forces to deceive the hateful men." Laughing

Can I say that the way this episode was handled was better than the manga?
In a funny irony, in this one occasion was a good thing that the anime is less expressive than the manga.
In this situation you can't let your emotions show on your face, right? The manga shows a lot, "obviously", but the anime shows the characters trying harder and reserve their "oh shit" moments to "off screen" internal monologues like this.

The good photography had his time to shine.
A lot o cuts were from the official point of view and it was more clear that he was toying with Rin (and Nakaya). This made the interrogation more tense, and I noticed after that this "POV" thing was established in the beginning of the episode when Rin notices that people are paying attention to her in the streets. We first see from Rin ways, the way she is feeling that everyone is looking at her as a criminal e then we change from a person that is paid to see everyone as criminals, interesting. I feel this made the style of the episode more consistent overall.

But the genius addition Rin's flashback when he was telling her big lie.
In the manga (I checked) she visualizes the lie she was telling, but here she was remembering the night her dojo was attacked.
"I won't forget it", she says, before describing how her "fate took a turn".

EDIT
Can we talk about the Amazon's translation?
It's really bad, look what Sato wrote in the letter about the money:

"It was very generous of you, but honestly, I can't imagine what we'd do with twenty-one ryõ.
I hope you don't mind, but I'd like you to take half of it back.
P.S. Don't worry - my husband knows I'm doing this."


Now, compare with the subtitle:

"I migh as well say, I can't even begin to image how you'd use a sum of 21 ryo.
While it is selfish, I will be taking about half of it for myself.
My husband will be getting his share too, don't worry."


Isn't a bit too much wrong?
Though, I have no idea what could be done in a case like this. What can we do beyond complain and live wit it?
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:14 pm Reply with quote
I find it implausible that a scar made a few days or even a few weeks before would look the same as one from two years earlier. Perhaps the commissioner was so taken aback by Rin's forthrightness he didn't give it much thought.

Rin is a formidable young woman even if she doesn't have any sword skills.

What happened to Manji? Did they split up after the poster was distributed? Either the commissioner hadn't seen the poster, or again didn't put two and two together. Men in this show are not all that bright, are they?
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Cam0



Joined: 13 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:42 pm Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
What happened to Manji? Did they split up after the poster was distributed?


That was shown in the very beginning of the episode. Rin left Manji behind (at least that's how I understood it). Manji said that only Rin is able to go through the gate (maybe because Manji's face scars make him easily identifiable?). It seems Rin then slipped out in the night when Manji was asleep (maybe because Manji wouldn't have approved Rin going alone).

Manji's comment honestly makes it a bit confusing. He makes the comment about only Rin being able to go through the gate like it is a suggestion. If Manji was supposed to be against that idea then there should have been a follow up comment like "Give up that idea and lets think of something else". Rin leaving behind a message for Manji saying she is sorry obviously gives the impression that Manji wasn't going to approve. I don't remember from the manga how this went down so I'm left a bit confused whether Manji was against Rin going alone or not.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 391
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:14 pm Reply with quote
Cam0 wrote:

Manji's comment honestly makes it a bit confusing. He makes the comment about only Rin being able to go through the gate like it is a suggestion. If Manji was supposed to be against that idea then there should have been a follow up comment like "Give up that idea and lets think of something else". Rin leaving behind a message for Manji saying she is sorry obviously gives the impression that Manji wasn't going to approve. I don't remember from the manga how this went down so I'm left a bit confused whether Manji was against Rin going alone or not.

Of course they discussed this more, but... no time to show the whole discussion.
Because only Rin had a real chance to pass through the gate without forged passes and internal help, and because she had heard about about a way to trick the Commissioner, she made the decision to go alone because Manji would never approve.

yuna49 wrote:
I find it implausible that a scar made a few days or even a few weeks before would look the same as one from two years earlier. Perhaps the commissioner was so taken aback by Rin's forthrightness he didn't give it much thought.

She talked about this, she had to undress immediately in that room because if any one stopped to look closely they would noticed that it was a trick.

yuna49 wrote:

Either the commissioner hadn't seen the poster, or again didn't put two and two together. Men in this show are not all that bright, are they?

I believe he knew but let her pass because of the sheer madness of her bet.
"You won this time."
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Amarantine



Joined: 14 Sep 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:37 am Reply with quote
Panino Manino wrote:
Can we talk about the Amazon's translation?
Isn't a bit too much wrong?
Though, I have no idea what could be done in a case like this. What can we do beyond complain and live wit it?


Yeah, I've been pointing that out in other forums but you beat me to it here. The translation has never been good, but it hit a new low with the letter, which is sad, because it was the emotional closure to this story. Unfortunately, both Blade of the Immortal and Vinland Saga are being held back in the quality of the dialogue by Amazon's shoddy translations. I'm just gonna pray no other adaptations of my favorite manga get picked up by them.

yuna49 wrote:
What happened to Manji? Did they split up after the poster was distributed? Either the commissioner hadn't seen the poster, or again didn't put two and two together. Men in this show are not all that bright, are they?


The commissioner did know about it, hence his "Sorry to put you through this, but you match the description." But the poster wasn't particularly well drawn and Rin completely changed her hairstyle as a disguise. And her acting was just that convincing, I suppose.

Cam0 wrote:
Manji's comment honestly makes it a bit confusing. He makes the comment about only Rin being able to go through the gate like it is a suggestion. If Manji was supposed to be against that idea then there should have been a follow up comment like "Give up that idea and lets think of something else". Rin leaving behind a message for Manji saying she is sorry obviously gives the impression that Manji wasn't going to approve. I don't remember from the manga how this went down so I'm left a bit confused whether Manji was against Rin going alone or not.


Yeah, thing is, that 30 second pre-OP scene with Manji saying that and Rin leaving on her own? That was a 34 page chapter in the manga. Anime smile + sweatdrop Rin and Manji had a long discussion about what to do, but only that one line made it to the anime due to the insane time constraints this adaptation is under.

But yeah, Manji wasn't actually suggesting to Rin to go alone (though the anime scene can easily be interpreted that way). She left in the middle of the night precisely because she didn't want him to stop her. She basically ended their contract without his consent. The reasons why were foreshadowed in the previous episode: she's feeling guilty for all the suffering Manji experiences for the sake of her own quest for revenge (and she can't really help him much in fights), and Hyakurin told her she would never grow stronger herself if she always relies on his protection.

As for how Manji reacts to this decision of hers to go it alone, they opted not to show that yet, but we'll probably see something in the next episode (although going by the preview, they're going to be reordering events quite a bit, besides the usual cutting and condensing).
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