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EP. REVIEW: Blade of the Immortal


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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I'll probably finish out this cour, but I think I'm out after that. I just can't relate to Rin at all and can barely muster any empathy for her situation or feel moved to root for her. Since this now does seem to be her story, and they've done nothing to make me care what happens to her one way or the other, it seems pointless to waste more time on it. Now if this were about Manji or Makie or even Anotsu or Magatsu, I'd be on board to see how they ended up, but Rin is just killing this for me.

At least I got a good laugh out of everyone just happening to show up at the same place at the right time to have a grand old melee slaughter.

There's a really good side in this adaptation being about Rin only.
This means that the "Girl Power" will receive all the focus it deserves. Do you believe if I tell you that Rin will beat Anotsu in kicking the Shogunate ass? It's a waste if the violence till now made all the women and feminists drop already because the fun starts now.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:53 am Reply with quote
Does Rin stop crying at the drop of a hat?

It's not the violence that's turning me away, although the framing of the rape scenes has been pretty sketchy. It's Rin. She's an idiot. She's not really my idea of "girl power." Rolling Eyes There is nothing about her I can identify with. I don't hate her on the level of say, Aoi in Coppelion or Lisa in Terror in Resonance. But I think that's mostly because she's been so utterly useless that she can't even have any real effect on the storyline past initiating it, so she's just annoying like a fly buzzing around, rather than enraging like software upgrades that screw up everything else. Smile
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Panino Manino



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:33 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Does Rin stop crying at the drop of a hat?

Still complaing about this?

Gina Szanboti wrote:

It's not the violence that's turning me away, although the framing of the rape scenes has been pretty sketchy. It's Rin. She's an idiot. She's not really my idea of "girl power." Rolling Eyes There is nothing about her I can identify with. I don't hate her on the level of say, Aoi in Coppelion or Lisa in Terror in Resonance. But I think that's mostly because she's been so utterly useless that she can't even have any real effect on the storyline past initiating it, so she's just annoying like a fly buzzing around, rather than enraging like software upgrades that screw up everything else. Smile

You may not like Rin, and may be for unexplained and illogical reasons.
You don't really need to identify with a character, even if he is the protagonist. But if you just don't like her, ok be it. But saying that she has not effect in the story is just blatantly wrong. I just can't keep up with these complaints anymore, how can I argue with this?
Maybe you're a few episodes late? It's the only explanation left.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:11 am Reply with quote
Panino Manino wrote:
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Does Rin stop crying at the drop of a hat?

Still complaing about this?

Is she still crying? I thought she'd gotten better, but looks like not. So I'll stop when she stops. Smile That you didn't answer my question tells me she won't. So I guess I'll really stop when I quit watching. Like, now.

Not sure why you feel the need to convert me. But I've explained my reasons and I don't approach my entertainment like a Vulcan, so while lack of logic can ruin a plot for me, logic is not the sole basis for whether I enjoy something or not (Rin is never logical, so why must I be? Razz). And yes, I do need to have some point with which I can identify with a character or they might as well be Background Cloud #2. So speak for yourself on that score.
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RedSwirl



Joined: 08 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:53 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Panino Manino wrote:
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Does Rin stop crying at the drop of a hat?

Still complaing about this?

Is she still crying? I thought she'd gotten better, but looks like not. So I'll stop when she stops. Smile That you didn't answer my question tells me she won't. So I guess I'll really stop when I quit watching. Like, now.

Not sure why you feel the need to convert me. But I've explained my reasons and I don't approach my entertainment like a Vulcan, so while lack of logic can ruin a plot for me, logic is not the sole basis for whether I enjoy something or not (Rin is never logical, so why must I be? Razz). And yes, I do need to have some point with which I can identify with a character or they might as well be Background Cloud #2. So speak for yourself on that score.


spoiler[Rin definitely does start to take more action in the next arc.]
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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 910
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:11 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I'll probably finish out this cour, but I think I'm out after that. I just can't relate to Rin at all and can barely muster any empathy for her situation or feel moved to root for her. Since this now does seem to be her story, and they've done nothing to make me care what happens to her one way or the other, it seems pointless to waste more time on it. Now if this were about Manji or Makie or even Anotsu or Magatsu, I'd be on board to see how they ended up, but Rin is just killing this for me.

At least I got a good laugh out of everyone just happening to show up at the same place at the right time to have a grand old melee slaughter.


I feel similarly. To be fair, I think the broad strokes of a coherent, thematically satisfying arc are present, for her; I could imagine some other show doing an excellent job showing her slowly come to terms with the fact that she's not the killer she set out to be, the emptiness of her quest echoed in the hollowed out, diseased shell that's left of Anotsu. Or something to that effect. (That's not actually what this show seemed to be aiming for with Rin, to be fair - it seems to want her to be bent on revenge, but only on revenge that is specifically tied back to her trauma, and involves her directly punishing Anotsu; and, also, only when he's in the peak of health, because clearly to achieve vengeance-catharsis by killing the murder-rape blademaster she also needs doing so to be an honest fight & a good challenge, uh, for some reason. That seems a much harder story to tell correctly, though, and I don't think they achieved it; or, more to the point, it just seems fractured and confused by trying to stuff too many inconsistent ideas into one character.)

But Blade of the Immortal just didn't sell me at all on that transition; I think it needed a lot more time to bake some kind of relationship between her and Anotsu, and show her struggle deciding whether to kill him evolving slowly & unsteadily. And, even then, I don't think they could have sold me on her grinning and quipping at him warmly like they've become best friends. Accepting that she won't find release in the revenge she wanted is one thing, and I can imagine that story, but getting to a place where she cheerfully smiles at the guy who led the organized murder of her father and the murder-rape of her mother, in front of her, is, uh, a tough sell.

Of course, it didn't help that the show's not been able to decide if Rin is becoming more competent or not. For all her training with 'the Golden Bugs', every conflict continues to show her to be superfluously useless. That'd be fine if there was some point to it, but it just makes me wonder why we've wasted so much energy watching her 'train' and obsess over how to get stronger.

Aside from Rin, I also don't think Anotsu makes much sense as a character right now; the kindly traveling samurai that revives Rin and gently acknowledges he's 'wronged' her is not the same guy who uncaringly let his men do as they would to Rin's mom. I suppose we're to infer he's subverted his sense of the good to some kind of samurai-unification ideal or some such, but right now it just feels bizarrely schizoid. They've spent a lot less time on him than on Rin, of course, so maybe the show will provide a good explanation for his behavior and they'll convince me this juxtaposition is an interesting, effective choice, but I'm dubious.


Last edited by NeverConvex on Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:25 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:13 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:

Is she still crying? I thought she'd gotten better, but looks like not. So I'll stop when she stops. Smile That you didn't answer my question tells me she won't. So I guess I'll really stop when I quit watching. Like, now.

You didn't read my first comment/response for you in this page (p.7)? I even tease that Rin beats Anotsu in spoiler[KICKING THE SHOGUNATE ASS!]!
Rin does that, by her own plans and strength.
And you still needs more answers if she "stopped crying"?

Gina Szanboti wrote:

Not sure why you feel the need to convert me. But I've explained my reasons and I don't approach my entertainment like a Vulcan, so while lack of logic can ruin a plot for me, logic is not the sole basis for whether I enjoy something or not (Rin is never logical, so why must I be? Razz). And yes, I do need to have some point with which I can identify with a character or they might as well be Background Cloud #2. So speak for yourself on that score.

No, not about liking Rin, I not trying to make you like Rin anymore. I'm just arguing about things that you're pointing that aren't accurate. I understand then that you didn't watched the last few episodes? Because if you had watched you wouldn't be asking these questions at this point.
What it's "illogical" if I may ask (aside from characters surviving mortal wounds)?


Last edited by Panino Manino on Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Panino Manino



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:25 pm Reply with quote
NeverConvex wrote:

I think the broad strokes of a coherent, thematically satisfying arc are present,

NeverConvex wrote:

I think it needed a lot more time to bake some kind of relationship between her and Anotsu

Unfortunately the lack of time will make this story feel much shallower that it actually is. Not bad but still wasted potential, like already discussed.
In the end this isn't something that I'll be able to recommend easily, just as a curiosity, because I'll still want people to get the most out of this story and it'll have to be with the manga.

But I personally don't think that Rin became "friends" with Anotsu. And... well, we'll see.

NeverConvex wrote:

I also don't think Anotsu makes much sense as a character right now

It's true that he enables some really bad dudes but to achieve his objectives "can't be helped".
He is more a "revolutionary" leader. His target are Official Dojo Sanctioned by the Bafuku. Innocent people are killed in his attacks, but legally they're members of the system he wants to modify, they're collaborators. The Itto-ryu isn't attacking people randomly on the streets, that's why you never hear talk of common people afraid of them.
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NeverConvex



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:48 pm Reply with quote
The show didn't give me the impression they'd become friends; that's not really what I meant. Let me try to clarify: Rin's mannerisms with, tone of voice, & facial expressions directed towards Anotsu in the final scenes were downright warm; those felt friendly. But it was also clearly stated that she meant to kill him, and so we're not supposed to assume she's discarded her quest for vengeance, or her seething hatred of him. I think the warmth was intended to convey that she had learned that even Anotsu is a complex person with some redeeming qualities, but her adopting warmth towards him is, I think, the wrong way to convey that. If the show must show her conceding that the world's complicated and even a man she justifiably loathes is not unequivocally evil, those concessions should be reluctantly expressed through the seething filter of her continued anger at her past trauma, not in friendly japes.

My position on that also relates to the latter half of your reply, I think: I could imagine the murder of her father fitting into some kind of 'officially sanctioned, righteous kill', but her mother clearly wasn't a warrior. And, even if she had been, or was maybe some kind of bureaucrat enabling/supporting a governmental system he opposes, there's a huge difference between killing her in some kind of righteous execution... and, well, what they actually did. It would take one heck of a story-teller to convince me that the Itto-Ryu's organized, excessive brutality under Anotsu is something for which Anotsu's hands should be regarded as clean. I think the show either needs to judge him for it, or show him actively acknowledging and struggling with the guilt he should feel over compromising his ethics to recruit enough men to achieve what he regards as a greater goal (or whatever the motivation/excuse is); I don't see any other way to portray him that makes much sense.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:32 pm Reply with quote
NeverConvex wrote:
Rin's mannerisms with, tone of voice, & facial expressions directed towards Anotsu in the final scenes were downright warm; those felt friendly.

Now that she had time to reflect after seeing and doing bloody things, she just isn't feeling irrational hate of him anymore.
But this is also something that I had complained earlier. I like that the characters are almost always on model, but the facial expressions are lacking. Anotsu here is almost expressionless, a detail that makes his charisma not convincing.

Episode 5 was the big mistake.
If this adaptation is about Rin, why keep that character and arc that has no direct relevance for her? This last arc should had done in two episodes, one with Rin and Anotsu fleeing and talking and a bit more of Makie and the other with the final pursuit and reunion & showdown.
There's no reason for that episode to exist other than a mistake.
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RedSwirl



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:29 pm Reply with quote
From what I remember, most of what was cut from the manga so far has been arcs and backstory concerning characters other than Rin: Manji, Anotsu (the last episode totally cut a mini-arc that better explains his general goal), Makie, etc. Most of Rin's scenes and dialogue have made it in so far and this adaptation is clearly centering on her, which I guess is a good idea if you have to adapt a manga this big in this little screen time.

There is some dialogue between Rin and Anotsu that was cut from the last episode though, and maybe that would've better defined her feelings towards him as or right now. In any case, I'd argue the most significant developments for Rin are still to come.
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Panino Manino



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:42 pm Reply with quote
RedSwirl wrote:
From what I remember, most of what was cut from the manga so far has been arcs and backstory concerning characters other than Rin: Manji, Anotsu (the last episode totally cut a mini-arc that better explains his general goal), Makie, etc. Most of Rin's scenes and dialogue have made it in so far and this adaptation is clearly centering on her, which I guess is a good idea if you have to adapt a manga this big in this little screen time.

There is some dialogue between Rin and Anotsu that was cut from the last episode though, and maybe that would've better defined her feelings towards him as or right now. In any case, I'd argue the most significant developments for Rin are still to come.

Rin says at the end of last episode that she'll will watch Anotsu do... do what?
For what he's fighting that Rin at least partly agrees?
They shouldn't had cut 95% of this arc. How incorporate that Dojo in Kaga would benefit Itto-ryu and Anotsu? What was the cost for him? Why the Shogunate interfered and how was the Itto-ryu cooperating with the Shogunate at that point?
All the drama is missing.
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Panino Manino



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:11 pm Reply with quote
Oh, I hadn't made a comment about the last episode?
#13
I know that this adaptation isn't making easy to follow the story, but the reviewer is just forgetting stuff each week and making no efforts anymore (Rin is staying in a "hovel"... "yikes").

For my part I have to say, that Manji is a disappointment.
How can be he so dumb to voluntarily enter that castle? What was he thinking! Of course Habaki wouldn't simple let he free now that he set this attention of him, but Manji shouldn't facilitate things so much. What an idiot!

And anyone else noticed the "Candle Theme" this episode?

Oh, yeah, did you see @Gina Szanboti ? Manji is chained in a dungeon, now Rin is all alone again. No time to cry.
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Cam0



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:56 pm Reply with quote
Episode 13 review wrote:
In another blink-and-you'll miss it moment, one of the Itto-ryu cuts down a very young looking boy named Makoto. I think he was working for Kagimura, but he only gets maybe five seconds of screen-time before immediately getting killed. My guess is that this is another character who got a lot more to do in the manga?


I think in one earlier episode the Mugai-ryo folk told Manji that they have a spy inside Itto-ryo. Makoto was that spy. If I remember correctly he (Makoto) was the personal errand boy of that old dude who killed him. That scene felt completely unnecessary since anime had basically reduced Makoto into a background character. It could have just been mentioned passing by in some dialogue instead of being a confusing "who was that guy and what was that all about" scene.
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Panino Manino



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Cam0 wrote:
Episode 13 review wrote:
In another blink-and-you'll miss it moment, one of the Itto-ryu cuts down a very young looking boy named Makoto. I think he was working for Kagimura, but he only gets maybe five seconds of screen-time before immediately getting killed. My guess is that this is another character who got a lot more to do in the manga?


I think in one earlier episode the Mugai-ryo folk told Manji that they have a spy inside Itto-ryo. Makoto was that spy. If I remember correctly he (Makoto) was the personal errand boy of that old dude who killed him. That scene felt completely unnecessary since anime had basically reduced Makoto into a background character. It could have just been mentioned passing by in some dialogue instead of being a confusing "who was that guy and what was that all about" scene.

The reviewers remembers and cites the "banquet scene", but don't remember that Makoto was there and that Habaki walked out of the room specifically to talk with him. It's not hard to guess what happened there and it's hard to complain that the anime showed that yes, he died.
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