Wow, fall anime are knocking my expectations out of the park this year.
Seriously, I expected gritty from this series due to the manga’s reputation, but w o w. I was truly blown away at how superbly the animation and storytelling intertwined.
The first episode was super avant-garde. Literal poetry was being cited as scenes were interwoven with death. The characters surroundings were inverted and obscured, making very realistic situations seemingly depicted through a dreamlike state that is cognitive disassociation. I can stay here all day praising this series, and we have only just begun.
So our tale begins when Rin visits her late father’s grave in prayer. She encounters an old spirit that listens to her life story. Yaobikuni tells Rin to seek out Manji, who has been cursed with immortality because of his past sins.
Rin journeys to look for him. The towns seem rough, a lone child is singing, people are doing nothing but warring.
Finally, she meets the man she is looking for. Apparently, Rin fell asleep in his house and Manji slept outside without disturbing her. I really liked this. Maybe because the media nowadays is so toxic, it’s nice to see that although Manji is painted as a savage who has killed one hundred, he had no interest in violating this young girl.
You can be an undead murderer, but still have morals. I like that dichotomy.
Rin retells her life story to Manji in an effort to get him to help. When he refuses and asks for a display of commitment, she decides it would be best to sell herself to him. Manji hits her, and the two seemingly part ways.
Our immortal warrior mentions that Rin reminds him of his younger sister. I wonder if things would have gone differently if she hadn’t?
Later in the episode, there is a sequence with a woman and man standing riverside at night. They recite poetry, before expressing their mutual desire to kill one another. Manji shows up and tells us this man’s name – Sabato Kuroi.
The man who struck Rin’s father down.
The same man who sent her love letters and poetry for two years. The same man who stuffed her mother’s deceased head and sewed it to his shoulder so that she could always be near him.
A man who expresses his love by murdering his object of affection, so that none could ever possess what he deemed was his.
You’ve watched the episode. Let that sink in.
Sabato Kuroi of the Itto-ryu participated along with thirty other men in the murder of Rin’s father. After her mother spoke back, the (presumed) head honcho left before telling his men to have their way with the mother, but to leave the girl untouched. Rin watched at least twenty-nine men rape her mother and then kidnap her afterward.
All this time, she holds the vain hope that her mother may still be alive.
Just to meet up with one of the creeps who was there that night. Who has been sending her love letters and tells her he would like to commit a double suicide with her. Only for it to be revealed that her mother is with him, in the form of a taxidermy head. Right on his shoulder.
The levels to this show. I don’t even know what else to write. I’m going to go watch episode two now.
Before I go however, I noticed something. Yaobikuni’s markings reminds me of Madara’s true form from Natsume Yuujinchou.
Also, the sacred bloodworms that heal Manji’s leg remind me of those blessed with the Divine Dragon’s centipede of immortality in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Anyway, what do you think of the Blade of the Immortal anime remake so far? Have you read the manga? What do you think will become of Rin and Manji? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Mugen no Juunin reviews!
☆ In Asian Spaces
Blade of the Immortal is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. If you’d like to watch the series now, or even later on and binge-watch the series use this link for a free 30-day trial!