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DVD Review

DVD cover

Blade of the Immortal
Volume 2


Starring (voice): Rina Satou, Tomokazu Seki, Daisuke Namikawa and Hirofumi Nojima
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 08 November 2010

When Manji, a samurai, discovers that his master is dishonourably immoral he kills him, but fails to kill himself, being cursed by a witch for his past deeds. In his master's service he has killed and in his last act of defiance he kills one hundred of his former master’s retainers, many of them innocent of any crime. To atone for his sin Manji must balance his past behaviour by killing a thousand evil men, but Manji is unsure how to determine the real evil in men’s hearts...

Blade of the Immortal: Volume 2 (2008) continues with a further four episodes of the anime series - based on a manga created by Hiroaki Samura - directed by Koichi Mashimo.

The show takes a little time to get into and so I found that I enjoyed the second volume of much more than the first, which failed to really give the show a focus. I presumed that the focus would be on Manji’s quest for redemption, whereas it really deals with the relationship between himself and Rin.

Volume two contains the episodes Cry of the Worm, Three Ways, Nail Bomb and Dream Bomb. Although there is action to be had in these stories, what they really represent is an ongoing philosophical discussion between Manji and Rin about the nature of killing and retribution - both the language and subject matters are adult in nature.

The 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer remains of a high quality and audio is offered in 2.0 English (with signs) and 2.0 Japanese with subtitles.

I get the feeling that this a series which should be watched straight through to fully appreciate the makers intent, certainly the first few episodes don’t do the overall show justice.

Volume two does have a very interesting extra in the form of a Manga Discussion with Hiroaki Samura and Editorial Staff (30 min, 22 sec) and represents a rare opportunity to listen to a manga artist speak about their work. The disc also contains trailers for two other shows.

All in all the story is shaping up well, with only a single disc to go, we will have to see if, from a position of a weak beginning and a strong middle, whether they can finish with a flourish.


Charles Packer

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