Shigurui Episode 1 ~ A match made in heavan.

October 2, 2007 at 12:04 am | Posted in Shigurui | 3 Comments
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Now, I’ve had high hopes about the Shigurui anime. Hearing it was obscenely gruesome, I managed to sniff out the manga before the anime was released and I absolutely loved it. It lived up to its reputation. As one would hope the anime would. I actually have a rule of thumb when it comes to anime. Anything made by Madhouse (Claymore, Devil May Cry, Death Note) is bound to be good. Maybe not great plot-wise, but at very least beautiful.

The story starts in 1629 at Sunpu Castle. A man, who is literally shaking with fear, pleads to the Daimyo of the Suruga province Tadanaga Tokugawa. I know what you’re thinking. Tadanaga Tokugawa? He’s not a memorable ruler at all. True, but he was a brutal one. Anyway, this man who is growing even more unstable by the moment (this Tadanaga must be fearsome) asks that he let the warriors use wooden bokken instead of real katana’s. When suddenly~ ninja’s attacked.

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He reveals a rather sizable wound and commences to pull out the innards. Of course he is providing an example of what happens in a real katana match. Which is how any real man would present facts. Even more amazing is he continues to talk, however not for long. As anyone could guess, he dies.

Later that year as the samurai battle draws near, it seems that people are still ill at ease with Tadanaga’s decision to use real katana’s. Most referring to it as a ‘sad waste of skilled samurai’. So true, so true. But the lords’ orders are law.

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I’d say it’s a bad omen.

Meanwhile, as the regional lords continue to enter the castle for the upcoming fight, the first samurai Fujiki Gennosuke prepares quietly with his lady friend. No, not in the much more interesting sexual way. Mie-dono is apparently some sort of fortune teller. Though, not a truthful one. As she tells him he will win even after her vision blatantly shows otherwise.

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As Fujiki marches out into the arena under the blazing sun, the nobles are all utterly stunned to learn that he is missing an arm. Aww, and he had been so highly recommended. While they are all distracted, Fujiki’s opponent steps onto the field. (also with his lady friend Iku, mind you.) He is Irako Seigan, and guess what!? He not only has a badly injured foot, but is blind to boot. Personally, I think Irako is at more of a disadvantage. I mean really, it should be one handicap versus one handicap. Unless Irako is godly enough to make up the gap, now that would make this worth watching.

Of course, like every human being, the nobles are interested to see how this freak show will play out. After presenting their sword styles there is nothing but a whole lot of dramatic standing around. Meaning it’s flashback time.

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It turns out Fujiki and Irako have a bit of a history together. Not only does this flashback provide the information that Irako challenged Fujiki to a duel at his dojo and broke two of his fingers, but it tells me that samurai are not as glamorous as we make them out to be.

I didn’t really like the episode that much. Yes, the characters were fun to look at. Yes, there was a sufficient amount of blood. However, there was really no action. Even in the sword fight flashback at the end there was really no action. Irako just butted swords with Fujiki and BAM broke his fingers after a bit of struggling. I’ll watch on, but so help me. There better be at least one epic sword battle in the coming episodes.

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