2 Samurai Manga: Blade 卍 and Vagabond

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Egon
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2 Samurai Manga: Blade 卍 and Vagabond

Postby Egon » Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:59 pm

Following the series of relevant manga/anime reviews for people who are interested:
Berserk
Noragami, Spice & Wolf, The Ancient Magus Bride

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Blade of the Immortal was one of the best experiences I have ever had in visual narrative, artwork per se and character writing. Unlike Vagabond that plays on philosophizing the spiritual, there is a distintic line for the supernatural elements here, the main character called 卍 (Manji) who gets immortality from a lady monk to fulffil his fate of slaying 100 scumbags for each good person he was deceived into killing, and helping the girl Rin exact justice for her family. Even though there some buddhist nonsense here and there, this story does not shy away from the themes of the rightful use of violence, and all of the philosophy does not feel out of place or hinders the natural unfold of the plot, making the character being too romanticized or unreal. This manga is complete in 30 volumes with one of the most satisfying conclusions and twists a story that has revenge as one of its themes.

**Trigger warning, there's graphic sexual violence and torture.

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The all famous Vagabond about the life of Musashi Miyamoto is pretty good but may not work for everyone. If you aren't going into this manga with the mindset that this is a Slice of Life narrative artbook with some philosophy of every martial arts movies ever, it can become repetitive.

The landscape artwork is very good. You will see a lot of realistic leaves. Everywhere. The places all looks the same and at some point looking at all these photo-realistic woods and sometimes dojos and beaches haven't the same effect. The character designs also look awesome, you will see the same faces menacingly staring at each other for like 300 panels until the enemy "loses his will" or something like that. The manga is historical but when there are things like astral projection and such it does not feel natural in the context they are portraying, with the wrong idea that you could think your way into spirituality if you try thinking very hard into "the way of the warrior" and all that jazz. It's an easy read with not much dialogue and quite enjoyable though, would be better if the manga didn't want to take itself too seriously in the over philosophical inner monologues.
This manga has 37 volumes and a couple of extra chapters, the author seems to have given up on completing it.

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The character figures are very beautiful to be used as artistic refference.

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