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I guess I’m behind again, but I’m here for the grit. This episode put a lot of effort into looking dramatic, and I think it did a good job of selling the tension of its setting. Overall, the theme of the series seems interesting overall, and I like the concept behind Manji as a character. I think that the action has me wary so far, but it’s still too early to tell (I’ll probably check out the second episode fairly soon).
The story follows Rin Asano, the daughter of a dojo master slaughtered by the followers of Itto-ryu. Left as the sole survivor of her family, she seeks vengeance against everyone involved. In order to reach her goal, she enlists the help of Manji, an immortal swordsman seeking atonement for the death of his own sister. The two work together to eliminate the swordsmen of Itto-ryu.
I’m sure that I’m exactly the wrong person to comment on this, but I thought that the opening scene of the first episode was a bit much. I guess it looks cool, but it’s a bit too much flashing for my taste. As a general comment, the action in this episode as whole seemed like it was being skipped. Many scenes seem to cut to black as sword strikes happen. I think it fits with the general style of the episode, but I hope it doesn’t last forever. I’m kind of hoping for something like Dororo.
As I mentioned before, I think that Manji’s character is really interesting. He’s apparently tasked with killing evil people, and he seems to consciously work towards that. I liked that he questioned Rin when she gave her request, attempting to make sure he wasn’t being lured into something nefarious.
Manji also has a decent point when he comments on Rin’s grudge. From Rin’s perspective, it certainly would seem like her family’s fate was completely unjustified, but she has no idea what motivated the swordsmen who attacked them. Since Manji seeks to defeat evil, it’s something that he would think about, which makes for an intriguing scene.
The episode seems to cut to encounter with Sabato fairly quickly. Still, I think he’s a great first enemy for Rin. He makes her question what she truly wants out of her quest by offering to kill himself. Rin essentially acknowledges her weakness and prepares to “settle” for one death when she attempts to kill herself. I like the scene as a callback to her earlier conversation with Manji, when he asks her to prove her resolve. In this scene, I’d say that she proves the opposite.