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Entries in katanagatari (2)

Monday
Nov072011

The AniManga Podcast Episode 12, "Milking It For All It's Worth"

In this episode we cover a lot of ground, going over news of the past week, the anime series Katanagatari, and shoot the breeze over movies, the future, and life as we know it. 

Links below if you want to follow along, but if you listen to the AAC version, the links will be embedded directly into the file so you can follow along without having to keep your browser open the whole time.  Enjoy!

To subscribe on iTunes to the podcast, click the podcast logo at the top of the PODCAST PAGE.  To just download the AAC file, click the link at the bottom of THE PODCAST POST.  To download the MP3, click the link at the bottom of THIS POST.

LINKS:

- Akira Casting
- Ezra Miller IMDB
- Alden Ehrenreich IMDB
- Hedllund Confirmed as Kaneda
- Keira Knightley Rumored in Akira
- FUNimation Acquires Hellsing Ultimate 8
- Sailor Moon Kicks Ass
- Top 25 Manga Properties of Summer 2011
- Titles Readers Give Up On
- Star Driver on Rightstuf
- Katanagatari on Rightstuf
- Netflix, Hulu, and Niche Content
- Touchable Holograms
- Saturn Apartments on SigIkki
- The Lorax Trailer
- Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trailer
- Secret World of Arrietty Trailer

AniManga Podcast Episode 12 MP3

Monday
Aug222011

Katanagatari Volume 1, Anime Review

Review by Dominic

Katanagatari which translates to “sword story” is a twelve episode anime series based on the light novels by Nisio Isin. The series was released last year in Japan an episode per month and has finally made its way to the Western shores courtesy of Nis America.

Our story begins in feudal Japan during one of its many wars where different shogunates vie for power. A clash between two men in a burning building during the latest rebellion introduces Takahito Hida(the rebellion leader) and Mutsue Yasuri(the head of a sword art), two characters that don’t really show up much after this scene. These two fight for the future of the land and Hida is slain as a young girl watches in the shadows.

In the present day, which is about twenty or so years later, we are taken to an island where we are introduced to our main character Shichika, who just so happens to be the son of Mutsue who we saw in the introductory scene. It seems that after the rebellion was quieted down, Mutsue and his family was exiled by the ungrateful Shogun and has been living quietly on this island. Shichika and his older sister, Nanami live a peaceful life on the island batting a blind eye to the outside world. Shichika spends his days mainly practicing his father’s sword art style called Kyoto Ryu which is actually a sword style that doesn’t use an actual sword. Instead the wielder of this art style uses their hands, legs, and overall body as a sword and the style is more defensive than offensive.

Shichika’s mundane life is changed when he is visited by a young woman named Togame who has come on orders from the Shogun to quest out for a set of twelve legendary swords known as “Klesha Bringers” that are supposed to bring peace to the land when brought together. Togame also reveals that her father was the man that Shichika’s father slew in the beginning and that she was the young girl that witnessed it all. Watching her father killed turned her hair white and causes one of her eyes to change into a snake like eye whenever she devises plans.

Togame asks Shichika to join her on her quest to bring the swords back from their respective owners and Shichika agrees for the most part. As Togame finishes her story, an unexpected guest arrives: Komori, a ninja from a faction known as the Maniwa Ningun which is also after the twelve swords. After much exposition, he is defeated and the two set off on their journey with the first sword intact.

If you thought that description was long, that’s just a quick synopsis because every episode of Katanagatari runs about 50 minutes long, that’s almost an hour folks, two times longer than a normal anime episode. These episodes can get pretty long but the length helps to bring about more character interactions and overall plot movement.

The art in this series is seriously some of the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen and really brings out the characters and landscapes that the characters venture through. If you need a reason to watch this show, just look at the art, I can’t think of too many series that looked quite like this one.

The characters in Katanagatari are also one of the main draws, and they’d better be with the length that we’ll be seeing them. Shichika is the most clueless person in this world having been raised on an island only knowing his sister and father. He follows Togame as her “sword” and he fits that description pretty well. Though Shichika is a likeable character, he doesn’t really think for himself and finds himself confused by everything, the only thing he really knows how to do is fight. As for Togame, she considers herself a “Strategist” and is the know all character when it comes to the world and introduces Shichika to new experiences. Though these two are apparently in “love” Shichika can’t really comprehend what that means and becomes a target for Togame’s tsundere tendencies to beat him usually with a “Cherrio!”

Along with the main characters are the Maniwa Ningun ninjas which all have their own flashy costumes which brings up the question of how they are ninja, as well as the wielders of the legendary swords which all have a unique look to them. The sword carriers all have interesting back stories and from what I could tell, don’t seem to be bad people which also brings up the question of why the Shogun wants these swords.

On the negative side of things, this series can get extremely repetitive. Each story for the most part runs in the same order: We find out who has the sword, then Togame thinks up a plan, then Shichika challenges said sword wielder, and promptly kills him/her and reclaims sword. This can get old real quick but the fights themselves are generally interesting. Speaking of fights good luck waiting for those cause there is a ton of dialogue in this show. I can understand how this was once a novel, because at least for the first couple of episodes, the dialogue just keeps going and going. There are times when you think the scene could be over, but the characters just keep talking. There are moments when it’s actually quite funny, but for the most part it really gets in the way especially before a fight. There were times when I just wanted to yell at the TV for the fight to begin.

Overall though, Katanagatari is a series that has a lot going for it. It has a unique look to it, nice fleshed out characters, and an interesting premise as at the end of this set things are going on in the background that promise to explain any questions. Even with the long episode times, and the not-so-original premise, I would recommend this to people who want a slower paced action series, and be ready to read….a lot since this release is a subtitled only release.

This first set contains episodes one through six and comes in a Blu-Ray/DVD bundle pack with a small art book and postcards relevant to the episodes included.

Katanagatari is now available from NiS America as well as on Rightstuf.com and Amazon.

Score: 3.75/5 Total

4.5/5 Just for Art alone