REVIEW | Blade of the Immortal
Warner Bros. Japan Recorded Picture Company
Director: Takashi Miike
Screenplay: Tetsuya Oishi
Based on an anime by: Hiroaki Samura
Music by: Koji Endo
Cinematography by: Nobuyasu Kita
Edited by: Kenji Yamashita
7.99 to rent on Amazon
- Great directing
- Sticks to the source material
- Good lead actor
- Well realized fight choreography
- The mix of grounded and over the top sometimes clash
- May not appease Akira Kurosawa fans
Blade of the Immortal is live action anime done right.
Director Takashi Miike takes the source material that ran from 1993 to 2012 and puts his classic samurai flavor on it. Miike is no stranger to samurai films, and his past works such as 13 Assassins and Hari-Kiri: Death of a Samurai shows his aptitude.
Blade of the Immortal strips away the traditional feel and authenticity of those movies for a more fantastical and anime inspired take. What is not stripped away is the fun of seeing the immortal samurai named Manji, played by Takuya Kimura, slay larger than life evil men in some well-choreographed and shot fight sequences.
The story centralizes on a samurai named Manji who was unable to protect his sister many years ago from a corrupt lord. Dying in the act of trying to save her, a mystical nun comes to Manji and bestows sacred worms into his body, which heal all of his wounds no matter how grave. Years pass and a young girl tracks Manji down after her family is killed. She is looking for redemption and the immortal warrior seems to be the right person to hire to take down these evil men. What ensues is an over the top, but very fun series of fights.
The movie is at its most best when Manji is cycling through his crazy assortment of weapons, but that also leads into more of the absurdity of the overall plot. The movie seems so grounded in some moments only to be followed by dialing it up to 11 at the next that I had to keep reminding myself that this was based off of an anime. Being loud, outrageous, and over-exaggerated just comes with the territory. Blade of the Immortal is a hard recommend, however it does rely a bit on the viewer’s willingness to give into the anime-like nature of the movie. If the seriousness of Akira Kurosawa’s filmmaking is more of your style in samurai flicks, then you might be disappointed.
Blade of the Immortal is considered to be “still in theaters,” but it might not be available in your area.