Bee Train Fan Forum

Series Discussion => All Series => Topic started by: Fellini 8.5 on July 14, 2008, 11:11:21 AM

Title: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Fellini 8.5 on July 14, 2008, 11:11:21 AM
Supposedly it's aired already?  Anyway, the only way I noticed is because of the complainerz on the Animesuki thread...

Here's the y'tube of the OP:
[yt=425,350]T7sxIu2KyJo[/yt]

It'll be a while before I manage to scrounge up a raw, as I'm working right now... :P
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 14, 2008, 12:32:15 PM
 I should have the raw in about an hour! ;D
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Ombrenuit on July 14, 2008, 12:39:34 PM
The OP sounds very Ali Project influenced. And does he have a swastika on his back?
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 14, 2008, 12:48:09 PM
 Yeah I agree it has a slight Ali Project feel to it. I actually like the OP song, it seems appropriate! And the animation for the fighting scenes looks interesting, specially around 27 seconds!
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 14, 2008, 12:54:08 PM
 And it's done!!! :D I guess I'll give it a try soon enough! ^^

Edit: OK, I need subtitles for this badly, but visually speaking I didn't honestly (and hopefully unbiasedly) saw anything wrong with it. Some of it was pretty awesome actually! I did recognize a lot of stuff that's very typical of Bee Train and that I'm sure all the haterz will complain about while I, as a fan, enjoyed a lot! :)

 First of all, the OP is perfect! The ED is ok, but I generally prefer OPs anyway. The characters' movements and facial expressions look allright to me. Didn't find anything annoying about the voice acting either. The music usage and the particularly loud sound effects are somewhat characteristic of Bee Train anime, and I like it.

 I also liked some little touches here and there, like the sword glow over the eyes at 13.22, when Manji hits his head at 15.18 (that was funny!), the background art at 18.40 and 20.15, and the red moon that keeps showing around! ;D

 I'll hopefully be able to make a more interesting review when I get to see a subbed version. But I can say for now that my first impression is far from disappointing! :)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Ombrenuit on July 14, 2008, 02:59:21 PM
I have to say that I'm really excited about this series. Overall, I'd give the first episode raw a B.

There's a lot of originality here that we'd expect from Bee Train. As with most of their work, and to the begrudging of haters, the focus isn't on action per se, but more on style. Ironic however, as manga isn't about choreographed fights either--rather splashes of suggestion. That said, there seems to be a lot of layers here for us to uncover.

The soundtrack was average. It's certainly not at the forefront nor is it amazing, but it's functional. The only gripe I have is more personal. The first scene is all darkness, confusion, and ultra-violence. We see swords in the dark, murder, and ultimately, a slaughter.

But all the while this psycho style soundtrack on the organ is pumping melodrama into a scene that I feel like could really capitolize on an absence of music. This would really have forced a certain gravity and suffocation to the scene. Afterall, it seems to be about a boy watching people getting murdered, something that is going to scar him for the rest of his waking days. But the music is shrieking "Oh noes!" the whole time ^^; But it's a minor complaint.

However, I am impressed with the sound effects. From the clang of swords to the gun fire in the first episode, the sound has a lot of weight to it.

As for the animation and art, I like it. I'm impressed with Bee Train's ability to do something so different from their recent works. The colors are very saturated--and there's certainly more dark. You can still see some bee train in it, but overall it guises much more on the edge of realism.

And crazy camera angles and emotional stills are still here!

Much to the chagrin of hardcore fans, it's not destined to be a classic. However, it's certainly above average.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Fellini 8.5 on July 14, 2008, 06:31:50 PM
I'll just rip off my own blog post, like the lazy old man that I am:


On first impression, nothing changes too much in my opinion. Dark, bleak, and rather bloody. Though not all-out gut-splattering gore, still a lot of spatter.

Seeing that this is a co-production with Production I.G., I kept trying to refrain from prejudging any particular shot as having the same kind of soulless look that Otoshi Zoshi had. I'd bet that if I were to go shot-by-shot and say "Bee Train", "IG", I'd probably get every single one wrong.

One thing it's got going for it is that it's far, far from "generic". It's very graphically strong, composed of a near-infinite blend of dreary grays and sepia shading, but punctuated by strong, saturated colors. Mostly reds so far, though interestingly, not so much the blood, which is rather dark. More the flowers, the kimono, the Avenger-esque red moon.

Effects are quite slick, as well, with a myriad of blade glows and light patterns and action montages. Camerawork is almost restrained in a Mashimo piece, though there's some experimentation around some of the "off-camera" slicing 'n dicing that kind of flew by too fast to make much impact on me just yet.

Dialouge animation is kind of stiff and some of the framing is a bit flat in those sequences. And there's a lot of dialouge. In fact, I suspect that once I see a translation, there may be a few "lighter", more humorous moments to help break up the overall dreariness. The one reaction shot where the lead jumps up and hits his head makes me suspect that some of his lines beforehand may have been wisecracks of some sort. We'll see.

I'm hoping there's a true HDTV release for this, as the muddiness would benefit from more detail and less compression. I'm also going to need to pay close attention to details in the background and settings, as there has reportedly been a lot of research and focus on those elements such that my lack of exposure to Japanese history and culture would put me at a symbollic disadvantage.



Ombrenuit, you've read/been reading the manga, right?  Does any of this episode map to it, and how close is it sticking to it (particularly shot-by-shot and composition, more than story/dialogue)?
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: kavi on July 15, 2008, 03:23:20 AM
The OP sounds very Ali Project influenced. And does he have a swastika on his back?

Yes, it's got good connotations in eastern Asia.

Direct link for torrent:

http://tracker.anirena.com/download.php?id=9845 (http://tracker.anirena.com/download.php?id=9845)

PS - I believe it's airing Sundays, every other week, with the first episode last Sunday, but correct me if I'm wrong....
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Fellini 8.5 on July 15, 2008, 10:08:53 PM
Someone's got a speedsub up already... by the english on their website, I am doubtful of the quality, but you know, kids these days...  ;)

"HD" mp4 torrent (http://tracker.anirena.com/download.php?id=9905)
SD avi torrent (http://tracker.anirena.com/download.php?id=9904)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 15, 2008, 10:19:11 PM
 That sure was quick! I'll give it a try anyway! :)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: GhostFriendly on July 16, 2008, 01:20:19 PM
Well, seen the sub...Ombrenuit was about right, good but no classic. I must say I normally love Tomokazu Seki, but he sounds nothing like I'd imagined for Manji. All his dialogue is more thoughtful and less hip than the manga; I guess that's Bee Train...
I think some of the dialogue could use more translation time, but the visual style is much better than I expected from all the comments; it's great that this has a style distinct from the focus on detail in the manga. Hope they keep Rin's attitude though.     

Quote
Ombrenuit, you've read/been reading the manga, right?  Does any of this episode map to it, and how close is it sticking to it (particularly shot-by-shot and composition, more than story/dialogue)?

Shot-by-shot, I wouldn't say this is close to the manga at all; all the key events are retained, but Machi dancing around in the flowers was added in, the shooting scene had several angles added in, I can't remember that the build-up to the duel with Saito had so much stuff with shadows, and the final shot of Manji was a full-on splash. If you actually have the first manga volume, Ombrenuit, you can probably remember more.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Koveras on July 16, 2008, 02:21:08 PM
Well, it was mildly entertaining. :)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Matrim on July 18, 2008, 04:03:00 PM
I am not really fan of the samural action genre but the first episode wasn't bad, made me wish I had found better quality raw or sub, though. :) A bit too much pathos but this might be a feature of the manga. Tomokazu Seki's voice doesn't seem to fit much to his character, makes him look too angsty, IMO. And the music is too mediocre.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 18, 2008, 04:26:33 PM
 After watching the sub, I end up finding the scenes with the insane sister the most interesting part of the episode, and the confrontation with the gang at the end was kinda funny, in a good way.

 The main character himself has some potential for being boring sadly, but it seems they're setting him to team up with that other girl seeking revenge for her parents, which would definitely be a good thing cuz he can be much more entertaining if he has company. I didn't read the manga, but hopefully that other girl won't die so quickly... ^^;
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Matrim on July 18, 2008, 05:14:21 PM
Quote
I end up finding the scenes with the insane sister the most interesting part of the episode

I agree, the rest was pretty much formulaic. Or maybe I just don't care much for samurai honour speeches and pre-battle taunts. :)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Koveras on July 18, 2008, 05:47:10 PM
Well, I'm biased in the aspect but I found the guy's reaction to his sister's death too mundane. "Oh, right, my little sis was killed. Don't die, sis! Ah, well. Let's kill her murderer in one blow. Then all of his gang, duh. Been there, done that. Hey, grandma, I think I'll kill another hundred bad people now. Think that'll do my sis justice and redeem me from the curse? Well, I didn't really care anyway. Roll the credits already."
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 18, 2008, 06:43:03 PM
Well, I'm biased in the aspect but I found the guy's reaction to his sister's death too mundane.

 Regarding that, I was under the impression she wasn't his actual little sister and he didn't seem particularly attached to her. He was only letting her hang out with him and call him brother as compensation for having killed her husband in front of her, causing her to go insane. I don't think he honestly cared about her at all, he was just feeling slightly guilty and acting out of pity. He didn't even seem that distressed when the gang guys kidnapped her, he was more worried about his own curse the whole time. The whole situation was more of an annoyance to him than a drama, I think.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: noirlax on July 18, 2008, 06:59:57 PM
Being rather new to this genre since I never really watched samurai shows, I guess I didn't find certain things cliche. Certainly a Bee-Train influence, some of the angles, animation and introspection certainly suggest that. The music was good but nothing special, it seems to have the vocalist from Ali Project in the opening.
 
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Koveras on July 18, 2008, 07:05:36 PM
Regarding that, I was under the impression she wasn't his actual little sister and he didn't seem particularly attached to her. He was only letting her hang out with him and call him brother as compensation for having killed her husband in front of her, causing her to go insane. I don't think he honestly cared about her at all, he was just feeling slightly guilty and acting out of pity. He didn't even seem that distressed when the gang guys kidnapped her, he was more worried about his own curse the whole time. The whole situation was more of an annoyance to him than a drama, I think.

From what I read in the character list on the Wikipedia (which is based on the manga), Machi was Manji's blood sister. :) As I said, I'm biased in the topic and I can't imagine ever taking a murder of a blood relative as an annoyance rather than drama.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 18, 2008, 07:39:48 PM
From what I read in the character list on the Wikipedia (which is based on the manga), Machi was Manji's blood sister.

 Weird, it doesn't come across like that at all, just from watching the anime alone.

As I said, I'm biased in the topic and I can't imagine ever taking a murder of a blood relative as an annoyance rather than drama.

 And I'm sure most people feel the same, that's just the sort of character Manji seemed to me: not such a good person. ^^;
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: GhostFriendly on July 18, 2008, 09:20:59 PM
And I'm sure most people feel the same, that's just the sort of character Manji seemed to me: not such a good person. ^^;

Too right. If you want much activity from Manji other than killing and insulting people, Koveras, you might be disappointed; he doesn't show tender emotion readily, it can certaintly make him difficult to empathise with.

Spoiler: show
Of course, Machi is remembered in that slighty sister complex-ish interactions with Rin....
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Koveras on July 19, 2008, 05:20:24 AM
Weird, it doesn't come across like that at all, just from watching the anime alone.

Is that perhaps what the haterz mean by "Bee Train ruining the manga"?.. =)

Too right. If you want much activity from Manji other than killing and insulting people, Koveras, you might be disappointed; he doesn't show tender emotion readily, it can certaintly make him difficult to empathise with.

Then perhaps, that was the reason I wasn't too enthusiastic about this project from the beginning...
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 19, 2008, 03:55:17 PM
Weird, it doesn't come across like that at all, just from watching the anime alone.

Is that perhaps what the haterz mean by "Bee Train ruining the manga"?.. =)

 I don't know, you'll have to ask a Bee Train hater who's read the manga. I think the point is Manji is a bit of a "selfish murdering bastard", and they managed to transmit that idea well enough, I guess. :)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Koveras on July 19, 2008, 05:22:47 PM
I think the point is Manji is a bit of a "selfish murdering bastard", and they managed to transmit that idea well enough, I guess. :)

Well, let's say, I didn't get that impression, personally. %) He looked more like a wannabe Carrossea to me.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 19, 2008, 07:01:56 PM
Well, let's say, I didn't get that impression, personally.

 Well, I said "a bit"! :P Surely he's not a good person, but he's far from being a villain. I guess he's your typical anti-hero who doesn't give a damn about most things...

He looked more like a wannabe Carrossea to me.

 Maybe, without the good looks! :D
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Koveras on July 19, 2008, 07:36:29 PM
Well, I said "a bit"! :P Surely he's not a good person, but he's far from being a villain. I guess he's your typical anti-hero who doesn't give a damn about most things...

Hm... it is usually easier for me to sympathize with anti-heroes than in this case. :)

Maybe, without the good looks! :D

Indeed. :)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: AlexShadow on July 21, 2008, 01:59:29 AM
Well I saw the first episode here is my opinion:

I didn't like it.  Sorry but I didn't.  It was over saturated with shadows and visually dreary.  It felt like I was watching Boogiepop.  The writing was very disjointed and all over the place.  I couldn't follow the story I had no idea who was who and why they were there and what their purpose was. 

The music was fair but that background vocalist is awful.  It sounded like a screeching cat.  I agree it sounded very like Ali Project I don't think they're bad by any means they have a unique style and such.  But that's beside the point.
Themes were so-so.   The violence was too stylized and too fantastical and not enough realism as I would expect in this genre.  Followed the typical Anime blood shed routine where blood flows like water. 

I will admit I have prejudices against shows like these to begin with, they aren't my type and not likely the show I would enjoy to begin with.  But those aside I found Blade very disappointing.  Overall I won't continue with Blade despite that it's short enough to my liking (only 13 episodes).

I have to give Blade a D-

And on another note:

The haterz are certainly having a field day that's for sure.  I did in the beginning and still do stand up for BEE TRAIN and try to make sure no one forgets the all mystical and supposed savior of all anime Production I.G, worked on this too. 
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Mihura on July 28, 2008, 05:25:30 PM
I didn't like it either and I didn't read the manga so it was the first time with Blade of the Immmortal. I think that Bee Train is wasting time and money with adaptations. Didn't they learn a thing with TRC and Murder Princess?  ::) I love Noir, Madlax and Avenger etc why can't they stick with original shows,it's so much better. 
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Koveras on July 28, 2008, 06:33:42 PM
Well, Murder Princess surprisingly wasn't bad at all. ^^;

PS: I like you new avatar and sig, Mihura. =)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 28, 2008, 07:41:26 PM
 Well, I agree with Mihura to an extent. Though I don't dislike Meine Liebe, TRC, Murder Princess or BotI, they're clearly not as exciting for me as their signature works. They might be ok, or even good, on a technical level, but they don't usually resonate on an emotional level with me, as a fan.

 As for why they keep investing on these sort of shows instead of original ones, I don't think it's a matter of wasting money, but probably quite the opposite. They're relatively young as an independent studio, and their reputation has not been the best lately (at least from a western point of view), so I guess they can't afford to be overly self centered. I understand the importance of taking projects like TRC, BotI, and even that Batman animated feature segment, and I actually think it's a really good opportunity for Bee Train!

 Also, I'm glad they at least try to keep the studio's policy, by not getting involved with shows that are too mainstream or fanserviced, animes that might not respect their characters, the viewers, or even the people working on them.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Mihura on July 29, 2008, 09:18:41 AM
Well, Murder Princess surprisingly wasn't bad at all. ^^;

PS: I like you new avatar and sig, Mihura. =)

Hum Murder Princess was not bad but isn't something that I'm going to watch a second time like Noir or Madlax. I really don't know how many times I watch those, it just that I miss shows like that  :'( I practically don't watch anime now every thigh seem so cliche, well but know I have time for games  ;D

PS: Thanks  :) I see you like spice and wolf too.

Well, I agree with Mihura to an extent. Though I don't dislike Meine Liebe, TRC, Murder Princess or BotI, they're clearly not as exciting for me as their signature works. They might be ok, or even good, on a technical level, but they don't usually resonate on an emotional level with me, as a fan.

 As for why they keep investing on these sort of shows instead of original ones, I don't think it's a matter of wasting money, but probably quite the opposite. They're relatively young as an independent studio, and their reputation has not been the best lately (at least from a western point of view), so I guess they can't afford to be overly self centered. I understand the importance of taking projects like TRC, BotI, and even that Batman animated feature segment, and I actually think it's a really good opportunity for Bee Train!

 Also, I'm glad they at least try to keep the studio's policy, by not getting involved with shows that are too mainstream or fanserviced, animes that might not respect their characters, the viewers, or even the people working on them.

I still think you can make money with good shows, I'm not against them for doing mainstream and I known that hardcore don't give you as must money as the mainstream ones is just that TRC and BotI are boring like hell :P Meine Liebe the second season was good the first was boring to. When I saw that TRC was going to have an anime version made by Bee Train I was really happy since I'm a fan of both but they failed and maybe just maybe because wasn't an original idea, so if they want to do mainstream show I bet is going to work must better that away, with something original.

About the fanservice and on well that is the only positive thing I see too it can't be all bad can it?

One of the Batman animated features segments was made by Bee Train?  :o I sure have to see that.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Koveras on July 29, 2008, 11:41:33 AM
Hum Murder Princess was not bad but isn't something that I'm going to watch a second time like Noir or Madlax. I really don't know how many times I watch those, it just that I miss shows like that  :'(

I guess that's personal. 8)

Quote
PS: Thanks  :) I see you like spice and wolf too.

Sure, I like it... but how do I put it, it ain't something that I'm going to watch a second time like Code Geass. %)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: MartAnimE on July 30, 2008, 01:12:48 AM
One of the Batman animated features segments was made by Bee Train?  :o I sure have to see that.

 Yeah, there's a thread about it here! (http://www.beetrainfan.org/forum/index.php?topic=690.0)

 BTW, There's a few raw torrents for Blade of the Immortal Episode 2 at Tokyo Toshokan finally!
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: Teufel on August 28, 2008, 01:42:53 AM
I think there's more blood in the op than all of Noir, Madlax, and El Cazador combined! :D I rather like the op - its animation, style, and music. I could understand if someone found the music grating, though. It walks a thin line, especially the vocalist.

As for the music in general, I found it rather hit and miss. After the op the first bit of music we hear is downright atrocious while the music after Manji gets shot in the head is quite good. Could be a long series. ;D I'm not familiar with the composer's other works at all so I can't go off of that.

Visually I really like the show. The colors and tones are right up my alley and I think they look great. It's got a pretty interesting style throughout. Character designs aren't the type I'm so fond of from other BT shows, but in this case the change isn't bad by any means. Manji's spikey hair is too sharp for my tastes, though. They look like blades. From the op and flashback I know there are worse offenders than him in the spikey hair department so I'll stop complaining for now.

The episode itself? I enjoyed it. Manji's visit to a "confessional" (the label of the priest's gun was an especially nice touch) was a great way to introduce him and his unsual situation along with his fight with Saito in the flashback. Overall the plot and visuals (the red worms, Machi dancing, the shadowy Saito, the reflection of his blade, etc.) kept met interested and set up things fairly well. The action was a bit of a let down, I expect good action from Bee Train and especially a series of this genre. What we got was decent but quick and abrupt and they did that annoying shortcut of building up to an epic fight and only showing the aftermath. Boo! Also, I agree with Koveras, I did not like Manji's reaction to his sister's death. His final conversation with her seemed very cliche and done almost as if only because it's expected and he just needed to get it out of the way. However, Manji saying he was going to send Machi some slaves for the afterlife and she should make them eat horse feces was a good recovery. It was funny and weird but worked for me.
 
Some of the weapons seem silly to me, although I admit my knowledge of feudal Japanese weaponry ain't exactly detailed. Still, a few of Manji's weapons had me sighing and when Saito assembled his Darth Maul-esque double-bladed katana I couldn't help but laugh. Seemed like overly stylized attempts at "cool" weapons but I would've preferred less out there weaponry. I think my biggest gripe would be the end. The tone felt off. That music and Manji's attitude instantly made me think of the end of the first episode of El Cazador with Nadie and Ellis stealing the trannies' jeep. It's at odds with the murder of his sister and the subject matter and it bugged me. And I'm the kind of guy who doesn't mind the sudden tone shifts of shows like Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Tower of Druaga, and Welcome to the NHK! being hysterical comedies one moment and then sad, emotional, or depressing out of the blue and then back to laughs. So I'll blame it on Blade.

All in all I came at this series with limited interest and lowered expectations and the first episode rose to the weak challenge quite nicely. Thus far the story and characters aren't compelling enough to have me on the edge of my seat waiting for each episode's raw release, but the episode gets enough right to leave me looking forward to the rest of the sereis.

From what I read in the character list on the Wikipedia (which is based on the manga), Machi was Manji's blood sister.

 Weird, it doesn't come across like that at all, just from watching the anime alone.

When Machi interrupts Manji and Saito's battle she says "Big brother..." But it doesn't help that they don't really delve into their relationship that much and he calls the old lady "grandmother" even though I don't think he's related to her.
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: kavi on August 28, 2008, 02:32:07 AM
Having watched the first three episodes, my feelings for this series are overall very positive - the cautious character development combined with splendid fight scenes and beautiful art and animation spotted with dark humour (I don't know about you, but I spent most of Episode 3 laughing) is reminiscent of El Cazador's first few episodes, and if it pans out similarly I shan't complain. I didn't finish reading the manga so I guess this'll be one which I'll watch without knowing what's going to happen for a change ;)
Title: Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
Post by: GhostFriendly on August 28, 2008, 10:03:35 AM
Thank goodness some people have a good word to say about this anime...and everyone at least seems to agree on what they dislike (such as a good many of the weapons; I'd second that, although the knife barrage and Giichi's weapon are hard to hate).