Author Topic: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1  (Read 12615 times)

Fellini 8.5

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"Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« 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
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MartAnimE

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 12:32:15 PM »
 I should have the raw in about an hour! ;D

Ombrenuit

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 12:39:34 PM »
The OP sounds very Ali Project influenced. And does he have a swastika on his back?

MartAnimE

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #3 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!

MartAnimE

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #4 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! :)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 03:07:02 PM by MartAnimE »

Ombrenuit

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 03:06:44 PM by Ombrenuit »

Fellini 8.5

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #6 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)?
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kavi

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #7 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

PS - I believe it's airing Sundays, every other week, with the first episode last Sunday, but correct me if I'm wrong....
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 03:33:55 AM by Kavi »
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Fellini 8.5

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #8 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...  ;)

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MartAnimE

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2008, 10:19:11 PM »
 That sure was quick! I'll give it a try anyway! :)

GhostFriendly

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #10 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.

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2008, 02:21:08 PM »
Well, it was mildly entertaining. :)

Matrim

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #12 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.
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MartAnimE

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #13 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... ^^;

Matrim

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Re: "Blade of the Immortal" episode 1
« Reply #14 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. :)
I am the pain when you touch the truth.