Sunday, November 4, 2012

MANGA: BOTI 217, Claymore 125.5

Blade of the Immortal 217

So I got my hands on the raws of the latest chapters of Blade of the Immortal and it's pretty sad. A couple of chapters ago, we said goodbye to one of my favorite female characters in like ever, Otono-tachibana Makie. Her passing was heart-breaking. Samura pretty much established that she is the best fighter in the BOTI universe and to see her go down like that, by firing squad while trying to protect the man she loved.... It was just devastating to see and beautiful somehow because she had to die, of course, but no blade could put her down. She was a monster among swordsmen so she had to die, not with honor (by the sword) but like a monster (by bullet). 

I cried. Like seriously. It goes without saying that seeing Makie fall pretty much destroyed Anotsu Kagehisa and at that point, he didn't even care anymore about his ambition or his goal. He's lost his first teacher, his love, his paragon of swordsmanship. Now he's just a man, a broken man. 

Speaking of broken men, Habaki lost Ryo to the same firing squad that took out Makie. He's lost his daughter, the last of his bloodline, the last proof that he ever lived even as his dream collapses right in front of him. In a way, he had it coming. He is an evil man whose single-mindedness resulted in his own downfall. But you can't blame him for everything because he, too, is a victim of his circumstances.

The final showdown between these two enemies is primal and desperate but in the end Anotsu prevails but at the cost of so much -- his soul, perhaps. He is an empty vase, barely alive, when he fights Manji and the immortal, seeing the pointlessness of fighting a dead man, lets him go when a small battalion of Anotsu's ships appear in the horizon. 

Rin isn't so gracious. She is young and her perception is short and narrow. All her life, she's known mostly hate and violence and though there is a spark of good there, she doesn't have the luxury of time that Manji has to view her circumstances with more grace and acceptance. She makes good on her promise to see Anotsu through the end and stabs him with his own sword. He falls, perhaps to his death, but it's only a bodily death. The soul of Anotsu Kagehisa died when that last bullet hit Otono-tachibana Makie and the light in her eyes went out.

Claymore 215.5

How did I not see this chapter before? It's a very short extra chapter that shows Isley, Rigaldo, Dauf and Riful as claymores. It may become important especially now that Riful has returned in the latest chapter of the manga.