Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blade of the Immortal 07: In Which Manji Speaks Strange Poetry

IN A NUTSHELL: Shizuma is evil! Plus, a really unflattering angle of Rin. Consider yourself warned.
EPISODE 07: Three Ways

Manji has yet to recover from the Shizuma's poison. In desperation, Rin gives him some Chinese herbs that her mother taught her how to make. While Manji debates about whether to take the medicine or not, Rin goes to look for a doctor.

bloody spectacle

However, instead of a doctor, Rin finds Yaobikuni instead. Or, at least, someone who looks like her. Meanwhile, Manji finally decides to take Rin's medicine and surprisingly it works. Unfortunately, Rin is now held captive by Shizuma.

It turns out that the Yaobikuni that Rin met is actually an impostor. Shizuma has held her grandchild captive in order to force her to pretend to be Yaobikuni and lure Rin into the hut. After doing the task, she promises Rin that she is going to get some help.


However, Shizuma must have known that's what she is going to do because after she leaves, he goes after her. He comes back a little later, silent. But at the sight of his bloodied sword, Rin is devastated.
I don't remember this in the manga

Next, Shizuma tries to psychologically manipulate Rin. First, he tells her about his past: how he fought with his lord, even made himself immortal in order to better serve him. But, at the end of the war, his lord was defeated and all of Shizuma's efforts were brought to naught. He says that because of the kessenchu, he can't die. However, many years ago, he discovered a rare type of poison made by Buddhist monks. The poison works by destroying the very kessenchu that keeps Shizuma alive.

a gift of immortality

He then offers to Rin the very same immortality he possesses, saying that it would be easier for her to take her vengeance if she had the kessenchu. However, at that moment, Manji arrives.

As soon as Rin sees Manji, she starts crying like a child. Manji immediately challenges Shizuma to a fight outside. Also, he frees Rin from her bonds and tells her that although the woman is already dead, the baby could still be saved.

clash of the titans

Then follows a very brutal fight.
that must be all kinds of painful

Shizuma again tries to get Manji to come to his side so the two of them can fight against Anotsu. Manji declines the offer, saying that a true never goes back on his word. Realizing that Manji will never change his mind, Shizuma pours more poison on his sword, signifying that the fight is about to get even nastier.

how to lose 100 pounds in a split second

Shizuma at first gets the upper hand as Manji's old wounds open up once more. However, with Rin's help, Manji gets an opening and deals Shizuma not one, not two, but four fatal blows.

The next day, Rin has asked the innkeeper to look for someone to take care of the baby. Then, she and Manji pay their last respects to the woman and Shizuma's graves. Rin reveals that she wanted to become immortal in order to make things that much easier for her, but she realizes that it must be hard being able to live through all of life's sufferings. Later, she asks Manji which is harder: dying without achieving one's goals or continuing to live even after realizing that one cannot achieve one's goals.

A most brutal death to a man who has lived for 200 years.

The anime does not explain fully explain how the kessenchu "heals" a person and exactly how fatal Shizuma's poison is to someone like Manji. Rin's medicine only worked since Shizuma, who had no intention of killing Manji at the time, used diluted poison. Otherwise, I doubt the medicine would have worked.

So Manji really does see Rin as his sister. I'm glad for that. I don't want their relationship to turn weird. Rin is still essentially a child, as evidenced by the way she cries when Manji comes to rescue her. That was probably part-relief, part-delayed terror. But I see hints of her character development already.