Act Three – Dream Pangs
Manji takes another loss
In Blade of the Immortal – Episode 3: Dream Pangs, Manji encounters a strange woman while he waits for Rin to return. She takes him to the alley. Attempting to seduce him, she fails. Manji isn’t fooled, asking “who hired her.” She claims that she was given 20 ryo by Anotsu to kill him. When Manji turns to leave she attacks him. She reveals that her name is Makie Otonotachibana and she’s a member of itto-ryu. They fight. However, Makie isn’t a match for Manji. In a flashback we learn that Makie was once a geisha. Anotsu paid for her freedom and hopes to that they will be together one day. Makie doesn’t believe him, feeling that he only want her strength. Anotsu kisses her.
Manji meets his better in Makie
After Anotsu leaves, Makie is attack by three men on the bride. Her former employee sent them. She cuts her hair short, then slaughters them. The following day she meets Manji for a rematch. However, this time she different. Makie dominates Manji. She manages to not only avoid most of his attacks, she is able to cut of his arm and leg. Makie is shocked by her own brutality. Manji tells her if she doubts herself as a swordsman, she’s better off being a prostitute. As a result, Makie regains her resolve. Makie defeats Manji, but before she can end him Rin arrives to interfere.
What will Rin sacrifice for revenge
Rin doesn’t threaten Makie in the slightest. However, Makie is curious how many people have died for Rin’s revenge. Makie tells her that by the time Rin reaches Anotsu the number of bodies would have increased. Revenge is always an act of selfishness. In Rin’s case her parents are dead. Revenge is about them, but it’s for Rin. She’s will to do almost anything for her revenge. Rin believes that “shedding blood for her family is better shedding blood to justify oneself.” Makie seems relieved and leaves, telling Manji to protect Rin. Makie leaves Itto-ryu, telling Anotsu that she’s left in a note.
Having watch three episodes of Blade of the Immortal so far, one thing is glaringly obvious, Manji isn’t that good of a swordsmen. This is the third time a member of itto-ryu beat him. The first two times he got lucky. If his opponents didn’t turn their backs on him he wouldn’t have won. Furthermore, he didn’t kill Magatsu. Clearly, his immortality has resulted in him taking death for granted. However, it seemed like his skills aren’t much better than at least the itto-ryu. That said, I feel conflicted by what it might mean for Rin. Right now she’s not skilled enough to fight for herself. If Manji can’t do it, she must.
Read More: Blade of the Immortal Episode 2 Review