Blade of the Immortal – Episode 4: Recap and Review

Kagehisa realizing who Rin is
Kagehisa realizing who Rin is

Season 1, Episode 4: Act Four – Rin at Odds

Kagehisa and Rin have a good conversation

As a child, Makie rescued Kagehisa Anotsu from a pack of dogs. His grandfather, Saburo Anotsu attempted to kill her. However, he decides that would instead tie her to a tree. If she falls off, she’ll become food for the stray dogs. Kagehisa thinks his grandfather is being “sick.” His grandfather calls him a coward. The following morning, Saburo asks Kagehisa if there was a “corpse.” Assuming that it’s Makie, Saburo isn’t surprise when he says yes. However, it turns out that Makie survived, leaving behind 52 corpses of the dog pack. Meanwhile, in the present Kagehisa laments Makie leaving. Despite increasing the size of itto-ryu, they having increased in skill.

Manji trains with Rin

Speaking of training, Rin finally gets some. In my last episodes review, I noted that both Manji and Rin needed to get better at fighting. Manji hasn’t managed to win without sneaking behind his opponent. Furthermore, Rin is completely useless. After a terrible training session, Manji tells her that she’s better off “running.” What surprises me is that Manji points out how he barely manages to “beat” the itto-ryu. I didn’t think the series would highlight that. However, it seems that this series is trying to say something with Manji’s failure.

Kagehisa and Rin have a conversation
Kagehisa and Rin have a conversation

Kagehisa and Rin meet

While, Kagehisa is washing at the river, she hears Kagehisa training. She fails to spy on him quietly and he calls her out. Rin prepares to fight him. She throws several daggers at him, but only one lands. Kagehisa is unsurprisingly unimpressed. Rin rushes to his side to get the sword he dropped earlier. However, Rin can barely lift it. She comically falls when she drops it. Fleeing from Kagehisa, he picks up the sword at hits her in the back with it. He realizes that she’s the girl from Asano. She’s so upset that she’s too weak to kill him. Kagehisa Anotsu questions why Rin yearns for death. Wouldn’t it make more since if she escaped with her life and looked for another chance to kill him?

Kagehisa tells Rin that “he believes that only those who’ve destroyed their own heart becoming stronger should be called excellent warriors or swordsmen.” Kagehisa and Rin’s conversation is oddly calm and familiar. She’s no threat to him, as a result, they can have this kind of conversation. He shows off his skills with the ax. Rin’s grandfather and Kagehisa’s, competed for full mastery of Muten Ichi-ryu. The full mastery was granted to Rin’s grandfather despite Kagehisa grandfather being superior. He killed Rin’s father so his grandfather “could be at peace.” When Rin asks why he’s letting her live, Kagehisa complements her “determination.” As he leaves he tells her to “devote” herself. In a flashback, we see that a 10 year old Kagehisa wanted to kill his grandfather.

The cycle of betrayal

Old and rusted, Saburo asks his friend Abayama to help him kill Kagehisa by stopping Kagehisa’s followers. Saburo having been betrayed by first master, disciple and son. A son that wanted them to “bend the knee to Asano,” to revive the dojo. Unwilling to be betrayed again, Saburo wants Kagehisa dead. Unfortunately, Saburo is destined to be betrayed one last time. Abayama kills him to save itto-ryu. In this episode of Blade of the Immortal, makes it clear that the fighting styles are very important in this world. Rin seems to have had a break through in this episode, hopefully finding the courage to learn to fight, and maybe develop her own fighting style.

Read More: Blade of the Immortal Episode 3 Review

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