Blade of the Immortal – Episode 6: Recap and Review

Season 1, Episode 6: Act Six – Wing Roots. Araya dead, Rin on the floor, Manji and Renzo standing
Araya dead, Rin on the floor, Manji and Renzo standing

Season 1, Episode 6: Act Six – Wing Roots

Rin keeps struggle to decide if she wants revenge

While shopping at a food stand, Rin is annoyed by a boy named Renzo Kawakami. Meanwhile, Manji meets a former member of the Itto-ryu, Araya Kawakami. He uses Manji’s sword to create a mask for a crying boy. Later, Rin encounters Renzo again. This time however, he’s being attacked for breaking a samurai’s sandal. She offers to repair his sandal. While she does so, he takes the opportunity to molest her with his foot. He thanks her, as he leaves while laughing. Rin learns that Renzo has no idea who the Itto-ryu is . He invites her to have tea with his father.

Araya thanks Rin for her help. He asks Rin if her parents “are doing well.” She tells him that they were killed. She offers the story of her parents death. Araya sends Renzo away to get more tea. Rin states that because Araya is “Renzo’s only relative” and killing Araya will result in Renzo becoming like her, she won’t kill him. It’s a little arrogant of Rin to think she would be able to kill him considering her lack of skills. What Rin wants is an apology. Araya seems appalled. He calls her request “cheap.” He basically calls her a coward. He believes that a human life is worth a human life. Rin simply doesn’t want to get her “hands dirty.”

Rin smiling after saving Renzo from a cycle of revenge

Does Rin really want revenge?

He feints an apology, attacking Rin. He doesn’t want his son to learn that he was a member of Itto-ryu. Therefore, he must kill Rin. However, before he can kill her, Manji arrives. Manji manages to stab Araya. However, before he can die of these injuries, he tells Rin to “finish it.” Unsurprisingly, she refuses. Manji kills Araya as Renzo returns. Manji pretends that he was killed by Renzo. To prevent Renzo from pursuing revenge, Rin and Manji pretend that he was buried. By cutting off his arm and burying it, they’re able to convince Renzo that he already got his vengeance. If Rin isn’t willing to kill someone that raped and murder her parents, then this whole revenge thing isn’t going to work. She didn’t even want Manji to kill Araya.

Struggling with vengeance is fine, but it feels like she’s backsliding. It doesn’t make much sense to me. However, fooling Renzo into believing Manji was dead and thus freeing him from the revenge cycle, was both good for everyone. I also thought it was cleverly done.

Read More: Blade of the Immortal Episode 5 Review


Blade of the Immortal – Episode 5: Recap and Review

Eiku's torso being pinned to a tree
Eiku’s torso being pinned to a tree

Season 1, Episode 5: Act Five – Song of the Bugs

What’s the value of immortality?

While at an inn resting, Manji encounters Eiku Shizuma. Disguised as a monk, he offers to help Manji find Anotsu. Eiku claims he’s unarmed, but Manji claims that he(Eiku) killed more than 128 men (Manji’s number). Eiku claims that he “admires” Anotsu ambition. He feels that Anotsu, has created a magnificent school with Itto-ryu. Eiku is aware of Manji’s “immortality.” He claims that a man named Taito Magatsu, told him of Manji’s “swordplay and of your immortal body.” Manji rudely dismisses Eiku and tells him to “get lost.” Manji and Eiku attack each other. It turns out that Eiku is “immortal” too. However, unlike Manji he’s been alive for 200 years. He’s had five wives, many children and friends, but they all have died. He laments that his immortality is “cruel.”

Nothing in the world is immortal

Before he leaves Manji to ponder his offer, he reminds Manji that “nothing is immortal.” He suggest that “tonight” Manji will learn what he means. What Manji learns is that Eiku has poisoned him or more importantly the sacred worms inside him. Rui runs to find help. She conveniently meets the old woman. However, this woman isn’t the one that gave Manji immortality. Eiku Shizuma forces her to help him kidnap Rui by kidnapping her grandson. Rui forgives the old lady and tells her to flee. Rui asks Eiku if there’s a cure. He says that there is not. He leaves Rui to go and murder the old lady and her grandson. Rui is understandable horrified. After 200 years, Eiku has become nihilistic. After he explains the reason he became that way, he offers to share his sacred blood with her.

Eiku the immortal
Eiku the immortal

Manji verses Eiku Shizuma

Eiku temps Rui with his blood. However, before she can accept his blood Manji arrives. It turns out that Eiku didn’t kill the child but did murder the old woman. While, Rui holds the baby, Manji and Eiku battle. Eiku pours the poison on his sword providing a new threat to Manji. Succumbing to the still lingering effects of the poison, Manji begins to spit up blood. However, before Eiku can kill him, Rui distracts him. When he turns his back, Manji takes advantage. He cuts Eiku into pieces, leaving his torso pinned to a tree. Before he dies, Eiku tells Rui that Anotsu will leave for Kaga in half a month. Once again, Manji is bested by another warrior. He admits that he allowed himself to die, as he was tired of living. This episode has interesting things about the value of immortality.

While pointing out that “no one” is actually immortal, Eiku challenges both Rui and Manji’s view of immortality. Having lived so long, Eiku Shizuma became bitter. He has watch so many people he loved die and comes to hate life. However, he had the means to kill himself and didn’t. That might be a flaw in the story. Furthermore, Manji’s whole point in joining Rui is to end his own immortality by doing good. I felt that Eiku murdering the grandmother was completely unnecessary. He had already held her grandson hostage proving that he was a monster. I also don’t get why he left the grandson alive. It’s probably for the best that Rui didn’t become immortal, but a small part of me though she should do it. However, it’s possible Eiku would have killed her for doing do considering he was making a case how miserable he was.

Read More: Blade of the Immortal Episode 4 Review


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


Blade of the Immortal – Episode 3: Recap and Review

In Episode 3 of Blade of the immortal, Manji with out his arm prepares for battle with Makie
Manji with out his arm prepares for battle with Makie

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.

In Episode 3 of Blade of the immortal, Makie cuts off Manji's arm and leg.
Makie cuts off Manji’s arm and leg

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


Blade of the Immortal – Episode 2: Recap and Review

In episode 2 of Blade of the Immortal, Manji encounters another member of itto-ryu. He also manages to get the sword of Rin's father back.
Rin with her fathers sword

Season 1, Episode 2: Act Two – Founding

Rin gets her fathers sword back

In the second episode of Blade of the Immortal, Manji and Rin visit the famous swordsman and artist, Master Sori. Rin informs him of her parents murder. He apologizes for missing the funeral. Rin asks Sori to become her second bodyguard, as a man in green spies on them. Manji doesn’t seem to like Sori much. Sori admits that he’s no longer capable of being a swordsman. Manji leaves, cutting a hole in the fence.

Rin stays at the home of Sori. She awakes to find the spy trying to kill her. Manji arrives and they face off against several of the followers of Itto-ryu. While the fighting is going on, Sori is contemplating his art. When Manji decapitates one of the men, the blood splatter hits Sori’s art. He’s elated as his art finally has the “most basic red.” However, his joy is short lived as the leader of the gang destroys his artistic work.

Rin finds her fathers sword

During the fight Manji gets trapped on the spikes of a nearby tree. This leaves Rin to handle the leader. She’s outmatched, however, just as he’s about to kill her, Sori stabs him in the throat. Sori proclaims that “anyone that will trample on art deserves to die.” After the battle Rin takes Manji’s weapons to a blacksmith to get sharpened. While there she sees her father’s sword. One of the members of the Itto-ryu had it sharpened. She chases after him offering 30 ryo for it. He agrees to sell it, but only if she tells him where to find the daughter from the Asano dojo. Later that night she tells Manji about her day. She apologizes for constantly bring up her father. While she sleeps, Manji searches for Magatsu. They have a dramatic fight, resulting in major injuries for both.

Magatsu verses Manji

During this fight, Magatsu tells the story of his childhood. His friend was killed in the mud that formed after a flood. Manji gets trapped in the mud. Magatsu stabs Manji through the chest. Magatsu remembers that his sister was “kicked by a Daimyo horse and torn in two.” From this tragic event came a hatred of samurai. To Magatsu all samurai are his enemies, including Mr. Manji. The entitlement of “samurai families,” has given birth to swordsmen like Magatsu. Manji isn’t dead of course. He stabs Magatsu through the stomach from behind. Manji and Magatsu barely survive this encounter. However, Manji returns with Rin’s father’s sword. Rin’s attempt to hide her emotions or even get rid of them doesn’t make since. If her pain from her parents death inspired her journey, what would happen to that journey if she got rid of the pain?

Read More: First Impressions: Blade of the Immortal – Episode 1: Recap and Review