Blades, shurikens, stealth, espionage, assassinations, and epic battles; whats not to love about samurais? The masked assassins and ancient swordsmen have gone on to inspire numerous series and works of art across generations of film, anime, and literature. Case in point: Hiroaki Samura's classic manga Blade Of The Immortal. Blade of the Immortal is a series that strives to encapsulate the time-period and struggle of the profession. It's an influential manga that spawned two anime adaptations and a live-action film. With the recent games of the series airing on Amazon Prime, we thought it would be a good idea to compare the two. So without further ado, we'll be discussing five reasons why the new series animated by Liden Films is great and five why the original anime from Bee Train is better. Write for us! Do you have a proven online publishing experience? Click HERE and Join our Team! While watching the original series, one may notice some tropes typical of the samurai genre that helps to create a sense of nostalgia and familiarity for viewers. While that's not to say the new one doesn't feel like a classic (because it does) but with its more serious nature, overly graphic scenes and insanely violent segments, it creates more of its own realistic Dark Souls vibe rather than a traditional samurai series that we've come to know and love.
They are both great within their right but stand at the opposite spectrum of what we know of the samurai genre, one being more gritty and realistic, and the other being more of a homage to source material and genre. When comparing the two series, it seems somewhat unfair considering one is 11 years older than the other. But the 2019 version remains by far one of the most beautiful animes of all time, rivaling Studio Ghibli and Makoto Shinkai Films. With the production being handled by LIDENFILMS, the same studio responsible for the Initial D films, there's no wonder the series remains so breathtaking. The striking colors, beautiful cinematic composition, realistic shadows, and fluid fight scenes help to separate the series from others in the genre. The original series, while still violent, was a more suitable experience for teenage and younger viewers. The recent release, conversely, adheres much closer to the manga, retaining the more gruesome and sexually charged content for its modern-day adaptation.
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While more faithful to the source material, this limits its scope to a more adult and mature audiences. It is definitely not a series for the faint of heart or squeamish. The pacing between the two series varies greatly. First, the original adaptation was only 12 episodes, and never fully encompassed the story from the manga. It was almost as if the series just stopped abruptly in the middle of the arc. The modern-day release made certain, with its 24 episode run, that it would maintain the story, characters, themes, and content from the work. While at times the story can feel like it drags a bit thanks to tons of exposition and character building, it executes its development between the characters and the world, making for more entertaining and high stakes engagements. There are some key differences between the original series and the new one, one being the philosophical outlook. While the new series does a great job of creating a beautiful, deadly, and realistic world through its stellar animation, it puts more of its focus on the aesthetic and the experience of the time.
They used source strummings of the Biwa, Koto, and even Kokyu to accomplish this.
The original was more limited to the content that it was able to utilize from the manga, so it made a point to focus on the philosophical and existential themes from the source material. Both pieces are great in their own right, but some viewers might be turned off by the dated animation and lack of a conclusion to the original adaptation. Music plays a major element in any medium from TV, film, video games, broadway; you name it. Throughout the modern series, the composers focused on using traditional Japanese instruments of the era to achieve a more realistic and immersive experience for the viewers. They used source strummings of the Biwa, Koto, and even Kokyu to accomplish this. That's not to say the original series music wasn't great, but its focus on creating an original soundtrack using a variety of instruments not necessarily from the period draws away from the immersion, making the work a product of its own. The original series did a good job of taking the source material and making it its own thing while staying true to the piece. For instance, some of the characters have slightly different personalities such as Manji, who remains a little more caring and less aloof than he appears in the manga. Similarly, Rin isn't as dead set on exacting revenge to the point of even sacrificing her innocence for vengeance's sake. The creators took liberties with the groundwork of the personalities of these characters, creating their own interpretations of their feelings and emotions throughout the circumstances they encounter.
Both series do an amazing job of choreographing beautiful and intense fight scenes. The original series from 2008 suffers from some dated animation of the times, which limited some of their capabilities from a sheer technological standpoint. For its time, it was passable. Meanwhile, the new series puts a focus on the animation and making sure each scene is perfectly framed and drawn out too much with the tone and feel of the episode. Some fight scenes are dark and brooding bloodbaths of severed limbs and corpses, while others avoid showing and gore to suit the aesthetic of the scene. The new series is an amazing example of the technology that we have today. Every once in a while, and anime comes along that defines the generation of series to come. There have been series like Death Note, Cowboy Bebop or more recently, Attack On Titan, which have served as genre-defining examples of how a series should be done. These series wind up being so impactful to fans and creators that they leave little room for remakes or spin-offs in fear of bastardizing the original property. In contrast, the original Blade Of The Immortal actually achieved by failing, only telling half a story and only being 12 episodes. In doing so, it left space for a proper remake to happen. The new series manages to accomplish something that the original doesn't: it actually ends. It does a great job of sticking closely to the manga's storyline and scenes. By bringing in industry veteran Hiroshi Hamasaki (a key animator from the original Ninja Scroll) to helm the series, the remake's presence as a great anime series was only further solidified. As of this writing, the new anime is just a few episodes away from its finale, but it's still nice to know that there's a definitive endgame to look forward to rather than an abrupt one. If you watched the new series and enjoyed the experience, then the original serves as a good time capsule to go back and see the differences between the two. If you're looking for a dark, pensive, action-packed series, sprinkled with a little wax poetic than you can't go wrong with Blade Of The Immortal.
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Moon Breathing (月 (つき) (こ) (きゅう), Tsuki no koky? ) is a Breathing Style derived from the Sun Breathing used by Upper Rank One, Kokushibō, who was one of the first Demon Slayers who utilized breathing techniques. The techique allows the user to create many "chaotic blades" when slashing that varies in length and size. It is known that Kokushibō continued to develop and add techniques to the Breathing Style over the centuries as an immortal Demon. At this point in the story, it is the only known Breathing Style to possess at least 20 different techniques, easily surpassing the other Breathing Styles. It has been revealed that, like all of the other original breathing styles, the Moon Breathing also branched out of the Sun Breathing. When its creator, Michikatsu Tsugikuni, attempted to learn the Sun Breathing from his twin brother, Yoriichi Tsugikuni, he discovered he was unable to master the breathing style and so was instead trained in an alternate Breathing Style. Yoriichi created it fit and cover his individual strengths and weaknesses, and Michikatsu then continued to train and develop this breathing until it eventually evolved into its own unique Breathing Style, which he named the Moon Breathing.
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First Form: Dark Moon, Evening Palace (壹 (いち) (かた) (やみ) (づき) (よい) (みや), Ichi no kata: Yamidzuki - Yoi no Miya?) - Kokushibō draws his sword and slashes swiftly in a single motion; like with all Moon Breathing techniques, numerous chaotic blades originate from the slash. This technique resembles Iaijutsu. Second Form: Pearl Flower Moongazing (貳 (に) (かた) (しゅ) (か) (ろう) (げつ), Ni no kata: Shuka no Rōgetsu?) - Kokushibō performs several slashes while sending a barrage of chaotic blades forward. Third Form: Loathsome Moon, Chains (參 (さん) (かた) (えん) (き) (づき) (つが), San no kata: Enkizuki - Tsugari?) - Kokushibō swings his sword rapidly in two gigantic crescents slashes, from which a storm of smaller crescents spread.
This technique causes huge destruction in a small area. Fourth Form: Solar Rings, Frostmoon (肆 (し) (かた) (たい) (よう) (りん) (しも) (づき), Shi no kata: Taiyōrin - Shimodzuki?) - Kokushibō performs a circular small cyclone slashes of chaotic blades straight towards his opponent. Fourth Form: Improved, Red Sun over Paradise (肆 (し) (かた) (かい) (あっき) (よう) (らく) (えん), Shi no kata kai: Akk' yō Rakuen?) - Kokushibō spins his blade slicing through the ground and ripping it out. Causing multiple 180 slashes across the area to be sented towards his opponents as chaotic blades appear when near the enemy slicing into their body. As the circular slashes spin grinding into the enemys skin.
Fifth Form: Moon Spirit Calamitous Eddy (伍 (ご) (かた) (げっ) (ぱく) (さい) (か), Go no kata: Geppaku Saika?) - Kokushibō makes multiple curved slashes layered over one another, resembling a rising vortex. Numerous chaotic blades originate from these slashes. Kokushibō performed this attack without swinging his blade. Sixth Form: Perpetual Night, Lonely Moon - Incessant (陸 (ろく) (かた) (とこ) (よ) (こ) (げつ) (む) (けん), Roku no kata: Tokoyo Kogetsu - Muken?) - Kokushib releases a wild storm of slashes in multiple directions. This technique was powerful enough to not only slice up multiple Hashira around him but also overwhelm the Wind Hashira Sanemi Shinazugawa.
Seventh Form: Mirror of Misfortune, Moonlit (漆 (しち) (かた) (やっ) (きょう) (づき) (ば), Shichi no kata: Yakkyō - Dzukibae?) - Kokushibō swings his sword in a powerful frontal slash that then creates a multi directional frontal assault, powerful enough to create several deep gouges in the ground and push back two Hashira. Eighth Form: Moon-Dragon Ringtail (捌 (はち) (かた) (げつ) (りゆう) (りん) (び), Hachi no kata: Getsuryū Rinbi?) - Kokushibō triples the range of his normal attack radius and creates a singular gigantic slash that slowly decreases in size.