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Manga: Blade of the Immortal

Blade of the Immortal (Muugen no Juunin) is set in 18th-century Japan and tells the story of a girl named Asano Rin, and her badass bodyguard Manji. Manji is immortal thanks to an infestation of kessen-chu, sacred worms that pervade his system and knit together any injuries he sustains. He can die only by beheading or by coming into contact with a particularly rare poison. His goal in the series is to remove the curse of his immortality, which will happen if he kills 1000 evil men in reparation for the 100 innocents he killed as an outlaw.

Two years prior to the beginning of the story, Rin's father (a swordsmanship teacher) was murdered and her mother was brutally raped in front of her eyes by the members of the Itto-ryu — a renegade sword school led by Anotsu Kagehisa. Rin vowed to track Anotsu down and kill him in revenge, and so she hired Manji to help her fulfil her quest. The series follows Rin and Manji as they travel through feudal Japan, fighting members of the Itto-ryu and other enemies, and meeting comrades with questionable morality of their own.

A Samurai epic with vividly realistic art and well-crafted characters, Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura also explores many thoughtful issues relating to death, immortality, revenge, forgiveness, and redemption.

Bee Train studio along with Production I.G produced an anime adaptation which saw a US release from Media Blasters.


Tropes:

  • Action Girl — Makie is the best swordfighter in the series, even beating out the main villain and the main character.
    • Doa is also seriously dangerous and even Rin can make a reasonable showing on a good day.
    • Hyakurin also qualifies as one, as she's quite competent with her bow and arrow and even a sword when she needs to be.
    • Out of the kunoichi, Meguro, Tanpopo and Ryo all qualify.
  • Adrenaline Makeover — Rin during her search for Manji in volumes 20 and 21.
  • Affably Evil — Anotsu is quite genteel. His treatment of Hisoka particularly displays this.
  • Always Save the Girl — Played straight and gender-swapped between Manji and Rin. Both of them will go to any lengths to protect each other, and Rin actually states that a stranger's life doesn't mean as much to her as Manji's.
  • Always Someone Better — Makie, particularly in Anotsu's eyes
    Anotsu: I already knew... instinctively... that she'd walk ahead of me the rest of my life.
  • Anachronism Stew — Dialogue ranges from period appropriate to totally modern, the various weapons and techniques range from primitive to steampunk.
  • Anime Hair — Magatsu sports a pretty impressive hairdo. It is later lampshaded by Master Sori.
  • Anti-Hero — Manji was a violent thug before starting on his quest (and he hasn't gotten any nicer).
  • Anything That Moves — Shira.
  • Appendage AssimilationManji's bloodworms don't discriminate when they're healing him - they'll bind together any flesh available, whether it originally belonged to him or not. Cue Burando, the resident Mad Doctor, figuring out how to transfer his immortality through serial limb transplants.
  • Armor Is Useless — Averted with Shishiya Arashino's armor that makes him nigh-invulnerable.
  • Art Evolution — As well as Samura moving from his painstakingly shaded and more realistic drawings (which are now only used for chapter covers) to a slightly scruffier, yet very dynamic mark-making style, some of the the characters are barely recognisable from the earlier volumes.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking — Habaki Kagimura, a government official badass enough to rip out his own eye from the socket when it was pierced with a hairpin, while barely flinching.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other — Manji and Rin need to get a room at this point.
  • Ax-Crazy — Shira, Shira, Shira.
  • Bad Ass — Manji, Magatsu, Makie, Anotsu, Giichi...hell, nearly every other fighter in the series.
    • Even Rin has her moments despite being a mediocre fighter.
  • Badass in DistressManji, during the Prison Arc, and Anotsu when he contracts tetanus.
  • Badass Grandpa — Sosuke Abayama.
  • Badass Mustache — Kagimura Habaki. Also, Shishiya Arashino, The Big Guy of the Rokki-dan sports one.
  • Beautiful All Along — Subversion: Rin tries to pull this off and gets laughed at by Manji.
  • Big Damn Heroes — All. The. Fragging. Time.
    • Special mention for the Last Blood arc, where this happens three times in a row- first Rin and Anotsu are saved from the Shingyoto-ryu by Manji, then Magatsu shows up and finally Makie intervenes.
  • Bishōnen — Anotsu is remarkably delicate and softly drawn in comparison to the other fighter characters. He himself acknowledges his slender build when explaining his choice of weapon, and other characters call him "pretty."
    • This goes so far as that everyone (including professional government assassins) are willing to believe that Anotsu could sneak around as a woman unnoticed.
  • Blood Knight — The happiest moment in Shira's life was when he realised he had 'two guys he desperately wanted to kill no matter what.
  • Bodyguard Crush — Inverted, in that Rin is the one with the crush on Manji, though he eventually falls for her as well.
  • Body Horror — Way, way too many examples to list.
  • Boxed CrookAll of the members of the Mugai-ryu, as well as most of the Rokki.
  • Breaking Speech— Anotsu administers one (including a Not So Different demonstration) to Rin during their first encounter
  • Broken Bird — Hyakurin and Makie, before their appearances in the story. As the storyline progresses it's more like "Completely Shattered Bird". Also Rin, and Doa, to some extent, though it's only implied from a few flashbacks.
  • Calling Your Attacks — "Flight of the Golden Wasps!", which everyone points out is a stupid name and a stupid move altogether.
  • Chekhov's Gunman — Did ANYONE manage to predict the return of Renzo?
  • The Chessmaster — Habaki at first, but then as time runs out he resorts to more desperate and straightforward tactics.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture — Instigators: Mostly Shira. Victims: Mostly Hyakurin.
  • Combat Pragmatist — Pretty much every character that is not a Samurai, and the basis for the philosophy behind the Itto-ryu school.
  • Cool Mask — Araya makes these for a living. Ozuhan is never seen without his.
  • Cool Old Guy — Itto-ryu veteran Abayama Sosuke, who kicks ass even when missing an arm.
  • Cool Shades — Giichi's.
  • Covered with Scars — Manji has scars over every inch of his body.
  • Creator Cameo — The mangaka Hiroaki Samura appears as a pinwheel seller in episode 10. He also did key animation for two episodes and provided a scroll painting in the 13th episode of the series.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle — Any time Makie get serious. Also, in a great Kick the Son of a Bitch moment, Rin VS Burando.
  • Cursed with Awesome — The kessen-chu. Manji was originally given them solely to keep him from committing seppuku and leaving Machi alone and his original motive was to get rid of them by killing 1000 evil men. Of course, he would have died in the first volume without them.
  • Daddy's Girl — Habaki loves his illegitimate daughter Ryo, and in return has her absolute loyalty.
  • Dance Battler — Makie is incredibly acrobatic when fighting, using an almost capoeira-like style at times.
  • Depraved Bisexual — Shira, who apparently has no qualms about raping young boys along with women. Sometimes it borders on something else...
  • Distant Finale: The final chapter leaps ninety years into the future.
  • Driven to Suicide — Since the story takes place in a feudal Japan this happens a lot, most notably in the form of seppuku. However several characters openly criticize this, especially how common it is in their society.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!Rin first kisses Manji after he passes out from exhaustion.
    • Manji does this to Makie when her tuberculosis gets the better of her to pass the medicine he held in his mouth.
  • The Dulcinea Effect — Magatsu, due to his dead little sister, has a habit of going out of his way to protect any young girl he comes across, even if they're his enemy. So far it's applied to O-Ren, Tatsu, Meguro, Rin and Ryo.
  • Ear Ache — Both Giichi and later Anotsu suffer this.
  • Ear Cleaning — Once Rin starts behaving more affectionately toward Manji she also starts taking care of him, including offering to clean his ears, an offer he dubiously accepts.
  • Eat the DogWhat literally happens in one of Shira's Moral Event Horizon moments.
  • The Eeyore — Whatever her choices, Makie always ends up depressed. Though to be fair her life has been one big Trauma Conga Line.
  • Even Evil Has Standards
  • Eye Scream — Happens way too often, and nearly always in grisly detail.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy — Actually something of a plot point - the reason the Itto-ryu are carving their way across Japan is to get rid of the restrictions on weapons training, and one of those restrictions is that you have to stick to boring old katanas. As a result, the various ruffians who make up the main cast have all sorts of weird and wonderful ways to slice each other up, whilst regular swords are largely the reserve of disposable mooks.
  • Face of a Thug — Dewanosuke, a simple, kind-hearted petty criminal who, in Manji's words, 'looks like a mass-murderer'.
  • ForeshadowingWhile dwelling on the atrocities he's committed trying to find a way to transfer Manji's immortality, Dr. Burando mentions that he successfully transferred it to one patient before abandoning the goal entirely. Some twenty chapters later, Shira's not just back from the apparent dead — he's immortal.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare — Giichi, a shipwright turned governmental assassin. Also, Shira.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation — Manji's sister, after her brother kills her husband right in front of her.
  • Gonk — Many minor male characters. Some of them resemble orcs more than anything.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars — Manji has lost his right eye and has two long parallel scars across his forehead and the bridge of his nose.
    • Of course he has plenty more scars on his body. Heck, there is no way you could guess he is a good guy just by looking at him (and even if you could it is debatable just how good he is actually...)
      • Manji's body is virtually MADE of scars (most obvious when he is poisoned with kessen-satsu and all his old wounds open up.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language — Two members of the Rokki-dan are apparently dutch and give out some very quirky one-liners from time to time.
  • Grey and Gray Morality — Gets closer to Black and Gray Morality each time Shira is involved.
  • Handicapped Badass — Sosuke Abayama, second in command of the Ittō-ryū.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise — A plot point revolves around the fact that Anotsu plans on travelling to Kaga undetected by disguising himself as a woman. It's then subverted, as Anotsu turns out to have simply leaked some false information and then hired several prostitutes to pose as his decoys.
  • Heel-Face Turn — Magatsu, the only one of Anotsu's Itto-ryu henchmen to survive his encounter with Manji and later becomes his ally.
    • Notably, he is the only one of the original group that attacked Rin's parents that is still alive (aside from Anotsu, of course). In a flashback, we see that he tried to convince his companions to leave Rin and her mother alone before finally walking away in disgust, showing that even then he was more of an Anti-Villain.
    • His participating in the ploy to kill Manji makes him more a Heel-Face Revolving Door.
  • Heroic Neutral — Master Sori.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold — O-Ren was just a sweet girl who sold her body since she was thirteen to pay for her dying mother's medicine, and dreamed of being married to the man she loved when she became free.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl — Isaku and Doa. Manji and Rin to a less exaggerated degree (see image above).
  • Ill Girl — Hisoka, and Makie later on. Anotsu seems to get involved with these.
  • Immortality Hurts
  • Immunity Disability: The protagonist, Manji, is not only immortal but can heal from virtually any wound. This comes back to bite him a few times:
    • In general, Manji bemuses that although he's one of the best swordsmen in Japan, his sword skills have slowly gotten worse because knowing he can't die dulls his instincts.
    • There's a special poison that works only on immortals; it doesn't directly kill them, but it basically reopens every single wound they've ever received after becoming immortal. When used on Manji, the results are especially gory, excruciating, and horrific.
  • Imperial Japan: The setting of the Distant Finale.
  • Important Haircut — Makie, deliberately making herself worthless as a prostitute. Hyakurin cuts her hair as an offering to a fallen friend.
  • Improbable Weapon User — Plenty - see Exotic Weapon Supremacy above. The mangaka admits that most of Manji's weapons are of his own design and have no historical precedent, but the grand prize goes to Giichi, who somehow manages to be one of the deadliest fighters in the series despite being armed with a guillotine-flail.
  • Incurable Cough of Death — Subverted. Makie has an apparently incurable respiratory disease, a tuberculosis. Fortunately for her Itto-ryu got a competent doctor to maintain her and during her last fight Manji manages to obtain the a superior version of a in-universe tubercolusis cure "the Asaemon Pills" that later revealed that the medicide effect only temporary.
    • Subverted again. When she begins to cough up blood during her battle with Giichi, he moves in to kill her and promptly gets his hand cut off. Turns out Anotsu had given her the cure long time ago, but she was hesitant to take it since in the beginning she didn't know if she wanted to continue living as a murderer and later she question whether her she wanted to life so bad that she had to eat the Asaemon pills that is made of human liver. She had faked succumbing to the tuberculosis by biting off her tongue because Giichi looked strong and she need a diversion
  • Instrument of Murder — Makie conceals her weapon within a shamisen, which she also plays on occasion.
  • Irony One of the first of many terrible things we see Shira do is feed Rin the dog she befriended for sick kicks. He meets his end when he is eaten alive by wolves.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold — Manji, to Rin, in the early stages of their relationship.
  • Katanas Are Just Better — Averted. While some great swordsmen use the vanilla katana almost every serious threat uses a personal weapon that often have dishonorable or subtle movements to them. Tellingly the greatest fighter in the series uses a combination of a pike and three section staff. The Big Bad (sorta, see Gray and Gray Morality) explicitly chose a Chinese sword and a enormous and deadly axe as his weapons to prove that the katana is worthless, and has so far succeeded. Particularly when a poor samurai gets a head crushing object lesson on why a thin sliver of metal isn't the best shield against a twenty kilo axe.
    • The main arc is actually revolve around this trope as xenophobia happen across japan, a non katana user or foreign sword user is considered heretic and become an actual cause for expulsion or alienation. The Big-bad grandparents is expelled from his sword school for this reason and ended with creating Itto-ryu which is a school devoted to prove that katana and traditional sword-style is not better. For this reason through-out the manga contain many kind of swords and weaponry as the big-bad army try to prove katana and old-sword style inferiority.
    • another thing is that since katana is the majority weaponry in this era, several character in this story such as Gichi actually devised a weapon and fighting style that can be defined as Anti-Katana making for normal katana user to be an easy target for them.
    • And again, played straight during the finale, when Anotsu discards his trusty axe in favor of a more traditional weapon during his fight with Kagimura Habaki who is the anti-thesis of Itto-ryu as he represent katana and old-style superiority giving the fight full-on irony.
  • Kissing Cousins — Anotsu and Makie are second cousins (grandparents were siblings) and blatantly romantically attached, although their relationship is pretty complicated.
  • Knight Templar — Habaki. He was certainly obsessed with eliminating the Itto-ryu before, but now that his seppuku is coming closer, the man is obsessed with erasing not only the Itto-ryu, but anything and anyone that gets in his way.
  • Lady of War — Makie is the strongest fighter in the series, is graceful and quick enough to avoid the blood spray from all of her attacks, and is lovely enough to inspire Rin to jealousy.
  • Let's Get Dangerous — Take her Manji away, and the adorable, averagely-strong Rin becomes a force of destruction against anything standing between herself and her man.
  • Light Is Not Good — Shira has a bright kimono with sun painted on it, and later his hair turns white. He is also an extremely sadistic Psycho for Hire.
  • Limited Wardrobe — Manji's trademark black-and-white sauwastika kimono. Lampshaded in chapter 141, where Rin is utterly flabbergasted to learn that they're actually sold in stores — she'd always thought he'd sewn them himself.
  • Little Miss Badass — Doa, who is a bit older than usual but still has the body type.
  • Looks Like She Is Enjoying It — Makie had sewed her right hand closed so that she wouldn't be tempted to pick up her sword again, and when Anotsu pulled out the strings, she started screaming in agony. Rin was sitting outside Makie's hut as they were doing this, and it's obvious by her expression and what she says to Anotsu afterward what she thought had been going on.
  • Made of Plasticine — The katana is a very effective cutting weapon, but seriously, taking off multiple limbs in one stroke is just ridiculous.
    • katana sharpness is actually known for this capability especially the handmade custom katana, The mythbusters actually have tested the "bone problem" in katana cutting in their web episode only to learn that katana is sharp, thin and have enough force to cut through the bone easily. Manji (and presumably the rest of other character) actually regularly maintain and sharpen his katana to keep this capability.
    • on the other hand, it's also mention several times in this series that not all katana in the series is well made or properly maintained to have the capability.
  • Mad Scientist — Burando, or more precisely a Mad Doctor.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: All the prisoners from the Prison arc wearing otter hoods, though they only attack because they've been driven insane through hideous torture.
  • Market-Based Title — You know how successful the title change is when even the hardcore otaku doesn't refer the series as Mugen no Juunin (Inhabitant of Infinity), which is the original title.
    • Success that passed over to other countries as well, A Lamina do Imortal in Brazil, La Espada del Inmortal in Spain and Miecz nieśmiertelnego in Poland are direct translations of Blade of the Immortal; the German version doesn't even bother with a translation and goes with the English title. It seems only France has taken up the original Japanese title with L'Habitant de L'Infini
  • Mistaken Identity — Manji is introduced to the Rokki when, thanks to sharing similar Distinguishing Marks with their target, they mistake him for Itto-ryu member Sukezane Baro.
  • Musical Assassin — Ozuhan carries a whistle which causes anyone who hears it terrible pain, though why this is hasn't been explained since Ozuhan is conveniently a deaf mute.
  • Mutual Disadvantage — Shishiya Arashino fight with Manji starts with one having a Healing Factor, and other being Nigh Invulnerable.
  • My God, What Have I Done? — Burando again. He repents by visiting the families of his victims and doing proper doctor work.
  • Names to Know in Anime — For all of its flaws, the anime had a rather stellar voice cast. Some of the seiyuu are: Rina Sato (Rin), Tomokazu Seki (Manji), Hirofumi Nojima (Anotsu), Mamiko Noto (Makie), Shinichiro Miki (Shira), Kazuya Nakai (Magatsu), Megumi Toyoguchi (Hyakurin) and Maaya Sakamoto (Machi).
  • Ninja — Took a while to show up, but it's eventually revealed the shogunate have got droves of them.
  • Noble Demon — Anotsu. See the characters page.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed / Musical Theme Naming / Named After Somebody Famous — The villains in the first volume are named Gyobutsu Johnny (Johnny Rotten), Shido Hishiyasu (Sid Vicious) and Kuroi Sabato (Black Sabbath). Doubles as Shout-Out given Hiroaki Samura's taste for these bands.
  • Non-Nazi Swastika: Manji has the swastika symbol on the back of his clothes as a reference to immortality. In fact, manji is the Japanese name for the swastika symbol. In the original version, it's drawn in the "Nazi direction", but in English translation was flipped to the "Buddhist direction".
  • No Swastikas — Subversion: The name Manji refers to the Japanese symbol that looks like a backwards "swastika" or sauvastika. He wears the symbol on his back, which is one of the reasons they didn't "reverse the art" in the US publication.
    • In the German version they had to remove the symbol on Manji's back and made it a simple cross, since it's forbidden in Germany to show it anywhere, despite the fact that the story takes place centuries before the rise of the Nazis. For comparison
      • This has actually gotten to the point where Dark Horse Comics put a disclaimer on the inside cover of the book stating the difference between Manji's Buddhist insignia, and the German Swastika.
  • Off with His Head! — Happens all the time to mooks, and it's very rarely clean and precise.
  • One-Man Army — Manji is the most blatant example, famously slaughtering a hundred police officers. However Habaki and Makie also easily qualify and, following the infiltration of Edo Castle, so do Anotsu, Magatsu, Baro and Ozuhan.
  • Only a Flesh Wound — Whilst Manji has an excuse, even the ordinary humans can take ludicrous amounts of punishment and still remain functional, especially when one considers the decidedly primitive medical care available. Magatsu is a particularly big offender, repeatedly shrugging off getting Impaled with Extreme Prejudice like it ain't no thing.
    • This affect Manji's sword skill quite considerably, as the immortality turns him into sloppy fighter that constantly gets hit and bested by his opponent. At some point Manji actually thanks the opponent for giving his "fear" back.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You — Rin's current stance on the subject of revenge against Anotsu
  • Only Six Faces — At the beginning this tended to occur with the female and minor characters, though it has improved significantly over time.
  • Perma Stubble — Literally with Manji, as his condition makes him unable to either shave it off or turn it into a proper beard.
  • Pet the DogIronically while being eaten by dogs, Shira tells Renzo to stop the Cycle of Revenge, though it's mainly due to the fact that it's nearly impossible to kill Manji. "—And don't ever listen to men like me!"
  • Platonic Prostitution
  • Playing with Syringes — Several volumes are dedicated to the human experiments on immortality.
  • Plucky Girl — Rin isn't strong, but she just won't give up.
  • Pregnant Badass — Hyakurin, after her rape in "Beasts".
  • Psycho for Hire — Shira once he leaves the Mugai-ryu. Or maybe even before then, to be honest.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits — The Itto-ryu is a villainous example of democracy at its finest. The only criterion to join is strength: men, women, commoners, foreigners, thieves, rapists, people over two-hundred years old, people with three heads, anyone is welcome! The Mugai-ryu is a less extreme (but more dramatic) example.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil — This trope is one of the reasons Shira is so unsettling.
  • Rasputinian DeathShira's. Also, Shishiya Arashino's death involves being set on fire and then hacked to pieces.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech — Rin delivers a pretty amazing one to Doctor Burando.
  • Reluctant Warrior — Makie. Her mother taught her that being a prostitute is better than killing people. You can rest assured that when she gracefully kills you, she will look very, very sad.
  • Revenge — Deconstructed, as Rin and Anotsu begin to develop a much more complex relationship than that of "avenger" and "avengee".
    • Shira's last words to Renzo are to stop seeking revenge on Manji because it's impossible. Renzo finds him anyway, but Rin offers to let him cut off her hand instead since Manji as she need Manjis hand to complete her journey/mission. Magatsu intervenes and tells Renzo to learn more about his father and the Itto-ryu before decide for himself.
    • At the end of the manga Rin finaly kills Anotsu instead of letting him escape as Manji would have. She later states that it was not for her revenge anymore but to prevent the cycle from repeating next generation after Manji has defeated him. Unfortunately Anotsu is still alive when his body is moved and carried to the ship albiet missing an arm and with some serious wound.
  • Roaring Rampage of RescueRin when Manji is captured by the shogunate.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Shira tries to invoke one on Manji in chapter 169. He has tied Rin to the underside of a dock in frigid water. When Manji tries to cut her loose, she sinks to the bottom of the lake and he find out too late that her feet are tied to a stone with knots too tight and complex to be undone with one arm (as Manji has lost one). Furthermore, Shira has confiscated all of Manji's weapons so that cutting Rin loose is not an option. And last but not least, the water is so cold that even Manji's immortal body can't stand up to it (cold, heat and drowning are explicitly stated to be things that immortality does squat against.
      So, in summation, Shira has created a situation in which Manji has to either try futilely to save Rin's life (only for them both to drown) or realize that it's hopeless and willingly allow his most important person to die in order to save himself. Shira wins either way, but he'd be especially happy to see Manji abandon her and then come back to kill Shira himself in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Sanity Slippage — Burando, who starts out as an idealistic (if immoral) doctor who actually believes that subjecting inmates to horrific experiments will bring progress. After he is locked away, he comes back... different (still a hypocrite, though).
  • Scenery Porn
  • Serrated Blade of Pain — Shira possesses a large cleaver-like sword with barbs, which he usually uses to maim, shred and sometimes rape his (frequently female) opponents.
  • Sinister Minister — The priest who tries to kill Manji in the prologue. Also Eiku, who dresses as a monk.
  • Sins of Our Fathers — Rin wants revenge on Anotsu for killing her father, whose grandfather expelled Anotsu's grandfather from his school, while promoting his own son — Rin's grandfather — which is why Anotsu killed Rin's father in the first place.
    • Anotsu (in disguise) and a rather tipsy Hyakurin have a long conversation about how unfinished business is passed down from father to son and results in nothing but a cycle of misery with each new generation forced to carry the burden of revenge.
  • Spin to Deflect Stuff
  • Stalker with a Crush — Kuroi Sabato for Rin, and presumably other women in the past.
  • Stalker Without A Crush — Rin for Anotsu, particularly when he goes to Kaga. Though he does make her incredibly flustered sometimes.
  • The Stoic — Giichi, until his son dies and he is "released" from the Mugai-ryu, after which he finds no reason to live any more. Interestingly, his eyes were never shown before this.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork — Manji and Rin join forces with various members of the Itto-ryu fairly often, and how "teeth clenching" their relationships are varies.
  • Took a Level in Badass — Rin, during the Prison Arc. Her attack "Flight of the Golden Wasps" is even useful for once!
  • Unknown Rival — Rin to Anotsu, at least at the beginning.
  • Waif-Fu — Makie, Doa, Ryo, Meguro. Rin's getting there.
    • It's explained by Magatsu that in order for them to attack effectively they need to learn how to utilise their body weight, since they don't have the sheer physical strength needed to inflict damage on opponents (usually bigger and heftier than they are) otherwise. This is done by two character Makie and Doa
    • Makie armed with a triple staff with pike with fighting style that contain spinning, jumping and kicking to attack, distract and gain enough momentum give deadly force to the enemy.
    • Doa use a blinding speed and nimbleness to use her entire body weight at her strike (hence why she jumps around when attacking).
    • Meguro on the other hand being mainly a spy, fighting is not her main forte making her didn't understand or use the principle above. as running is her specialty, she opt to run around while giving death by thousand cuts. In reality this is also deadly as the small injuries hampers the enemy movement making them unable to keep up with meguro, they'll also suffer from major blood-loss. Unfortunately, this fighting style is useless against the immortal shira who able to heal those small injuries quickly.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene — Ozuhan, even in midwinter.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist — Burando. He does it all For Science!, right?
    • Habaki and Anotsu could also be seen as versions of this, being men who are prepared to go to whatever lengths to benefit their country and their comrades.
    • To elaborate, Habaki main intention is the safety of the current government which he will cross many lines to do so, such as using death-row criminal to do his dirty work to hunt possible threat to the government, do immortality research that cost over 200 lives for the possibility of immortal-shogun and torturing the innocent for information on the possible threat.
    • Anotsu on the other hand wants to prove the weakness of the current government and wants to re-light the age of sword to strengthen the nation even it requires him crushing and killing many "weaker" aspect of the current government.
  • What Measure Is a Mook? — Specifically called out by Rin in Badger Hole.
    Rin: Truth to tell... I've never thought Manji's life weighed the same as some stranger's.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever? — While several people do, Manji is not one of them, when the story starts he's bored of life and laments the fact that confidence immortal body is causing his sword skills to slip.
    • Eiku Shizuma initially seems like a subversion (wants to rule world) but lets Manji defeat him when he realizes how bored he's getting.
  • The Worf Effect — Several characters fall prey to it. Most notably, Manji.
  • World of Badass — Well, it is feudal Japan, after all.
  • Your Days Are Numbered — In the aftermath of the Prison Arc, Habaki has been given a month to settle his affairs before he must commit seppuku. Additionally, Makie seems to have contracted tuberculosis in more recent chapters.


Black ButlerCreator/Tatsunoko ProductionBlood+
El Cazador de la BrujaCreator/Bee TrainBatman Gotham Knight
BerserkCreator/MVM EntertainmentGunparade March
Black LagoonMadmanEntertainment/Anime And MangaShin Angyo Onshi
BerserkCreator/Media BlastersBludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan
BerserkCreator/Dark Horse ComicsBubblegum Crisis
Black CatCreator/HuluBlassreiter
Black LagoonSeinenBlame!

alternative title(s): Blade Of The Immortal
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