Manga: Hakkenden Touhou Hakken Ibun
A girl weeps for her friend...
Five years ago, Shino Inuzuka was given the choice not to die. This choice, however, came with a price: taking on Murasame, the blade of life. He, Sosuke Inukawa and Hamaji were the only people to survive the plague and subsequent torching of their village, and from that day on the three childhood friends shared a burden on their shoulders.
Now they live secluded in another village, away from those who seek to claim Murasame's power for their own gains—until one day the Imperial Church sends word to their estate, making it known that their amicable lifestyle isn't likely to last much longer. As anticipated, soon an escort arrives at their door, insisting that they come along to the city.
manga adapted from a classic samurai tale, set in the Taisho Era (i.e. the early 1900's), and interwoven with fantasy and supernatural elements, Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East
is written and illustrated by Abe Miyuki, with more than a dozen volumes published under Tosuisha (vol.1-13) and Kadokawa Shoten (reprint of vol.1-13 and 14 onward) since 2005.
A 13-episode anime began airing on January 5th during the Winter 2013 Anime
season, and the second season
began airing on July 7th of the same year.