YMMV / Blade of the Immortal

  • Arc Fatigue: Like most long-running manga, it varies depending on who you ask. The most popular choice seems to be the Prison Arc.
  • Awesome Art: Easily some of the greatest art in the industry, with dynamic panels, unique designs for every character (mostly), and great storytelling.
  • Complete Monster: Shira is a sadistic, misogynistic Serial Killer and the most depraved member of the Mugai-Ryu. When hunting the Itto-Ryu, Shira rapes, tortures and mutilates a kind prostitute named O-Ren, leaving her to die after he's done. When he initially teams up with Manji and Rin, Shira puts on a facade of acting like a human being, only to torture and attempt to rape another prostitute serving a decoy for the Itto-Ryu leader, trying to murder Rin when she attempts to stop him. Losing a hand to Manji as a result, Shira grows more and more unhinged with dreams of vengeance to the point he willingly submits to twisted immortality experiments to combat Manji. Raping a woman to death and keeping a boy with a grudge against Manji named Renzo as a helper and Sex Slave who he violently abuses on a regular basis, Shira proceeds to massacre the Shogunate's forces sent after him and kidnaps Rin. Tying her to a dock, half submerged with a boulder tied to her feet in the dead of winter, Shira attempts to force Manji to choose to drown saving her or leave her to die to face Shira himself. Shira proceeds to attempt to murder his other nemesis, O-Ren's beloved Magatsu, while trying to cripple and rape a Shogunate kunoichi assisting him. When finally defeated, Shira uses his last words to implore Renzo to abandon his revenge, only to crush his spirit even further by spitefully telling him to never listen to men like him.
  • Creepy Awesome: Despite everything wrong with Shira (see Complete Monster above), his various psychological problems only serve to make him an even better villain. Plus, since he's the only character in the series with truly black morality in an otherwise gray cast, his appearances do a lot to spice things up.
  • Designated Hero: Manji. He's almost always played sympathetically despite being known throughout Japan as "the guy who murdered 100 people". Even by the end of the series, he still hasn't become any more of a good guy.
    • This fact is even lampshaded by Renzo when he attempts to assassinate Manji after Shira's death.
    Renzo:" Shira is dead. He died all alone. And he was eaten by wild dogs...Torn to pieces! A really terrible death. That's probably the way it should be. A man like him wouldn't [deserve to] die like a human. But what's with this guy? How many people has he killed?! He's a big criminal too! Why do you all care so much about him?"
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Anotsu Kagehisa has this in spades. There was continuous hinting at a relationship between him and Rin for a while, although in the end it didn't amount to anything because Rin kills him, completing her journey.
  • Evil Is Cool: Shira is easily the most villainous character in the entire series. Unsurprisingly, he's also one of the cast's top badasses.
  • Foe Yay: Sweet Jesus, where do we begin? With the amount of sexual tension running in between camps, it seems probable that the main cast will just engage in some giant orgy as soon as kill each other..
  • Nightmare Fuel: Lots and lots, but a special mention goes to the entire latter half of the Prison Arc.
  • Tear Jerker: Dewanosuke's sub-plot is one of the most saddening moments in the entire series.
  • The Woobie: Makie, who is an unbelievably tragic figure whose life has been nothing but suffering, pain and isolation. The man she loves values her more for her skill than for her as a person, her relationship with her family was dysfunctional at best and she has no purpose in life that she can name. All she can do is resign herself to her own lonely corner of the world and live quietly, troubling and being troubled by none.
    • Also, as mentioned above, Dewanosuke.