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Creator / Hiroaki Samura

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Hiroaki Samura is a mangaka born in the Chiba prefecture of Japan in 1970. He is most well-known for his Jidaigeki epic Blade of the Immortal.

Samura wanted to be a mangaka from an early age, and actually attended Tama School of Art for a period of time. However he joined mostly to join and fraternize with the members of the school's manga club, and was a very poor student by his own admission. He strongly disliked the smell of oil paint and actually paid someone to do his coursework for him, a fact which he is quite open about in the handful of interviews he's given. He managed to earn a serialization in Morning during school and quit to start working on Blade of the Immortal. He hasn't looked back since then.

Samura is well-renowned for having a prodigious amount of drawing skill, with Blade of the Immortal being widely acclaimed for its vividly realistic art and dynamic visual storytelling. Though he hasn't reached wide mainstream success he is very well-respected among older manga enthusiasts and other artists in the industry. A little-known fact is that he was actually one of Masashi Kishimoto's (creator of Naruto) greatest inspirations. He was so impressed with it that he quit the samurai manga he was working on at the time and decided to create a story about ninjas instead, and spent a long time in university studying Samura's work in great detail.

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Other works by Samura include Bradherley's Coach (a rather dark manga about comfort women in a fictional European country), Beageruta (a story about fights for money between dangerous women), Harukaze no Snegurochka (a story about Russian spies during the beginning of the Soviet Union), Ohikkoshi (a romantic comedy), Emerald (a collection of short stories with varying themes and tones) and even a Darkstalkers doujin called "Night of the Succubus".


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Tropes associated with Samura:

  • Author Appeal: He seems to have a lot of disturbing fetishes when it comes to women having sex (often in the most brutal, violent and gory fashions possible, to be precise), to the point that he's drawn several horrific torture illustrations as part of his "Brute Love" art collection. This is merely just a fetish however, as Samura considers himself a feminist and abhors actual violence towards and torture of women or anybody else.
  • Art Evolution: His early work on Blade of the Immortal was very pencil-heavy, with a lot of detailed grayscale pages. As he continued to work Samura abandoned this approach, using micron pens and brushes to ink Bot I instead, leading to his current refined mark-making style. His art also grew progressively more realistic compared to the more traditionally anime/manga look the early chapters had.
  • Body Horror: Manji's body in Blade of the Immortal goes through some pretty horrific things in the story as part of his healing factor, and other characters in the story aren't safe either. His characters in other works also tend to suffer rather horribly.
  • Castof Snowflakes: Puts a lot of effort into making his characters look distinct from one another and is pretty good at it, although fans complain that his women tend to look too much alike. Samura himself admits that his own ideals about female beauty make it hard for him to come up with distinctive designs for women, though he's managed to get better at it as time has gone by.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to his dark, gritty, and sometimes downright horrific seinen manga, Ohikkoshi is just a light-hearted romantic comedy. But don't be fooled, it's still a seinen due to the nature of jobs and passing from adolescence to adulthood.
  • Rape as Drama: Most notably in the infamous Bradherley's Coach, although it is also very prominent in Blade of the Immortal.
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