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Manga / Blade of the Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc

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Blade of the Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc is a sequel series to Blade of the Immortal.
Front cover of first issue in Afternoon, 2019

Eighty years after the final battle with the Ittou-ryu, but ten before the original series’ epilogue, Manji returns to Japan after living in America. It is the tail end of the Bakumatsu Period (1853-1867) and he meets a new companion named Ryouma Sakamoto. The two team up and head to Kyoto to "save people", working with the Tosa Imperialists to potentially lead Japan into a bright future. Ryouma feels that way, at least; Manji isn't so sure. He gets roped into politics and fights after a descendant from someone in his past tries to spur his involvement.

Story by Renji Takigawa, manga by Ryuu Suenobo, in collaboration with Hiroaki Samura.

The following information contains unavoidable spoilers for the original series.

General Tropes:

  • Foregone Conclusion: Anyone familiar with Japanese history going into the manga will know that the entire thing ends with the Meiji Restoration, wherein:
    • The Tokugawa shogunate will lose the Boshin War to the forces of the Imperial Court;
    • The feudal caste system is going to be abolished and replaced with a centralized Japanese state, with a Western style of government; and
    • Character-wise, Sakamoto Ryouma, Manji's fellow protagonist, will actually be assassinated by the dawn of the Boshin War, not able to see the revolution he struggled for come to fruition.
  • Historical Domain Character: Various characters in the manga most notably Ryouma Sakamoto and the Shinsengumi.
  • Historical Fantasy: Takes place in a real place and time like the original series, but this one follows fictionalized versions of real people with some fantastical elements such as Manji's immortality.
  • Mistaken Nationality: While in America, some people assumed Manji was a Native American.
  • Older Than They Look: Manji is over a hundred years old now, but stopped counting.
  • Production Throwback: We get some reminders of characters from the original series.
  • The Shinsengumi: There is a plethora of characters based on real people, particularly the Shinsengumi.
  • Shout-Out: The kanji "itsu" in "Itsuban" is the same as the "itsu" in "Ittou-ryu".
  • Suddenly Significant City: This story takes place in Kyoto, now close to the end of the Tokugawa shogunate.