Thwip!’s Manga Monday – Blade of the Immortal

It’s Monday folks! Which means we talk about a favorite manga of ours and why you all should read it – this week’s Manga Monday is all about Hiroaki Samura’s Blade of the Immortal

Hiroaki Samura’s Blade of the Immortal is THE.MOST.BEAUTIFUL.MANGA.EVER.

Seriously, Samura’s artwork is inimitable as he tells this blood-soaked tale of Manji and his ward, Rin. On his path to redemption for killing a hundred good men, Manji has promised to kill a thousand evil ones so that he can no longer be immortal (being immortal is a pain in the butt). The first step in his quest is to help out on Rin’s revenge scheme (it is more like vengeance really, so it is fine).

What happens then is a fantastically complex tale as they two journey around old-timey Japan. Samura’s action is just as beautiful as the quiet moments. One can easily get lost just staring at the artwork. Thankfully, the story is compelling and you really do want to know what happens next (and it is a long and twisted tale that both strays and stays faithful to the original premise of Rin’s vengeance, and then the end happens and you are like, “wow, we actually went there…”)

The fights are fantastic, the characters are great (both villains, “villains”, and our heroes), and all wonderfully tied together with excellent plotting.

There are so many good things to say about this manga, even Dark Horse gets props, doing a great job bringing this manga to the Western shores, carefully flipping the panels and ensuring that nothing of Samura’s art is lost.

Read this series and fall in love with swords, samurai, blood and gore…and maybe with Manji as well.

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