Blade of the Immortal Episode 3: Dream Pangs
I think I liked this episode more, but the show still has the same problems from before. While this episode told a much better story, it was still quick and sometimes a little hard to follow. I’m still willing to give this show a chance, but I think this might be a little tough for me to review.
Makie is a very complicated woman. Makie is an ex-geisha/prostitute who is now working for Anotsu and the Itto-ryu. She was discovered by him and he found out about her talent and wanted her for Itto-ryu and for himself, as he genuinely loved her. However, Makie just thinks he “loves” her only for her talent with the sword, which didn’t seem to be the case at all (as he seemed frantic at the end) but she couldn’t be convinced. She was sent out to eliminate Manji but she realized something about herself as she fought him, and as she listened to the words of Rin. Makie had already killed three men before, some of the men that knew her from the red light district. As she battled Manji, she admitted to not feeling a thing when she killed them, and yet she showed hesitation when she had the chance to deal the finishing blow to him. As Rin comes to Manji’s side, Makie questions Rin’s route. In wanting revenge for her family, many people are going to die because of her. And yet Rin thinks it better that she dirties her hands for her family’s sake, rather than kill to carry out someone else’s ideals, even though Rin admits that she doesn’t like the idea of killing. It’s all a very complex situation.
To me, it looked like Makie didn’t believe in Anotsu at all, in his love or his ideals. Because in the end, she decided to leave him and live out her own life that she chooses. I don’t know if it was clear, but I took it that she went back to a life of prostitution, or she’ll decide to do something else. Because while prostitution isn’t a glamorous life at all, Makie agrees that her mother is admirable to bring pleasure to other people’s lives, which is better than the life she was leading where it was nothing but violence. Also, she was losing her sense of self and didn’t like how killing was changing her, when she felt no emotion in killing. Is her talent really a talent, then?
This was a really fascinating story, very complicated. I don’t know if we’ll ever see Makie again, but I wouldn’t mind if we did since I really like her. While the story told this episode was great, there were problems with how it was told. I get that Anotsu really was in love with her, but what I want to know is how he even discovered her and her talent? What’s the backstory between them? I can make an idea how Makie felt about him based on her actions, but it’d still be nice to at least hear her thoughts about him.
The pacing this time wasn’t too fast (I think?) but it was more…erratic? It was a little confusing at times because of the lack of transitions. There was a scene of Makie working as a geisha, which I assume was a flashback. The scene on the bridge with Anotsu and Makie was really confusing because I also thought it was a quick flashback scene, but it was actually taking place in the present and I think a night before her second encounter with Manji. Again, things keep happening and sometimes it can be a little hard to follow. Another thing that’s hard to follow are the fights, since it was all fast cuts again. I realize that this is most likely a stylistic choice rather than an animation issue, and maybe this is a stylistic choice I can’t fully appreciate as of right now. It’s just very quick and things flash on the screen too quickly that it actually kind of messes with my eyes? Of course that’s a personal issue for me, maybe it doesn’t bother other people’s eyes. Maybe they’re focusing more on the emotions during the fights and less on the actual action, but the way they’re doing it with these fast cuts are not my favorite.
I’m still not in love with the show yet, I still want to give it a chance. I just think that a show like this might be better watched than reviewed, and I don’t want to continue complaining about the same things with the animation and direction. The art style itself is great and the music, especially this episode, is gorgeous. But it’s still a jarring show with the way the episodes play out. There’s no guarantee other character stories will be just as good as this one, so that’s what I’m worried about. But, we’ll see.
Oh, and Rin had a smaller part this episode but it was funny seeing a different side to her this time. Her pout was cute and RIP those puddings she threw up.