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Friday, November 19, 2010

Katanagatari Rating and Review

Series: Katanagatari
Animation Studio: White Fox
Original Run: 12 Episodes
English Licensor: N/A
Adaptation of: Nisio Isin's light novel series: "Katanagatari"

Summary: "Katanagatari" is another play on words title as, "katana" can be translated out to be "sword" and "gatari" is a shortened version of "story". So if you put one and one together you get "Sword Story". And as such this anime focuses on swords, or more so an adventure of gathering swords. The two main protagonists in this series are a self-proclaimed strategian, Togame, and the current head of the Kyotouryuu clan, Shichika Yasuri. The story begins with Togame arriving on Shichika and his sister's, Nanami's, island to ask Shichika a favor. She requests that he joins her on her mission to gather the 12 deviant swords forged by the legendary swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki. She informs him that she can't do it alone as there are many other dangerous enemies after them. At first, Shichika questions Togame to why she chose him, seeing how his family's bloodline literally makes them incapable wielding a sword. She tells him that it his unique abilities of fighting a sword wielder with his bare hands and still being able to come on top, makes him immune to the poisonous psychological effects of holding a deviant sword. Togame also tells Shichika that, he should fall in love with her as she sees that if one fights for love, they will never betray that person. She gives Shichika some time to think about it, and she hangs around the island for his answer. But it isn't soon after that, that an enemy arrives on the island.

The individual is a member of a group of ninjas, known as the Maniwa Ninja Corps., and this individual happens to be in the possession of one of the deviant swords. After a fight and Shichika manages to defeat him with some stellar martial arts moves, he decides to join Togame, and states that he has fallen for her. The duo soon leave after that leaving Nanami to watch over the island by herself. However, seeing how Shichika had never communicated with anyone other than his sister and his father (who he killed after a fight), he doesn't understand everyday culture and, in a way, he is very much "soul-less" like a sword. Along this journey, they not only collect swords but Shichika grows a personality, and a social life. Togame also carries her own weight in the duo as she has a mind full of schemes to obtaining each sword, as well as her stubborn and bold attitude. Shichika does whatever Togame tells him to, even if the task is trivial or troublesome. The only reasons being are: He is her sword and he loves her.

Each episode covers one sword and one episode is released each month of the 2010 year. As the anime goes on, more maniwa ninja are introduced, along with the possessors of the swords, and a very conniving princess. All the characters are unique and odd in thier own ways, and the mysteries surrounding the Kyotouryuu's, Togame's, and the 12 deviant swords' pasts. This anime is great for those who love action, comedy, and some very different art.

A.I.'s Rating: 10/10

A.I.'s Review: "Katanagatari" was created by the same person that originally created "Bakemonogatari" and the stories couldn't be more different. This was one series that I was aware of before it came out and one that I was really interested in. I wasn't holding a lot of expectations for this series but I found myself surprised that I actually liked it. The art is what really caught my attention as it isn't what one would think of when someone mentions the word "anime". The colors are probably the most vibrant I've seen in an anime and the animation is so crisp. I also enjoyed the character designs as well as the settings. The art is so simple yet has a sense of complexity, that makes it unique. The story itself is pretty stereotypical but the characters are what turn it into something different. I enjoyed the interactions between Togame and Shichika and their far from normal "relationship".

Since each episode is pretty long and the animation is stellar, I can see why the animators need at least a month to get one done. The voice actors are great and the background music is fantastic. I really don't have one complaint for this series as every quirky aspect to the series builds off of another. The development of the story is smooth and the evolution of Shichika from being a soul-less sword to a human being is gradual but noticeable. I highly recommend this series to all and if I had to choose between "Bakemonogatari" and "Katanagatari" I would choose "Katanagatari" in a heartbeat. Many would disagree with me but I felt that this series has more to it than meets the eye. This series has one of my all time favorite opening sequences so I included it below so check it out! I'll put up two more reviews next week, including my all time favorite series~! So tune in next time!

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