This section is meant to be a quick summary of Blade of the Immortal and summaries of all the issues. My friend recommended it to me. She would blab in all her letters to me "Manji is soooo cute!" or "Rin is so cool!" and always "You have to read this!". So one day while I was at the local comic shop, none of my regular comics were there. Not Shi, Witchblade or Generation X. I had money for once! So I'm looking through the manga section looking for Sailor Moon and there was the Blade of the Immortal:Blood of a Thousand trade. I had just enough money so I picked it up and didn't even look at a page of it until I got home. I trust my friends taste in comics/mangas. So I get home and I read the first 2 pages. Right away I am hooked. The art is amazing and the story addicting. Now as you've seen most of the pictures on my page are in color, in case you don't know the manga is in black and white. Let me just say that the pencil art can be so much more beautiful then the painted. I don't know how he did it but Hiroaki Samura is so talented it's insane. He's the best artist I've seen, and a great storyteller. The story is what matters to me, but it's great to have a great combination of the two. I read the trade about 8 times in that week, and it soon became my number one comic/manga. Now, I think so far there are 23 issues out. Over here it's slow and I did get into it late. I do have the Blood of a Thousand trade, Rin's Bane and all of the Dreamsong series except issue 1. Issue four is on it's way to me though as is the Cry of the Worm trade! Well, with all that said, let me start giving sumaries of the issues that I do have! =) NOTE: I just got ish 4 and Cry of the Worm, the people at THINGS FROM ANOTHER WORLD are really fast! Give them a try. WARNING: This thing is full of spoilers so don't read it unless you really can't find the issues or just don't care. =)
In this first issue we meet Manji. In the first scene he's confessing to killing 100 men, although it turns out to be Gyubutsu, the famous fake priest. He'd collect bounties on criminals who made confessions. We learn about Manji's past and how he came to kill Machi's husband. There's a showdown when Machi is kidnapped, and Shido challenges Manji to a fight. Manji declines, trying to give up the sword and Shido kills Machi because of it. Manji then proceeds to kill Shido and his followers.
Conquest--We meet Rin who just turned 14 and is awaiting her fathers return to the house. She hears a noise and goes outside to see her father wounded trying to fend off Anotsu and his clan. Anotsu barges in and Rin's mother demands an explanation for why they're doing this. Anotsu then explains the tale of his grandfather. He then tells Kuroi Sabato to kill Asano *Rin's dad* and to have as much of the good wife as they please, but to leave Rin alone. 2 years later Rin's at her fathers grave when Yaobikuni spots her and tells her to hire Manji if she truly wants revenge. With a picture that Yaobikuni had drew of Manji and a description, Rin went through the city looking for him. Not finding him she decided to crash in a shack she found. There she falls asleep and has nightmares about the night of her 14th birthday. She wakes up and sees Manji chopping wood *although he is only trying to improve his swordskill*. Rin introduces herself and asks that Manji join her on her journey to get her fathers killers. He declines saying that he's seen it all before and how does he know if she's the good guy or the bad one. Rin then starts explaining her tale of woe and begins to cry. He asks her if she's willing to do anything to get revenge and she says yes and tells Manji he may do w/ her what he wishes. He proceeds to slap her and tells her to get her clothes back on. Manji apologizes and says that he did it because she reminds him of his little sister. Rin walks out on him and Manji says that he'd go w/ her just into town. In the third issue (I believe, I have the trade, I don't know where one issue ends and the other begins.) Rin and Manji come upon (or maybe track him down) Kuroi Sabato. It turns out he'd been sending love poems to her DoJo for 2 years since the night of her parents death. He asks Rin if he offended her and she says no (although later she asks why he sended that garbage to the DoJo) Kuroi then says that since she says it's alright, he would now kill her. Manji tries to step in but only ends up getting sliced in half. Rin then does her "Golden Wasps" attack and rips the cloth from Kurois shoulders to reveal two heads on his shoulder. One of his ex-wife and one of Rin's mother. Knowing that she couldn't beat him (you've probly already read this part in the character section) she agrees to kill herself if he would follow. She agrees but then Manji kills him before she has the chance to kill herself. Manji scolds her for being an idiot and tells her he couldn't see her hurt because then he wouldn't get any money from him. Rin beats him up.
Rin and Manji go in search of Sori in hopes that he will help them out on their quest. When they get there Manji gets pissed at Rin. Manji is wondering why Rin dragged them across the city to find some "wimpy artist". Rin then confesses that she knows that he (Sori) is the Shoguns ninja and ask him to help her. He then says that his Blade is too foul and it wouldn't bring honor to Asano to help avenge his death. Manji laughs at him and tells him to admit the truth. That Sori would do anything to get his art, (he's a swordpainter) from betraying his friends to killing, but he just doesn't want to help Rin out because it's too much of a hassle and there's no profit in it. Sori says that's a harsh thing to say but he's right on the point. Manji leaves the place angry although Rin asked him to stay. Sori says that she shouldn't worry, that he's not the kind of person to leave Rin abandoned. Rin goes to sleep and again dreams of the night of her parents murder. She wakes up to find Hage looming over her w/ a spear. She's about to become toast when Manji shows up and kicks him out. A big fight ensues, all the while Sori is trying to figure out what shade of red he wants for his painting. He couldn't come up with the right color until he gets splashed w/ blood. He jumps up for joy (literally), it was the color he was looking for. Rejoiced cause he could now finish his painting Hage then came crashing through the ceiling ruining his painting. Outside Hage lured Manji into a tree covered w/ hooks, Manji falls for his trap and is hooked to the tree (*L*). Hage then says he's going to kill Rin in front of him. Manji tries to get out but can't quite do it (the hooks are hooked into his skin) Rin's about to be killed by Hage when Sori shows up and kills him because he ruined his painting. Sori then starts anew on his painting and gives Manji and Rin 30 Ryo (lots of money!) for the bodies. Manji and Rin leave happily on to their next destination.
While at the (blacksmiths?) to get Manji's weapons sharpened, Rin spots a beautiful Chinese sword. The blacksmith tells her that the owner of it is coming for it soon. When Taito, one of the guys that was w/ Anotsu when they killed her parents shows up to claims it, Rin hides but then goes chasing after him. She offers him 30 Ryo (the amount she'd gotten from Sori) to him for the sword. He declines saying it's a battle trophy but if she can tell him where Asano's daughter is (herself) then he would consider selling it to her. She goes back to her room and tells Manji her tale, the sword was actually a treasured sword that was stolen from the DoJo. Manji asks her if she'd like him to help her get it back. She says no, that she's got to grow up already and stop crying about her parents death *=(* Manji leaves while Rin is asleep and goes to fight Taito for the sword. (Isn't he sweet?!) He meets Taito in a swampy area and they fight. Manji gets suckered into going into a part of the swamp that starts sucking him down. Taito then tells the story of his sister and how she was killed by a samurai for kicking the ball into the street when a procession was going through. He tells Manji that now that he's stuck there he's going to go kill Rin, and that he'd understand how he felt if he'd lost a family member. This angers Manji and he gets out of the bog and stabs Taito. Taito then gives Manji the sword and goes home bleeding. The next morning Rin awakens and asks Manji where the sword came from. He pretends to not know what she's talking about. She tells him off saying he went through all that pain for her and all it had done was depress her. Rin also said the only reason she goes through all that crap is because she looks like Machi. She then tells Manji to cry, that it wasn't fair for her to be the only one crying all the time. He tells her to get the hell out of the room and that he wasn't a snot nosed kid like she was. (Did he cry?)
Making a pit stop so that Rin can use the bathroom *L* a man approaches Manji while he waits. He tells Manji that if he answers a couple of questions the way he think they should be answered that he'd tell Manji and Rin where they can find Anotsu. Manji tells him to ask away. He ask Manji if he ever dreamt of having followers and the sort. Manji doesn't really answer but asks Eiku if he heard of him from Taito. He says that indeed he had and that the two of them should join up to bring down Anotsu. Manji tells him that he'll let him live and tells him to get lost. Before he leaves Eiku stabs Manji and Manji strikes a deathblow on him. Manji wonders why the hell he did it since Eiku knew he was immortal. Rin shows up and her and Manji start to leave when Eiku starts to get up. They're both shocked and Eiku explains that he too is immortal. Yaobikuni had given him the sacred blood worms too. Eiku then leaves and tells them that he will see them both in the evening. Manji touches his wound and wonders why the Kessen-Chu worms have yet to come out. Later in the night back in their room Manji is quite literally falling apart. All of the places where he had scars were opening up and he was bleeding profusely. Manji tells rin that it must have been Eiku who did it when he stabbed him. Rin is freaking out and tells him that she's going to go out and find a doctor for him. Before she leaves she opens up one of the rings that she puts in her hair and gives some pills to Manji, they're supposed to be some antidote that her mother had made. Manji tells her not to leave because it wasn't safe but Rin insists that she'll come back w/ a doctor in hand. Outside Rin sits outside of the doctors office, it turns out he went to the hotsprings. Yaobikuni finds her crying. She tells Rin to come w/ her and that they'd fix up an antidote for "Kanji". Rin asks her about this but Yaobikuni says what's in a name. Back in the room Manji seems to have healed up o.k. The medicine Rin had givien him had worked after all. He hears a noise and curses Rin for taking so long to get back. It turns out it's not Rin at all that he finds but her kimono w/ a note from Eiku to come and find her. Back at Eiku's place, it's revealed that Yaobikuni wasn't Yaobikuni at all, but some woman that Eiku had blackmailed w/ the threat of killing her grandchild. Rin couldn't tell in the dark that it wasn't her. Eiku tells Rin (who's tied up on the floor) that the poison he'd given Manji dissolves the worms that had sealed up the wounds, but to not worry for what he'd given Manji wasn't a lethal dose. If he had died though it wouldn't have mattered because there was no antidote. The woman apologizes to Rin (Yaobikuni look alike) and says that she's going to go for help. Eiku goes after her and kills her. Eiku cuts Rin's tongue and his hand and tells her that humans are nothing but worms, even those great leaders who die in the warfield. He tells Rin to lick his hand and that maybe the Kessen-Chu will transfer from him to her and that she could become immortal and it'd be so easy to take revenge. When she was about to do it Manji shows up. He tells Rin to go get the baby, that it still is alive even though the woman isn't. A fight ensues between Manji and Eiku. Just when Eiku is about to (probably) kill Manji, Rin shows up and tells him to not kill him. Eiku had been alive for more than 200 years and he'd never been a leader, he was just a pathetic worm. Manji attacked Eiku in a move that could have easily been dodged but Eiku welcomed his own death and let Manji kill him for what Rin said was true. Before he died though he told Manji and Rin where Kagehisa (Anotsu) was headed. Rin buried both him and the Yaobikuni look alike, and they headed to the next town to find him.
Unfortunately I don't have Dreamsong #1 so I can't give you a summary on that one but if anyone knows what happens, please let me know and I'll put it on here if you like. Now on for the other ones. Makie and Manji are fighting and Makie isn't doing very well. She's doing pathetically actually and Manji beats her in a few seconds. He tells Makie that "Idiots who can't fight should keep their swords sheathed" and tells her to stick to being a Yotaka (prostitute)if that's the best she can do. A little kid comes up to her and tells her that she isn't a very good fighter and so she gives him her dagger and says she won't be needing it anymore. At a party Makie (who's a Geisha) sings a lovely verse. When she finishes everyone congratulates her singing and poetry. Later while she is serving a guest he sticks his hand up the sleeve of her kimono (JERK!) and says he remembers her from a whorehouse. He also asks that she sleep w/ him for old times sake. O-Hatsu tells him that Geisha's sell only conversation and the arts and nothing more and if he wanted to get a hooker the night was still young. He leaves her alone and O-Hatsu tells Makie that she too used to sell her body, and that once she tried to run away w/ a man she loved but they caught them and he hung himself. Dreamsong #3-- Rin tries to convince herself that she is absolutely not jealous at all that Manji went and bought a prostitute (Makie). Manji apologizes and accuses her of being jealous. He also suggests that he sleep w/ her instead so that they could save money *LOL*. Then he says he'd be too much of a man for her, Rin let's down her hair and asks Manji if she looks slightly different. He laughs at her and she beats him up. Meanwhile Makie and Kagehisa are having a meeting. She's telling him that she became a geisha so that she could repay him for buying her out of the pleasure quarters. Kagehisa then says that someday he will make her his woman but Makie doesn't buy it. She knows he only wants her for her swordskills (she's the best). Anotsu kisses her he bought her out of the whorehouse because he didn't want her swordskills to go to waste. He then leaves. The jerk from issue 2 shows up w/ some lackies saying that he was hired to bring Makie back to the pleasure quarters. Makie then chops her hair off and the 3 guys go after her for now they wouldn't get a penny for bringing her back. She kills them rather easily and cries because she can't have dreams like other people. =( Dreamsong#4--This issue shows Makie and Kagehisas first meeting as children. Makie had saved Anotsu from a wild dog, when his Master (is it his father?) comes and sees that he was saved by a girl he beats the crap out of her. Kagehisa tells him that he's horrible for sending him out to that region where he knew there were wild dogs and he wouldn't be able to fight them off. He (his master) would've killed Makie had he not recognized her. He put her on a tree branch and said that the dogs would come for her soon since she was covered in blood. The next day Kagehisa was sent to see what had happened, if she had survived or not. The master asked Kagehisa if he'd buried her body, Kagehisa said no, that there wasn't one body there were 50! Makie had killed every single wild dog! The Master told Kagehisa the story of his sister who had sent her son to the Asano DoJo. The guy grew up and took a wife and had two children. One a boy and 5 years later a girl. He (the son) was a wimp but he worked hard so was chosen to be the next head of the school. One day as a joke they told Yoshiaki (the brother) to fight his little sister (Makie) as a joke. They fought and three times in a row he lost to her. (She was 10, him 15). Yoshiuki commited Hara-Kiri. Makie and her mother were disowned (Makies mother for defending her). Later Kagehisa tells Kuroi (Sabato) that he wanted to start a school that wouldn't give a damn about anything except technique, and victory. Dreamsong#5--Manji, Makie and Rin meet outside of Manji & Rin's room. Rin is under the impression that Makie and Manji are going to have sex so she gives Manji money and heads out to go eat some sweets. Makie asks Manji why he just didn't tell her the truth. Manji says she'd just get in the way. Manji remarks that Makie looks different, she asks if it's because of the hair and he says that it's in the eyes. At the restaurant Rin's complaining about Manji to some man. He tells her a guys body does it's thinking in 2 different places and that's probably why he's out w/ her. He says it's not normal for him to dump a cute girl like her though for some prostitute. Rin finally figures out that maybe he's not out to sleep w/ her and leaves to go find him but not before throwing up all the sweets that she'd eaten. On the other side of town Manji and Makie are fighting and Manji's the one on the losers side this time. Makie even went as far as stabbing him through a door when he was wondering where she was. Manji thinks himself an idiot for what he told her earlier about her not being a good fighter. He tells himself to watch out or he's dead meat, he goes looking for her but can't find her. At the end of the issue he sees her standing right above him. Dreamsong#6--Makie's beating the crap out of Manji and he tells her to go ahead and kill him already. Then she breaks down and asks that he forgive her for "using such cowardly tricks". He says it's alright that he did the same thing to one of her guys. At a room Anotsu waits for Makie who said she would return when Manji was dead and then she would be his forever. Back w/ Manji and Makie, she says that once she begins to doubt (she's not sure if she wants to kill Manji or not) that she can't even pick up her sword. Manji laughs and tells her while she's been blabbing away his leg just attached itself back on. They continue to fight again after Manji tells her to off him in a way he won't regret. He says to hurry though before Rin comes looking for him. Makie says that now she would be serious. Dreamsong#7-- Manji and Makie are still fighting and Makie is about to kill him when Rin shows up and throws herself over Manji. Rin picks up her sword and was even willing to go against Makie to protect Manji. Manji calls her an idiot and Makie asks Rin a question. Makie tells Rin that she's killing people for nothing more than her own hatred, and asks her if that's the right way to live. Rin says that she swore to avenge her parents death at their graves, and at any cost. But if killing for masters is noble, then wasn't it more human to kill for your parents. At the end of her answer she breaks down and asks if she is wrong. Makie says that's what she wanted to hear and tells Manji to protect her (Rin) forever. Later Makie meets w/ O-Hatsu. She tells her that her mom used to be a pleasure woman too, that she was driven out of the samurai family because of her. As a child Makie had thought her weak for not wanting to take revenge but now she was proud of her. She said "Compared to a Kenshi who lives by inflicting pain, she comforted others all her life". Makie admits that now she can't go back to what she was doing becauss she had become a Kenji to inflict pain on her father. Back w/ Manji and Rin, Rin's trying to attach Manji's arm back on. Rin insults Manji and tells him not to lie to her again. Manji then resolves to train Rin if people like Makie were going to keep coming after them. At the end Makie is walking out of town and Anotsu lets her go.
Rin's Bane #1-- Manji trains Rin but she's not very good. With her "Golden Wasps" attack that she uses she only hits 3 out of 12. She complains saying that many times she'll hit 9 or 10 but Manji doesn't buy it. They start the sword training and Rin lasts about 5 seconds. Manji gives her an F. When Rin starts crying Manji tells her to stop, if she has time to cry she has time to train. Later Rin tells Manji that when she hired him she was hoping that she'd learn something from him but so far she hasn't improved at all. He reassures her (somewhat) saying that training w/ a bunch of beginners in a DoJo wasn't going to improve her any. Manji takes a nap and Rin goes off into the woods to take a bath but only ends up washing her hair. The water was cold and she'd heard a noise. She goes to see what it (who) is and sees a man striking at fallen leaves and not missing a one. She's impressed w/ his skills and wonders who it is. It turns out to be Anotsu. She tries to hide but he tells her to come out. She does and hits him w/ her "Golden Wasps" attack but only manages to hit him w/ one dagger. He asks her if she wishes to die. Rin's Bane #2-- Rin is left w/out daggers and Anotsu asks her if she was trying to insult him by not having any weapons. His ax (that he'd been swinging around) is lying on the floor and she asks him the same thing but when she tries to lift it she only ends up falling. *L* She tries to run away but he hits her w/ the end of the ax (it's blunt) and ties her up. He tells her that her little technique is somewhat haphazard and is only good for surprise attacks (it sounded like tips to me). Rin starts crying and Anotsu asks her why. She responds by saying that she's frustrated, here is the man she's been wanting to kill and she can't do a thing. Rin asks him if he was going to rape her and Anotsu asks her what if he did. She said she'd bite off her tongue and kill herself that she'd prefer that he kill her then rape her. Anotsu tells her to beg for her life and he'd let her go and she'd have a chance to kill him later.. He then talks to her about various techniques people have come up w/ to defeat her enemies. He gives her back her daggers and says that he won't kill her because she's halfway to becoming one of the Itto-Ryu. He unties her and walks off. Untied Rin goes into her "Golden Wasps" attack mode but in the end just couldn't do it. She goes back to where Manji is sleeping and says "daddy" as she cries on his chest. =(
Sorry, don't have this one yet.