Katanagatari Review, Now with Blu-ray

NISA has been on a roll for releasing Japanese Anime titles since Toradora and Persona ~Trinity Soul~ back in September of 2010. Now NISA can add 2 more titles to their library, Katanagatari and Arakawa, under its belt. With these 2 new titles, NISA has also changed the way it does anime. The changes aren’t huge, but in a great way that will please fans with a Blu-ray player or a PlayStation 3.

Katanagatari is a 12-episode series that follows Togame, a strategist who prides herself on her devious plans to win at any cost. She searches out the heir of the Kyotōryū style of sword arts and finds Yasuri Shichika, the current heir after his father died, as well as Nanami Yasuri, Shichika’s sickly little sister. Shichika and Nanami have never left the island, and Shichika is a bit of a simpleton who acts before he thinks and trains daily in the Kyotōryū style that incorporates sword techniques without the use of a sword. Togame’s goal is to have Shichika join her in the search for 12 legendary katanas forged by Kiki Shikizak. She was betrayed before by a clan of ninjas and searched out for someone who she could use or “trust” to collects the blades. She offers Shichika money and power. He needs none. Soon after, Shicihika and Togame are attacked by a Kōmori Maniwa from the Maniwa ninja clan, the same clan that betrayed her. Togame eventually convinces Shicihika to help her travel around Japan to collect 11 more blades after defeating Kōmori, by offering Shichika the ability to “love her”, which starts the bizarre, action packed and comedy anime.

Katanagatari uses a somewhat classical animation style for characters, while still implementing a full detailed animation with some awesome battle scenes. Each episode is 49 minutes, rather than the typical 24 minutes for anime OVAs, where each episode is focused on collecting a katana (hence 12 katanas to 12 episodes) and new engaging characters.

Katanagatari has a Rurouni Kenshin-like feel to it, changing the mood constantly and even having some powerful emotional scenes, like episode 6 with Konayuki Itezora. Almost no character makes a second appearance in the twelve episode long series except two, and the episode seven cliffhanger leaves me wanting the second set to be released already.

As a standard for Nippon Ichi anime titles, you will receive a wonderfully illustrated outer box that holds a 32-page art book named Togame’s Travelogue, featuring lyrics to the ending song of each episode, art from the anime and episode synopsis of the 6 episodes. Yes, you did read that write. In case you were wondering why you would pay $69.99 (on Amazon.com) or $55.99 ($60 after free shipping and tax) via Nippon Ichi’s website for 6 episodes, it would be because you’ll get the Japanese voice only with english subtitle anime in both DVD and Blu-ray.

So if you’re a fan of animes that incorporate ninjas, martial arts, sword fighting with a comedy/action/romance theme, Kataranagi is a really good watch.

Grade: A+ (waiting for next set just to see episode 7, so fighting all urges to watch it)

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.