Katanagatari Volume 1 ReviewJason Leyanna
There are twelve extraordinary katanas in existence, dubbed "Klesha Bringers", that are the last of an enormous collection of 1,000 katanas forged by Shikizaki Kiki. Togame, the self-proclaimed "Director of Defense" and strategist, is in search of these final katanas.
Yasuri Shichika and his sister, Nanami, live all alone on Fusho Island. The brother and sister duo are left somewhat sheltered, having been secluded on this island. They meet with Togame as she unexpectedly appears on their island. Togame convinces Yasuri to come with her and collect the 12 katanas for her. Yasuri must defeat the enemies, for Togame, that posess the final katanas. Yasuri is experienced in the art of Kyoto Ryu, a weaponless fighting style. He esentially 'becomes the sword' and takes on opponents who wield a sword. At times Yasuri seems oblivious to common sense except when it comes to his fighting style.
Yasuri is bound to Togame by love but doesn't initially know what that entails. Yasuri will stop at nothing when fighting to obtain the Klesha Bringers, even if it's solely for Togame and for no reason of his own. He would esentially do anything for her.
Togame advises Yasuri of the strategies, and Yasuri fights the battles unarmed against the enemies. Yasuri must fight the twelve Shadows of Maniwa Ningun to obtain the katanas that Togame yearns for. Each of the twelve katanas have their own special properties.
The series moves at a slow pace and has a lot of story development scenes. It is light on action and more on progressing the story. In the second half of this collection the series gets more interesting and tends to have more fights per episode, which I favor. The last episode leaves a couple big cliff hangers, tempting you into the next volume of the series.
The film retains the original Japanese dialogue with English subtitles. The film lacks dubbing or a presence of a menu screen. The premium edition includes both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the anime in addition to an illustrated art book detailing the characters. Whether you have a high-definition TV and a Blu-ray player or a standard TV and DVD player, this set will do.
The art is of high quality and brings the characters to life. The main theme music was enjoyable and easy on the ears. I was finally drawn into the series after the second disc, but it was a little slow going at first as I'm more used to action-packed series. The series also contains its fair share of humorous moments that lighten the mood. I loved the sections where Togame says, "Cherio!" and hits Yasuri on the shoulder. She mistakenly exlaims "Cherio" when she has confused it for another word because she doesn't mean to say "GoodBye." If you can get by the more drawn-out sections that are devoid of action, you may find the series appealing. The story got better as it went along and I figured out more what was going on. Now that it's over, I'm intrigued at what the next volume will reveal about the protagonists.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.