Moving on with Blade of the Immortal, and the biggest confrontation of the series thus far.

Title: Blade of the Immortal Volume 4: On Silent Wings
Written & Illustrated by Hiroaki Samura
Translated by Dana Lewis & Toren Smith
Published by Kodansha (Japan) and Dark Horse Comics (USA)
Published on August 1999

Available from Amazon.com

The Premise

Manji is trying to train Rin in swordfighting at her request. However, she is not doing well and is feeling disillusioned. However, things change when she encounters Anotsu Kagehisa, the man who had her father killed, and finally confronts him for the first time.

High Points

The confrontation between Rin & Anotsu is very tense, on par with the De Niro/Pacino confrontation in Heat.

Low Points

After the big scene between Rin & Anotsu, the start of the next arc feels a little anti-climactic by comparison, not very anti-climactic, just a little.

Scores

Originality: The confrontation between Rin & Anotsu as executed here is something I haven’t seen before – emotionally it’s as tense as the confrontation in Heat, but contextually it’s very different. 4/6

Story: The plot in this volume is relatively simple, and more focused on character interaction, but it provides a lot of really good character development. 5/6

Artwork: Still very, very good. 5/6

Characterization: Anotsu’s ultimate goal is pretty much fleshed out here, and the challenge to Rin’s motivation is well done, and is probably the best use of the “not so different” challenge I’ve seen. 5/6

Emotional Response: This volume is incredibly tense, and it achieves this without combat. 5/6

Flow: 6/6

Overall: With this volume, I’m interested to see how her meeting with Anotsu effects her and her search for vengeance from here. 4/6

In total, Blade of the Immortal, Volume 4, gets 34/42.