I’ve finally gotten my Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology – Health Informatics, which means I now have more time to write for the site… while I look for work.

Anyway, in Blade of the Immortal, Rin and Manji’s pursuit of Kagehisa and the Itto-Ryu is now going to take them into one of their more dangerous challenges yet.

Title: Blade of the Immortal, Volume 8
Story and Art by Hiroaki Samura
Translated by Dana Lewis & Toren Smith
Lettering and Retouching by Tomoko Saito

Available from Amazon.com.

The Premise

Rin and Manji”s pursuit of Anotsu Kagehisa will require them to leave Kyoto – and with that they must also get past the Shogunate’s checkpoints, while also being wanted for the murders committed by agents of the Shogunate in their own pursuit of Kagehisa. Further, Rin has decided that she’s going to try to get through the checkpoint on her own – this leaves Manji to decide whether he’ll leave Rin to take on Kagehisa alone, or to assault the checkpoint.

High Points

This is Rin’s biggest independant sequence of the series, and really shows how she’s grown as a characters since her parents were murdered & she met Manji – she’s still not sure if she wants to (or can, if she finds him) kill Kagehisa. However, she’s willing to risk death – the fate of any woman who illegally goes through a checkpoint and is caught – to find him.

Low Points

Keeping the high point in mind, Rin’s decision is pretty stupid. Travelling alone as a woman, in any feudal period (much less feudal Japan), is already really dangerous even when you aren’t trying to illegally get out of Kyoto, while wanted by members of the Itto-Ryu and by the Shogunate.

The Scores

Originality: 5/6
Artwork: 6/6
Story: This volume is a very slow burn, setting up a payoff that will likely be next volume. 4/6
Emotional Response: The tension of Rin’s decision and the difficulty of the challenge ahead is somewhat tempered by the low point. 4/6
Characterization: 5/6
Flow: 6/6
Overall: 5/6

In total, Blade of the Immortal, Volume 8, gets 35 out of 42.