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Kyotoryuu, is the legendary fencing school. However, instead of a sword, it uses one's hands and legs as weapons. Shichika and his sister Nanami are the sole remaining descendants of the Yasuri household. One day, at the request of Togame, a female strategian from the shogunate, Shichika leaves his isolated island home of Fushou on a quest across Edo-era Japan, in search of Shikizaki Kiki's twelve perfected deviant blades.Written by
I hate Katanagatari, I hate it so much that I cannot describe how I hate it. I guess that it is time to stop reading synopses, because it never helps you and makes you decide the fate of the anime that you are about to watch beforehand. Katanagatari is one of these horrible examples: it shows you its synopsis, makes you think that it is generic and dull, and then it proves you that it is one of the most epic adventures that you will ever see in your life. When you see it, you will be surprised how masterfully Katanagatari reworks all clichés making it a very unique and unusual fable.
I am sure that all fans of Ninja Scroll, Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai Champloo, and Bakemonogatari will find many things to love in Katanagatari. For those who are familiar with Rurouni Kenshin, Katanagatari is its twenty-first century equivalent, but it focuses more on the dialogues than on anything else. Of course, it does not mean that Katanagatari has no action, it has it and it is so beautiful and elegant that no words will describe it. However, if you are a fan of Bakemonogatari it will already give you a guarantee that you will like it, but if you still have not seen Bakemonogatari, Ninja Scroll, Rurouni Kenshin, or Samurai Champloo yet, do not be afraid to give Katanagatari a try.
So, without further ado, the story of Katanagatari tells us a story of a powerful martial artist Shichika and a self-proclaimed genius strategist Togame. The two should collect twelve unique swords, known as the "Deviant Blades," for the shogunate. But all these blades that the shogunate seeks to obtain already have their owners, which means that Shichika will have to obtain these swords by force. Everything seems to be easy; however, our heroes will have to overcome many hardships and the most important part of that will be the fact that there are thirteen swords. What hardships are waiting our heroes and what truth hides behind the thirteenth ultimate Completed Deviant Blade? That is the question that you will have to answer.
Without a doubt, the story of Katanagatari is not flawless. But the only obvious flaw of this anime is that you should be very attentive and you should put up with all these dialogues. That is the only problem of this anime; I cannot even call it a problem, to be honest. Of course, if you try to marathon Katanagatari in one day, you will not like it. But I would not even call it a problem, watch it little by little and you will surely enjoy it. I mean, the final episode will amaze you. It is worth it!
The weirdest thing about this anime is its animation. Saying that the animation is unusual will be the same as saying absolutely nothing. All characters look a bit cartoonish; however, at the same time, you understand that it is actually beautiful and you like it. Perhaps, the only two things that will stay in your mind about this anime are its ending and animation.
The OST is definitely memorable. With every episode we see new ED themes; however, I cannot say that they are memorable. The background music; however, is very appropriate to the Edo period depicted. You might even find something new for your collection. And of course the best part about sound is all that tremendous work that the voice actors invested in this anime. They did one hell of a job and because of that their characters are very enjoyable to follow.
The cast of this series is another reason for you to watch Katanagatari. At first, all characters look familiar and you have a feeling that you have already seen them somewhere. I would say that this feeling might be annoying for one, but after some time, you understand the uniqueness of all characters. I think that the fact that Katanagatari reworks all clichés making itself interesting and unique is very commendable. And it was possible thanks to the talent of the person that created this anime. Hopefully, there will be more anime that will be able to do so.
Anyway, Katanagatari's cast consists of: main characters, Shichika and Togame, villains, and supporting characters. While the main characters and the villains receive enough development and are very interesting to follow, the supporting characters; however, leave much to be desired. I cannot criticize them that they are weak, but I think that they should have made them more interesting to follow. Yet, the main heroes and the villains compensate well the supporting characters, so I hope that it should not be a problem for you.
The main heroes of this anime are Shichika and Togame. Togame represent the brain of the duo, while Shichika represent more a blunt strength than anything else. Togame constantly rants about things and tries to change Shichika and Shichika tries to follow his new companion's orders. For those who have already seen Spice and Wolf, the duo presented in Katanagatari is very similar to what you have already seen in Spice and Wolf. The only difference; however, will be the fact that Shichika undergoes more development than Lawrence. I cannot say that I am a fan of romance; sometimes it becomes boring a way too fast. Shichika and Togame; however, are more a comedy duo than lovers. But at the same time, the chemistry between them is amazing. It is never annoying and it only makes you worry about them more and more. After some time, you just understand that if something bad happens to them, you will be in one big depression.
The villains of this anime are another thing, which is worth mentioning. They are, mostly, the wielders of the "Deviant Blades." Either bad guys that only seek for power to achieve their goals, or people corrupted by the power of their swords that have lost their purport of life; the villains of this series are definitely splendid. But, as I have already mentioned, the supporting characters are just bad. I believe that they should have paid more attention to that part, which is, in my opinion, very important.
All in all, I give this anime a very-very-very weak ten out of ten. This series is able to surprise its viewer, it has many aces in its sleeve, hence ten of ten. Of course, there are flaws and you will surely find things that you would like to change. Katanagatari does not deserve the title "the best," but it does deserve the title of "one of the best." For those who like very unusual series (Samurai Champloo), epic journeys (Spice and Wolf), do not hesitate to give Katanagatari a try. However, I am insisting on the fact that you should not marathon it. Of course, if you are a fan of Nisio Isin, or just a hardcore anime fan, you can marathon it, if not, I would not recommend you to do that.
I hope that you will like Katanagatari!
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