Katanagatari Review

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It’s not often that you come across something that defies the norm and takes storytelling to a whole new artistic level. Katanagatari (Sword Story), while left me confused as to my feelings of the ending, was a classic that no one should overlook.

The story follows a strategist named Togame who enlists the help of a human weapon to seek out the 12 weapons crafted to wield unimaginable power to its bearer. Shichika Yasuri was the human weapon. He was molded by his dad to be a blade without blades. Able to cut with his hand, sharper than a blade. Able to pound down a target with more force than a mallet.

katanagatari1When Togame discovers Shichika, it’s obvious that his being secluded to an island his entire life left him with little knowledge of the outside world. His strength is immeasurable, but his smarts are not. Being the strategist she is, this is the perfect weapon Togame needs. Using her odd charm, she attempts to seduce him into following her to collect the blades, knowing full well he wouldn’t wield them and become corrupted.

It’s an odd pair, a strategist who is physically weak but brilliant in strategy and a human weapon who knows nothing of the outside world. It’s a combination that leads to some really funny interaction while at the same time allows for explanation of the world around them.
The animation throughout the show was hard to accept at first, but quickly turned into an unique beautiful art style. At times breathtaking, or at times simple stylish. This was complimented even better as the action picked up. Aside from the occasional repeating speed attacks, the overall animation for the fights were great.

Mixing that animation style with the sound track made for a great environment. While at times the music felt odd, it still gave it a unique and awesome environment for each situation. When you got used to it, it became a great soundtrack. Though something you probably wouldn’t be caught listening to in your car.

katanagatari2My only real beefs with this series was a few overly spoken conversations. This series loves its dialog, and in most cases it contains a lot of story, build, and humor to back it up. However for some this may be a turn off. The series also manages to be very brutal at times, often surprising you when you become comfortable.

This could also be more shocking to some than others as there are a few overly violent moments. Also be aware that there is quite a bit of fan service by Togame. While it doesn’t show anything, it does get quite close sometimes. Even to have her naked with conveniently placed strands of hair to cover certain areas.. This was unneeded and uncomfortable at times, but skippable and rare.

Overall I very much enjoyed this series. A great show for anyone that is a fan of artistic, Edo era sword play and tons of laughs. The series is a 12 episode show but aired in one hour episodes. Giving it plenty of span even if in the end you may want to crave more.

Following the ratings I will do a spoiler review. Only read it if you don’t mind endings revealed, or have already seen it.

VERDICT: 4 / 5

Pros:

  • Beautiful and artistic animation
  • Great story
  • Thought provoking and twisted ending

Cons:

  • A few uncomfortable seduction scenes
  • Some drawn out moments
  • Short considering

 

Spoiler Review:
The next page of my review is a spoiler filled afterthoughts. This is for those that don’t care to be spoiled, or have already watched it and want to “geek out” with me.

Click here to read on to spoiler review.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.