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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2017: Blade of the Immortal

A young woman recruits the help of a samurai who can't die, in order to get revenge for his father's death in Blade of the Immortal. One night, the father of Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki) is challenged and killed by the Itto-ryu lead by Anotsu Kagehisa (Sôta Fukushi). Now on her own, Rin seeks the help of Manji (Takuya Kimura), a samurai who is cursed with immortality. Working as Rin's bodyguard, Manji challenges the members of Itto-ryu one by one until they work their way up to Anotsu.

Blade of the Immortal is the 100th feature film from director Takashi Miike. Returning with similar period style of his 2010 hit 13 Assassins, Miike tells the story of Manji, a disgraced samurai, who is near death after killing off a group of bounty hunters that killed his younger sister Machi. However, a mysterious crone named Yaobikuni (Yôko Yamamoto) infuses Manji with blood worms, who heal any woulds inflicted on him. Fifty years later, Manji agrees to help with Rin's quest for revenge, particularly since she bears a great resemblance to Machi. What follows is a series of bloody battles working up to Anotsu.

Takashi Miike returns to familiar territory for his 100th film, with Blade of the Immortal delivering on the violent action Miike is known for. In fact, the fact the protagonist of Manji cannot die results in some ultraviolent sight gags, as he is essentially cut to pieces, yet still keeps on coming. While the plot of Blade of the Immortal is a bit on the formulaic side, moving from one fight to another, I cannot say that the film wasn't an entertaining addition to Takashi Miike's filmography.

8 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).