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Witchblade Vol. 5
Seb
Author: Seb Reid

Seb has been an anime fan since the late 90s and is particularly fond of anything post-apocalyptic, amusing, catgirly, ecchi or containing exquisite aerial battles. Living in Leeds with his cats and living up the bachelor life, Seb enjoys whiling the nights away deep in a book, game or a damn good series. 

Witchblade Vol. 5

Distributor
MVM
Certificate
15
Price
£14.99 RRP
Date
07 Nov 2008

The problem with having an addictive personality is that you cannot “dabble”. I start watching the beginning of a series, and I find myself up to 13 hours later enjoying the end. It is because of this little personality trait that I have been waiting until one of those rare afternoons off to dig into my favourite mother/daughter combo...

... That just sounds wrong.

The mother theme has become more and more pronounced as the series has progressed. The newest revelation is that the almost psychotic behaviour of the “Father” is due to the complete contempt and hatred of his own mother, who hated her son for a genetic deficiency that kept him from procreating. Thusly the Neogenes, those genetically engineered super-women were created with the aim that one could give birth to a new him. God only knows how that would work...

Now, what if the people you created found out that the only reason that they exist is so that a single old man can have what they have been denied all along? (And did anyone think of telling this chap that babies can be made naturally without those little tadpoles? Idiot.) At this point I’ll stop getting angry at the internal logic and obvious plot holes. Instead I can rub my hands together with the anticipation of bloodshed and needless female versus female violence and the knowledge that a dirty old man will get what he deserves.

Next...

The other developments within this volume are a little harder to put into words due to the sheer rapidity in which they develop. At the end of the previous volume it became evident that even the original Witchblade will succumb to the crystallisation that killed the Neogene cloneblade bearers. This information is not lost on Masanewho, after discovering that she is one step closer to death every time she uses the Witchblade, decides to use the time she has left with her daughter while getting Rihoko’s biological father involved in her upbringing. By getting involved I mean she deposited a small child in the hands of a slightly naieve man with little or no idea of how to care for children. Not exactly the way things are done but hell, it’s how I got along with my father when I was growing up!

While providing some hardcore plot progression the series has not lost any of it's ability to skillfiully mix both serious and lighter moments, especially with Masane and Rihoko - as well as the almost comical relationship between Masane and Takayama. Those two are now closer than ever thanks to the impending doom of the Witchblade. The closeness of the bond between mother and daughter is brought to light when Rihoko finds out exactly what mummy is and how she earns her money. Rihoko’s reaction is quite frankly where I just want to break down and sniffle and one of the reasons why I enjoy this series so much, because there is none of the fear that you would expect from someone who has just been attacked by a monster and saved by another monster, instead there is only love.

I am such a softie for situations like these.

Unfortunately this is where I have to start getting negative. As much as I

Unfortunately this is where I have to start getting negative. As much as i love the series, the more I see the more flaws with the plot i witness. I am seeing the plot holes, the unnecessary twists which frankly don’t add much to the overall story and, as much as it pains me to say this, the voice acting is beginning to wear on me. As the end of the series nears and the heat is turned up a series of notches the actors take it upon themselves to over exaggerate the emotion. It frankly sounds phoney and unfortunately this occurs with the two completely separate sets of voice actors in both languages. It may only be a little flaw, but it frustrates me greatly at times.

All this aside, I do have the utmost respect and admiration for the artist who designed the new and improved Masane. Wow is all I have to say.

After all this it is important to remember that this is the penultimate volume. Not only is there so much yet to be revealed story wise but there are only four episodes in which to fit all of this in, including what is likely to be, a heartbreaking ending. Fun times ahead!

 


Extras:

Part 3 of the Forging the Witchblade documentary about the US graphic novel series and some interviews with the japanese cast. Oddly amusing!


8
A little rushed, but still good...
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