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Blade of the Immortal
Author/Artist Hiroaki Samura
Well, what can I say. 3000, let alone 300, is barely enough words to do this brilliant manga fair coverage. I'll begin with the art, which is the first thing that strikes you when you read Blade of the Immortal.
The artwork is nothing short of stunning. Samura brings scenes to life with his unique sketch style and you will often find yourself staring at one page for awhile as you absorb all the intricate detail. The fight scenes depict a fair amount of gore but I couldn't imagine BOTI without it. The fights themselves could possibly hold the answer to the 'Samurai V Mecha' debate with the characters ingenious sword techniques and cunning maneuvers.
So what of the story? Although the title suggests the story revolves around the immortal protagonist, Manji, it is through Rin, a young woman who Manji agrees to protect, which the story focusses upon. The theme is of revenge. With the aid of her bodyguard, Rin seeks to avenge the murder of her parents at the hands of a rival sword school. At ten graphic novels the story continues to run strong and only now are we beginning to see several plots emerge along with the main story. Blade of the Immortal Samura skilfully manages to make even the most minor character deep and realistic to the extent that each appears to be a vibrant thread of the complex tapestry that is BOTI.
BOTI has managed to convert several of my friends who were firmly opposed to manga, such is its brilliance and the waiting list to read the latest graphic novel (I buy them as soon as they are available here) rivals that of the NHS'.
I used to believe that there was no such thing as a '10/10' score, but BOTI is worthy of the highest score