Katanagatari ~ Ep. 1 ~ Well, action lovers, this review is not for you.

FINALLY GOT THIS DONE!

Of course, I’m not going to say I was thoroughly impressed with this first episode because I was expecting at least some more action but I like it all the same. The problem with the large amount of talking is really a trivial thing.

That is, after I watched the subs. Before that, it was just catching small phrases of what little Japanese I could understand and the rest was “NEED TRANSLATIONS!!!” lol XD;

Anyways, I’ll just clear this away before delving into the review. Katanagatari is obviously not everyone’s cup of tea. I get that.

If you happened to like it enough to want to continue, then that’s awesome. Please share with me your thoughts. Otherwise, please refrain from overly negative comments or just take them elsewhere. This is sort of a discussion review. I honestly don’t want to have to edit or delete comments for non-constructive remarks.

This is also my own critical analysis but in no way am I a critic nor do I want to be so don’t chew me out over my own thoughts. Capische?

Right, then onto the topic… (some overall impressions first, scroll down for the episode review)


Plot-wise, yea, it’s looking mediocre (maybe a little above average since it’s a NisiOisiN work) and probably going to stay at that level for the most part. There have been many legendary sword stories before this one and there will be more after. Katanagatari is not likely to stick out. But hey, it’s still got a workable plot, doesn’t it? So there’s one positive point.

Setbacks, however:

Talking overboard, are we? Like I’m one to say anything. :P – Biggest one, enough to turn a lot of people off and away if this keeps up. As expected of the person who authored the recently animated masterpiece, Bakemonogatari, he applies heavy dialogue here as well. I’d say about 40-45 minutes was dedicated to explaining the setting, the swords, the whatchamawhozzits, Koumori cackling like a newborn hybrid between a bat and a hyena and whatever else I missed.

Ok, so I don’t know if or what caused NisiOisiN to catch samurai fever but his wordy approach to this series is a strange as it is non-conventional, if I may use that term. When you say “swordsmen” and “ancient Japan”, I obviously think of “samurai”, which leads to Rurouni Kenshin sharp long shinehs~, badass moves, slicing concrete like clean-cutting a cake, bloody massacres, and so on. Not really…so much talking. ^^;

Personally, I don’t mind it all. In fact, I’m actually loving it. A few things are little excessive, the characters’ lines and interactions are a bit duller than what we’ve heard and seen in Bakemono therefore making everything sound like a quick-speed drone but…

It gets the information through. Don’t know about any of you guys but I like having things explained in full detail or I’ll be so confused and start obsessively searching for spoilers that it almost drives me insane. And I still haven’t gotten everything settled down in my head yet even though I rewatched the subs a couple of times already so it helps. Especially since it’s one novel per episode which is a LOT of information to cover already. Just speaking for myself, though.

Again, I was expecting better on the fights but I can still accept what’s being delivered. There were a lot of people who anticipated that the anime was going to be better than the novels but eh… I don’t disagree, I’ll tell you that, but it’s hard to say at this point (mostly cuz I haven’t read them myself yet). I have a good feeling it will get better, though, despite the weak start.

And as far as pacing go, the month-long interval between the episodes and “sword-of-the-month” formula doesn’t bother me at all. Then again, if you’re like me who’s sat through a couple of mahou shoujos and doesn’t care so much about waiting, then this is nothing. :P


Music was just awesome. Just. Simply. AWESOME. xDDD Well, duh, it is Taku Iwasaki, after all, so what’d you expect? Gawd, still can’t get over how awesome his compositions for TTGL are. One of the best recent composers I’ve come across so far. <333

I absolutely love how immediately they jump into that chorus track we've been hearing in the trailers and that other one with the old man singing in the background that played during Shichika's beat-down on Koumori (haha, I'm still waiting for the rap to kick in cuz I love the rap elements of his music, too XD). It's contemporary, there's some jazz mixed in with his take on traditional Japanese music and all that is right up my alley. AWESOME. I’ve got nothing more to add other than I can’t wait for the OST to come out. x3!


Animation is satisfactory. The strongest point about this series seems to go to the unique art style and as much as I hate to admit it, I think what Kiseki said to me a while back is true. Katanagatari is going to be remembered for aesthetics more than anything else but that I can live with. Not everything can be equally on par with each other in an anime adaptation, which happens more often than we would like, and I’m just glad that the other aspects of this show is managing to keep up okay with this category. In other words, everything’s pretty good, I’ve seen worse, end of story. \P

As far as the studio goes, I am glad it’s not SHAFT who took up this project. Sure, after Bakemono, I thought that SHAFT was the only studio that was able to do justice to NisiOisiN’s works and missed their weird manners of doing things but Katanagatari is not really compatible with SHAFT at all. The script-screen stills, maybe, but everything else? No.

For one thing, Katanagatari is an adventure story so it’s odd for me to picture SHAFT being able to execute it right. ^^;
For another, it’s just keeping true to the character designs which White Fox did a great job on. I love the vivid colors, the strange attire and how simply noodle-like the people look and it wouldn’t be the same if things were not drawn with the original artwork in mind. Then again, SHAFT might be able to pull it off with one of his other works, Zaregoto or Zerozaki, since they were illustrated by the same person who designed for Katanagatari and seem to be more suitable to SHAFT’s, er, tastes? *shrug*

White Fox, itself, isn’t really bad so far but they are not excellent either (they’re relatively new so cut them some slack). This is their second major animation production, I think, with the first being Tears to Tiara that was also “meh” from what I’ve heard. It’s hard for me to be enthusiastic about how they’ll do the rest of the series since I don’t have any familiarity with them so I can only hope for the best for now. And this is an anime where it’s really up to the audience to decide whether it will be good or not. White Fox is only doing it’s job in adapting it so yea, that makes it more difficult to tell. :/

Finally…


Seiyuu. Pretty good cast but I’ve yet to hear something that will impress me so it all depends on the script. I’m not worried and pretty hopeful, though. Even if there the dialogue is going to be dominant for the most part, the seiyuus almost never disappoint me (cuz I love all of them so much~ <3) so this is safe in my book. ^^

Alright, now onto the real review!


WARNING! – Enormous amount of screencaps ahead I even had to delete a few and maybe some more lengthy yabbering from me. lol, I should be handing out bags of cookies to anyone who read this whole thing through. Now THIS is a real Xiao post, peoples! XD;


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


OP: “Meiya Kadenrou (冥夜花伝廊)” by Minami Kuribayashi






Well, the OP was leaked like four weeks ago so there hasn’t been any new changes. The visuals are nonetheless still awesome and lovely. Some characters who are introduced in later novels are also shown but nothing spoilerific or anything. Yea, it’s basically going to revolve around Shichika and Togame’s journey for the most part. That’s nice~

On the song, I love it. I don’t love it so much that I want to listen to it every five minutes but I definitely want it on my iPod.

Anyways… Minami Kuribayashi, known for her theme song involvement in My-HiME, School Days and other titles including last season’s Kampfer (*shudder*), did a nice job for the song. I’ve sampled some of her other songs but “Sympathizer” (the opening for Kurokami) is probably the only one I’ve listened to the full version for. They’re all very…well, what else can you call it but typical pop songs? :P

Tbh, I wanted something more less closer to pop or at least, something that didn’t sound so blatantly pop for the OP but this is alright, too. The arrangement isn’t anything so impressive but it’s alright. Lyrics I haven’t gotten around to looking into yet but judging from the translations, it’s nothing that special.


ED: “”Tasogare no Getsuka” by Yousei Teikoku



And we only got this screen for the entire ED so needless to say, I got bored halfway and skipped right to the preview.

The start-up of the song was nice though before it went into some Ali Project-mode and got all gothic-tuned. Not surprising since Yousei Teikoku (cool name, btw) centers around the gothic rock genre but I just don’t find it fitting for this show, much less this one-picture ED. At least they could’ve given us more scenes or something to match the melody. *sigh*

Anyways, according to ANN’s page, it’s labeled ED #1 or something. I don’t know if that means we will get more different EDs later on or what but I’m all for it if it’s true. Otherwise, I’ll just keep skipping this.


Thoughts


Alright, so right away, they give us a glimpse of the past with your typical castle on fire kinda deal. Hida Takahito, leader of this failed rebellion, has nowhere to run as his followers are defeated one after the other and comes face-to-face with the man who was sent to kill him, the head of of the Kyoutouryuu (Swordless Style).

He makes one final stance but it’s in vain as his head gets chopped off with one swipe of the hand from his enemy.

Somewhere close by, a young girl watches this scene as it takes place and her eye changes to something like this (I don’t know how to describe it :S).

Then BAM! wake up call to the present where someone is heading to the island where the hero of the rebellion was exiled.

Cue wonderful narration from Masako Ikeda who I remember most for voicing Maetel of Galaxy Expresss 999 (I watched this while I was at NYAF last year and it’s an old and very long but overall good anime nonetheless). I thought she sounded really familiar so went to go check out her profile and wasn’t that surprised to see she’s done some narration for other shows as well (one of which I’ve already finished watching some time ago, CLAMP school, hehe).

She’s just got that voice that really fits the mood for narration. I don’t want to describe it as old but um… I guess, experienced and rusty in a good way? I dunno but I couldn’t be happier to hear her again. ^^

Alright, moving along, here’s Yasuri Shichika, son of said exiled hero and the current head of the Kyoutou style. Since the anime never made it clear what his age is, he’s 24. So 20 years ago, after the rebellion was put down, he went into exile with his father and sister at the age of 4. Glad that Wiki brought up a Katanagatari page cuz I was wondering how the heck did his dad have two children if he got sent to an uninhabited island, lol. xD;

Anyways, as I was watching this over and over, I grew to like Shichika a lot but that itself doesn’t surprise me. I already knew I was going to like him a lot. Sure, he seems a bit generic for a protagonist and what skill he’s demonstrated so far isn’t enough to wow anyone but I am not one to draw a final impression on first impressions, which is common a lot these days (or at least in a few random handful of fans I come across). If they don’t find anything interesting about the main character (with lots of potential for development, I must add) at initial glance , then they just drop him/her altogether… and that’s so darn shallow. That’s probably why I don’t buy the excuse in main character bias because being the lead role has nothing to do with what you like about the character.

Hmm, I guess that’s why I feel like I need to make up for the lack of love if it’s based on this kind of reasoning but ahhh, I’m going off track.

So, Shichika is an accomplished (swordless) swordsmen in his own right but since he’s lived on that island for his entire life, he’s never gotten a chance to experience a real battle. On top of that, he has no interest of leaving his home, has a habit of saying “what a hassle” and is bad at thinking.

OMGYAY! I’m happy that NisiOisiN gave him a good flaw (two if you count the fact that he complains slightly from time to time which is perfectly normal). While others may be annoyed by this and even call him stupid, I just won’t agree to that. “Bad at thinking” and “stupid” are different in which the former is where you’re aware of what you’re bad at and the latter where you haven’t got a clue at what you’re doing wrong. There, is that clear enough?

Obviously, there is also always room for improvement which was evident at the end of the episode. And though I doubt it’ll be anything that drastic, big or major (because Shichika seems to be content on just being himself), I’m confident that he will have had significant changes when this series is over so yea! Go Shichika! ^^

On his seiyuu, Yoshimasa Hosoya, he is quite new to the industry and this is his second big role he’s landed. Unfortunately, Shichika’s lines this ep didn’t give him much of a chance to go to his full potential but he plays Shichika’s personality really well. I especially like it when his voice matches Shichika’s expressions, including the clueless ones, the irritated ones and of course, the parts where he gets angry and starts going kickass! Woot! I think that was the highlight for me from Yoshimasa-san and can’t wait to hear more from him. In here and in future projects. ;Db

Now we move onto Shichika’s older sister (age unknown), Nanami, who is voiced by the renowned Mai Nakahara (Rena Ryuuguu from Higurashi, Nagisa from CLANNAD, etc). Mai-san’s role this time makes her sound more calm and mature than the cheery high school girls she voiced in other shows. At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked hearing her sounding so quiet and almost timid but after watching Nanami, I don’t think anyone could have done better. She’s got everything nailed in good as far as “responsible Onee-chan” personality goes so it’s good. ^^

Back to Nanami, she has some sort of illness and because of that, Shichika is always concerned about her health and telling her to let him do the hard chores so she doesn’t have to strain herself. Which often leads to slight bickering between them because Nanami doesn’t want him to be so over-considerate though that’s not really the case…it’s just them being family. Needless to say they have a good sibling relationship since they worry over each other which is what makes me like them even more since I myself never had a stable one with my own younger brother. :/
Nanami is also sharp0minded, quite a contrast to her little brother, and I loved it when she passively corrects his small mistakes here and there. It’s fun to watch. hehe

So anyways, one reason why Shichika does not want to leave the island is probably due to the fact that he feels the need to look after his sister since she can’t go with him due to her health and no one else will be able to do so if he does go. And that just makes me d’aww~. Shichika is such a good otouto. <D
Nanami, on the other hand, think there's no point to him continuing his training if he remains stuck here forever and wants him to go out into the world to experience a lot of new things as well as to put his skill to good use. It's not that she wants to kick him out or anything but I think she sees herself as a sort of burden that's holding him back so that's why. Which makes Nanami an equally awesome, supportive big sis. D'aww~…

Going onto their dad who died a year ago (the 6th head Yasuri Mutsue), he was the hero responsible for subduing the rebellion as well as executing Hida Takahito. We never got to see his face but it’s safe to assume that he was that much of a powerful man. So powerful that even the Shogunate he was working for feared him enough to exile him. According to Shichika, he also seems like the type to cut down on any trespassers to the island, regardless of the reason. ^^;

His dad is also another reason why Shichika is unwilling to leave, or at least his obligation as the successor of the Kyotou style anyways. It’s clear that Shichika holds his father in high regard since he stated that he wants to cherish the Kyoutu style because that was the only thing he inherited from him (and he even gets really pissed when the house his dad made was wrecked by shuriken so yea).

Hmm, while this is quite common in a lot of traditional families of various cultures alike, I always like seeing this kind of respect towards one’s parents (due to my upbringing) so my respect for Shichika rose quite a lot when I heard him say it. See? There’s something to like him for. Unless you don’t care about stuff like then I’ll just dislike you. :P

Moving along, Shichika went to get out water but surprise, surprise, he finds a girl drinking from the spring and my, isn’t my gif so purdy~? lol, I wish I had the magical chime music to go with the semi-dramatic bishoujo turn of the head. It made me laugh even harder because Shichika was all “…first time seeing another human being who’s not Dad or Sis” and just barely curious about her and the katana she was carrying, which is strictly not allowed on the island. I swear, I thought he was checking her out when the camera lowered down a bit but nah, he was just looking at that sword. xD

But she’s definitely checking him out. lolol xDDDD

Well, here’s the general director of the Shogunate’s army as well as his “strategian”, Togame. She came to the island cuz she has some business with the Kyoutouryuu head but since Mutsue died, it’s transferred to Shichika instead. Before she gets down to the talks though, she pulls out her sword to test the Kyoutouryuu and charges.

But it turns out she’s a clutz at sword skills since that’s not her forte and has very bad coordination.

Aww god, this was just too hilarious for me not to make a gif out of. XDD;;;

Anyways, as far as voice acting goes, I’ve heard Yukari Tamura do a lot of different manners of speeches so hearing her speak what I call “imperial court talk”, it doesn’t sound like anything new but still fun and awesome to hear her voice it out. I swear, if Yukarin hasn’t been crowned a veteran yet then do it soon. Yukarin is so awesome~ (and wow, it’s not a loli this time, either, haha xD; ).

…So. CUTE! xDD

I don’t even mind it much that they could’ve just did it the common sense way and had Shichika carry her in his arms on the way back (since he seems strong enough) because zomg, this is so cute! x333

Well, we learn some interesting things about the Kyoutou style from Togame herself (strangely enough) and turns out that only the 1st and 6th head had ever used it openly so the rest of the time, it remains mostly unknown. Feared as the “deadliest” sword technique of all but mostly unknown.

She also starts the questioning if Shichika wants to rule the world or if he knows the famous swordsmith, Shichizaki Kiki, to which he answers “no” and lulz ensues because it takes her a full 3 or 5 sentences before she realizes “WHAT?! You don’t?!”. xD;

Shichika and Nanami doesn’t understand all her complicated jabber though since they were raised isolated from the outside world so she’ll have to adjust to something simpler. Also, since Kyoutou style is inherited by blood, all members of the Yasuri family are required to be present for talks and since Shichika is bad at thinking, Nanami has to stay around to act as explainer in case he gets confused.

Ah, what a hassle indeed. lol xD

On Shichizaki Kiki, whose swords were quite the big deal during the Sengoku period, he had forged 12 specifically unique swords (of which he had 988 prototypes for, yikes) and it’s rumored that if you managed to acquire one of them, it’s enough to wipe out an entire army. Getting them all, you will be able to rule the world cuz nothing can stand in your way due to the power of those swords (not going to list them but they all look cool~).

Apparently there’s some basis to all these myths about them and that’s why the Shogunates were so crazy to get their hands on the swords.

Which is why Togame came to the island to issue a command to the Kyoutouryuu’s head on behalf of the current Shogunate (Owari) to help them find those swords. Reason being the problem of the previous rebellion (and it’s notable to mention that Togame loses a bit of composure when this is brought up which makes her suspicious~, but cutely so ^^). If the swords fell into rebel hands, there’s a high chance of revolt so they can’t let that happen.

Togame says that they have already located 6 of the swords.

And oooohhhh, someone’s eavesdropping on their conversation~…

As to why the Shogunate can’t just confront the owners of the swords, it’s because he wanted to do it “skillfully” which is why Togame, the strategian, is here. Oh boy… ^^;

The siblings are wondering if this is some sort of new post that has been established over the past 20 years but no, it’s just Togame being eccentric and coming up the title for herself based on her own slightly twisted logic. I love their reactions to it…

LOL xDD;;;

What Shichika doesn’t get is that she didn’t need to come all the way out here just to ask him to seek out the swords but it turns out Togame had reasons for that, too.

1) Can’t trust people who will work for money.
2) Can’t trust swordsmen either.

Explanation to reason #1. The ninja army that was dispatched to collect the swords managed to pick up one of them and after that, took their whole family and village and disappeared. Just by having one sword, they can sell it off for a large amount of anything (even buying a country). So yea, ninjas can’t be trusted.

They still look cool, though. :3

Explanation to reason #2. A swordsman who works for honor would seem to be the ideal person to trust on this mission, right? Since he’d do the honorable thing and not betray his master. Wrong. Despite sending out their most loyal, strongest and honorable swordsman, Sabi Hakuhei (whose character design I’m loving much I almost thought he was a girl |D;), to get the sword they thought would be hardest to obtain (Hakutou Hari), he found it in a short amount of time and disappeared right after.

And it’s all because he couldn’t resist the poison of owning the shiny~ sword. Or rather, he couldn’t resist the swordsmen honor of owning one of Shichizaki’s shiny~ swords.

…Ok, I thought that was a bit far-fetched cuz I never heard of such as thing as swordsmen honor over owning a sword before. I don’t know if I can even call it honor since it sounds like downright greediness to me but then again, I’m not a swordsmen so I wouldn’t know. *shrug* If anyone can clarify the truth of this, please explain it to me because I think this is just NisiOisiN stretching the fanciness out for his novel. <D;

So all the above combined explains for why Togame seeked the Koutouryuu head out since he doesn’t fight with swords nor does he work for money. However, Shichika gives an expected response because hell, it’s scary to go up against ninjas and intimidating dudes with nuke katanas, but it’s even more of a hassle to just leave his home without so much of a reason for himself.

And here’s where Togame gets all confident because she’s prepared the one thing that can convince him to say yes after having been betrayed so many times in the past.

lol, Nanami is like “So you’ve been betrayed.” XD

So, money can’t do. Honor can’t do. But…

GEASS WOULD! *SHOT* |D; Ai! Love does!

I gotta applaud this girl because as “uhh…” and “you must be a little nuts up there” as that sounds, it still makes sense. Love will not betray you like desire for money or honor, which are material, would. So she tells Shichika to fall for her.

And more hilarious expressions follow…

xDDDD;;;

Too bad the awkward silent moment is cut short when shuriken fly out of nowhere but oh!

Nanami’s got a couple of skills up her own sleeves, too. AWESOME.

Haha, I loved this part. This is where one of the highlights of Yoshimasa’s voice got me all squealing with joy inside. How Shichika just shot off like that was so funny, too.

“FUZAKEN NA!!!”

Hehe, yes~, I’m going to be liking a lot of these yelling moments a lot more so keep them coming. x3

The one who threw those shuriken is a ninja from the Maniwa corps, the same group of ninjas who betrayed the Shogunate after getting one of the swords. They hate working in groups so there should only be one ninja that Shichika is chasing after.

Nanami is not worried and quite confident that Shichika won’t lose to a ninja but Togame is more concerned about how exactly did he follow her here since she hasn’t disclosed any information about where she’s going to anyone. That is, until Nanami narrowed it down to if Togame came the island alone and ohhhh…no, she didn’t. Boatman was with her, too. Ninja under the guise of a boatman.

But bad news! Ninja dude’s got a dangerous shineh~ with him! *gaspeth* D8

So ninja dude introduces himself as Koumori…Meido no Koumori. “Meido” as in “Hades”, not “maid” so yea…Maid Koumori of Hades. Ok, where are the cracktastic fanarts? Kaaaaaahhhhhh!!! xDDD

His goal was to get information on the location of the other swords from Togame so that’s why he tailed her to the island.

Anyway, his design is based off of a bat, I’m sure, but he’s got that annoying laugh of a hyena’s and on top of that, he’s like super arrogant. :P

I don’t dislike him, though. I see him as a bit of butt monkey without the abuse that’s supposed to hammer down at him from all sides and therefore, amusing to watch and poke fun at. *pokes Koumouri with a stick* 8D
His seiyuu, Chihiro Suzuki‘s done a notable number of roles but I’m not familiar with any of them except Chitose from Zombie Loans…who I forget. Who’s that again? xD;
Kudos to him doing a nice job for Koumori, though. Too bad he only lasted for one episode I think. ^^;

Haha, I love how Shichika is not really impressed with all these sudden “visitors” he’s never seen before. Instead, he’s wondering if all the people from the mainland talk this much. Yea, I can say I love Shichika now. lol xD

So Koumori decides that it’s about time he killed Shichika just because. No personal reason but just because he can’t have Shichika getting in the way. And he proceeds to bring out Zettou Kanna in possibly one of the most disgusting way I’ve seen a sword drawn…EVER. Ugh, eww! Gross! Dx

lol, perfect cure for that last one, Shichika is like “Dude, that is weird” and more puzzled about how Koumori could do that instead of the sword (which he doesn’t really want to take since it’s covered in drool, eww). XD

Turns out the reason why Koumori keeps it in his body is because it has such high value that keeping it in a regular scabbard will get it easily stolen. Yea, yea. Why don’t you just chain it to your waist or something. Looks like it takes quite some time to get that out of your system anyways. :P

And the fight proceeds…

Gotta say that even though it’s not a lot, what little action we get is still AWESOME and gah, did I say I love the music SFM? <3 Well, not enough! I friggin' LOVE the music! xDDDD

I also love how the Kyoutouryuu’s technique names revolve around the “dance” of some flower or another. Heh, lots of characters have flower/botanic/natured-based design so there’s that theme going on there.

But his last technique, Kyoutouryuu Chrysanthemum (second screencap down), which was supposed to snap the sword in half didn’t work. Turns out that Kanna’s strong point is its toughness and it’s almost impossible to break. Seems like Shichizaki Kiki dabbled in occult and alchemy while forging it, too, so that’s why it’s so resistant to breakage.

Koumouri points out that this also means Kyoutouryuu is useless against Kanna since Shichika’s move could not bend it.

And ohhh, that just pisses Shichika off. You don’t go and insult his daddy’s sword style and be left unscathed.

YAY for the pride of a swordsmen’s son! Shichika is cool~ x3

Ah, but attempting to really break Kanna in half might not be a good idea. ^^;

I really do love Togame’s clutzy moments. She’s all brains and no grace. lol xDD;;;

So yea, breaking Kanna is a no-no or Shogunate big shot will not like what’s going to be presented to him if it comes in pieces and Koumori sell it off.

Alright, I thought White Fox should have used a brain here and cut down a bit on Togame asking Shichika to perform a flashy move so she can turn this all into a bestseller. I mean, sure, it may not have worked out in NisiOisiN’s his name is f*ckin’ pain to spell novel but we could’ve have had a more interesting brawl between Shichika and Koumori before Koumori took of with Togame.


Argh, and all that pointless banter gave Koumori the chance to (still disgustingly) put Kanna away, blow up like an air balloon and shoot darts out of his mouth and kidnap Togame.

Major points lost for this, White Fox. Boring.

So now that Koumori has Togame, he goes on to mock her and reveals that the shuriken attack on Shichika’s house wasn’t intentional but her order for Shichika to fall for her was too embarrassing to listen to that he just spat it all out. <D;

And we get a cute embarrassed reaction this from Togame as well. Yea, Togame is moe~ when she blushes so I took every screencap of when she blushed this episode, I think. <3

Back to the main point, Koumori tells her he won't kill her yet since he's sure she knows the whereabouts of the other 6 swords as well. And rather than having her play hostage, he has a plan to kill Shichika by…

…(ugh, that is so freaky and disgusting Dx )…

…changing his form to Togame to deceive him. Apparently, his ability allows him to become someone’s doppelganger based on one reference of physical contact. That’s freaky. o.O;

Haha, watching his body twist around like that, I’m reminded of a ninja-centric book I read a long time ago and it said that ninjas from a very early age are required to have all their bones broken and twisted which will in turn, give them the amazing flexibility that they’re known for. It was extremely gruesome (after they twist one foot this way, they go and twist it the other way *shudder*) but interesting to know all the same.

The body-changing business is strictly fictional, though. It would be too freaky if it were real or maybe it is. ^^;

Before Koumori leaves to face off with Shichika, he tells Togame that he originally betrayed her for money but even if that were the case, had he known what kind of person she was to begin with, he wouldn’t have worked for her at all. And his invitation for her to join them Maniwa ninjas was all so he could betray her again because he believes no one in the world would ever want to stay with her.

Oh god, just hearing him say all that while putting on that malicious impostor face makes him so cruel and so evil. So evil! But why am I loving this?! AARRGGGHHH!!! >.<;;

Back to Shichika, he’s still on the lookout for them and for a moment, goes back to musing how much of a hassle it would be if he’s to leave the island. Heh, if I were in his shoes, I’d totally feel the same way. *this person never ever leaves the house* xDD;;;

Anyways, here comes impostor!Togame and y’know, even if Shichika already could recognize Togame, I don’t think he’d be fooled by this farce. For one thing, Togame seems way too cheery for her usual self, especially after someone kidnapped her.

Koumori, you fail at acting. xD;

OUCH! That’ll hurt in the morning. >.<!

And oh look, there goes Kanna. Still gross, all that drool. D|

Haha, I swear I’m loving this guy more and more. He attacks on instinct, regardless of who’s coming towards him, but this is more because it’s his first time seeing another human being besides his sister so he can’t really tell the difference between them yet. Even though Togame has striking abnormal white hair and…yea. xD;

Shock aside, Koumori questions Shichika if he’s really willing to work for Togame and explains that the story behind the Shogunate fearing a revolt was just a cover up for her wanting to collect all the swords for herself so that she gain more recognition and aim for a higher position than general director (right hand of the Shogun to be precise). Koumori also says that when he first met her, there was this very scary ambition in her eyes and that she was willing to use anyone to reach her goals only to discard them later when she’s done with them. Even the Maniwa corps and now the Kyoutouryuu head.

So that’s why Koumori’s got some grudge against her.

Shichika, however, doesn’t think her ambition is something to be accused of despite understanding the dislike of being used.

But Koumori says he doesn’t mind that as it’s way they have to live by in the world. Moreover, it’s the reason behind why he’s been used that he is so pissed. And Shichika still doesn’t get it until Koumori reveals that…

Togame is the daughter of the leader of the last rebellion, Hida Takahito, the one Mutsue killed. *gasp* Shockshock!

She’s willing to use any means to get that position she wants and once she has it, you can only imagine what would happen with the influence and power under her. It’s all for revenge for the murder of her family she witnessed before her own eyes when she was girl.

Ah, please ignore the red lines. It came up when I was taking screencaps and I didn’t realize they were there until after I uploaded them. ^^;

Well, that explains how her hair turned white.

Hmm, I haven’t seen it happen in real life but these kind of things do occur if the ordeal you went through is traumatic enough. And if seeing your family get killed in front of you isn’t, than I don’t what is.

So yea, now we know Togame isn’t just all talk and general director. She’s very desperate if she even went as far as to ask her father’s enemies and the person who killed her family for help. And not even the guy who killed them either. It’s his son.

And now she’s captured, not knowing if Shichika will really help her or not.

Poor Togame. She must be very lonely. :(

Eh, I actually had a gif here of Koumori transforming into Shichika but the file was too big to upload. Nice to know Shichika’s got a great build, though. lololol xDDD;;

So yea, figures why Koumori is disgusted with Togame. Not only for how she’s doing things but because she’s the daughter of a rebel. And thanks to that kick he received from Shichika just now to reference off of, he claims to have an advantage over him because Kanna is in his hands.

Shichika, on the other hand, asks if anyone knows about Togame’s secret and Koumori replies that he wouldn’t give such valuable information out so freely so Shichika says it’s fine as long as he beats him right then and there and Koumori jumps for the kill.

Whoops, too bad for him on the inconvenient slip of the hands. Kehehe…

But no, truth is since he’s using Shichika’s body, the sword won’t work with him. Because it’s not that Kyoutouryuu swordsmen don’t use swords, it’s that they can’t use them.

Epic originally-generically-named-because-he-only-came-up-with-it-yesterday AWESOME! move follows… (but really, I think all he needed to say was what the technique did instead of going all wordy about it, White Fox… ^^; )

Kyoutouryuu: Shichika Hachiretsu!

And I don’t care if you say otherwise because that right now was just friggin’ AWESUM!! <333

lol, bye bye short-lived Koumori. Seriously, where are the fanarts? His position right there is full of lulz. XDD;;;

I bet his insides are all messed up and scattered since he doesn’t look to be cut into 8 pieces on the outside. haha

lol, oh Togame… she doesn’t know the ropes are glued to the tree. That’s one clever tactic I have to give Koumori points for. ^^;

So funny to see her trying to wriggle free. I should have made this a gif. xD;

Yay, Shichika found her and upon taking a closer look at that Geass X-marked eye of hers, he compliments on how pretty it looks which causes her to…

…so cutely blush! Moe~ xDD

And you can tell Shichika is sincere about it, too. Because he doesn’t know any worldly language nor does he have any reason to flatter anyone, much less care about junk like that. This is why I like his character so much. He’s simple but the honest type. I’d much rather have a guy who’s like that than a traitor like Koumori.

Yay for more potential pairing moments! Srsly, this made me happy like WOOT! HAHA! xDD

Shichika tells Togame that he’s decided he will help her. And he’s not interested in it for the money, the swords or duties to the Shogunate but just simply because it’s for her sake and that he’s fallen for her. Which causes her to…

…BLUSH AGAIN! GAH, this is just way too cute. xDD

But whoa, that was quite fast. So fast I almost couldn’t believe in it and was wondering if there was some ulterior motive he’s keeping hidden. o.O;;

Which brings me to the ROMANCE CORNER~ (oh noz, lol |D;).

I’ve skimmed Andrew Cunningham’s review for the novels some time ago and when this happened, I was really afraid about this “lack of chemistry” being true. Really, Shichika confessing only a few hours after he met her was almost enough to convince me that it was but that was only before the subs came out. Thank god for subs cuz it saved my hope for these two. *tears of joy*

I don’t think they really lack anything, especially since it’s still too early in the series. It’s just a matter of perspective and I won’t go into any more of that. *shrug*

Going back to the main point, I also think it’s slightly impossible for Shichika to have any other motivation for helping Togame than the one he gave. Like I said before, he’s a simple guy who has nothing to hide and never had any interest in anything but the Kyoutou style even when all this dropped into his life today. So you’d need a very good reason to persuade him otherwise.

But does suddenly “falling for her” out of the blue when shortly before, he was left dumbfounded by her demand, adds up to that?

Yea, it all sounds fishy because it seems like he’s going on nothing but I don’t think so. It’s plausible that after finding out who Togame was and why she’s going so far to search for the swords that he did find a reason to fall for her. Unrealistic? Hard to believe? Perhaps. Illogical? Highly so. But then again, if it’s love we’re talking about, it doesn’t necessarily always have to run on something making sense, y’know (love is not math :P). There are also incidences where love just happens on practically no reason at all and I’ve seen it done a couple of times and they’re not so bad. *shrug*

Still, I’m sure there has to be some reason, even though it hasn’t been revealed yet. I mean, you don’t just switch from being indifferent to wanting to help someone without something in between. It can be something small, something incomprehensible, or heck maybe it’s just because he’s just that simple-minded. I’m not really sure and still trying to organize theories but here are some that I’ve come up with so far:

1) Maybe he’s found some common ground with her on their dads. I mean, with how both of them seem to respect their fathers who had erm, “past relations”, he found some connection through there? This one’s still left very wide open, though.
2) Maybe he’s sympathetic to her efforts and the loss of her family (thanks to his father) that he feels an obligation to her? Not really complete either but stronger than #1. Rather iffy on the obligation part, though, so I might need to reword that later on.
3) Maybe he’s just impressed by her. For someone like him who doesn’t have that much ambition, coming across her who would use any means to reach her goals might have sparked that attraction if it is one. <– I like this theory cuz it makes the most sense so far.

Of course, a lot of these can be mixed, adjusted and combined together later on but I'm keeping theory #3 as the forerunner on top of everything. I've got no solid basis to back it up yet but for these are the things I know for sure:

– Shichika knows that she's doing all this for revenge.
– He's also aware of how desperate she is (so maybe that makes him the sympathetic, kind guy who can’t leave anyone in trouble alone, I dunno).
– Shichika really doesn’t have anything to lose. He already knows that Togame is using him and can discard him anytime when they get all the swords. So in a re-interpretation, Shichika is not being used if he’s aware of the reasons and he pretty much confirms it himself that he’s doing this on his own will.

Adding to that last part, it’s not like he asked for a reciprocation of feelings from her either. At least not yet but the preview is suggesting otherwise (or maybe in some other direction, god I hope not o.O;). That’s all I can think of for now.

Any ill-intentions on his part, like wanting to teach her a lesson or lust or negative things, I think is unlikely. He just doesn’t look like the person to do stuff like that. Plus remember, he’s not good at thinking either so malevolent schemes are just not going to happen. ^^;

If you have your own theories, please share them~ I’m really interested in expanding this. :3

So yea, Nanami tells Togame that she approves of Shichika’s decision for reasons we already know. Togame tells her that it’s not going to be an easy journey and that she’s taking her brother towards a lot of danger. Nanami responds quite positively though because she’s relieved she can leave Shichika in Togame’s care since Togame really seems to be concerned about him (WOOT! Got approval from the future in-law, LOL! XDD).

Aww, cuteness again. Togame is not used to being complimented, I see. So cute~ <3

Ah and since I haven’t really delved into Togame’s serious flaws, this is the perfect time to do it. She admits to herself that she’s not this kind person Nanami sees her to be. And well, there’s already a good ten minutes of proof for that. Her past with the Maniwa corps and all and now her employed lover (lolwut?), whom she didn’t even ask how he changed his mind and is still maintaining something like a professional relationship with. Oh, and can’t leave out that she hasn’t shown any outward signs of wanting to return those affections either. Yea…it’s complicated. @.@;

Though it should be noted that Shichika seems to be keeping his knowledge of her past and own motives a secret from her so yea, MOAR COMPLICATED! @.@;;;

But it’s because she acknowledges this flaw of hers and continues to chase after her goals that got me to really like her. Togame is also not without some compassion either as shown in that last directive she told Shichika follow.

1) Don’t break the swords.
2) Protect her.
3) Protect himself because she needs him to help her get the swords.
4) Protect himself. <– Where she's considerate (and a bit tsuntsun, lawl~) about his well-being.

Yea… I think they've got room for a lot of development based on this so far. It's beneficial to Shichika because he gets to go the outside world and maybe even change himself along the way. For Togame, it's obvious that she's going to fall for him and so on. A bit predictable but I'm looking forward to it.

Come to think, I already see these two as perfect for each other. Cuz Shichika is the fighter and Togame is the strategian. His skills make up for her lack of some, and her smarts (which we have yet to really see ^^; ) make up for his shortcomings in thinking. Also, isn't it funny how Shichika seems to be the one who's more level-headed and Togame is sometimes falling all over the place?

xDD;;; Yea, I knew I would like them no matter what. haha~

So yep. Uh, this last part where Nanami is worrying if they’ll be okay since she said Shichika is “weak” got me wondering what she meant. Then again, I don’t think Shichika told her about what he knew of Togame either so yea… we’ll just have to wait and see. @.@;


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Preview




Hmm, ok, next time, we’re going after the sword Zantou Namakura and I’m guessing the guy with the dual-colored hair is currently holding it now (btw, what happened to Kanna?).

And…*facepalm* omg, YES, I know. It seems like there’s going to be something fangirl squeal-worthy but I’m worried if they’re moving a little too fast. I sense another lengthy romance corner rant. Oh dear… ^^;

Hmm. Well, overall, not the best of first episodes but I’m still going to continue all the way to the end. I had a lot of fun writing this review and analyzing this and that. It made me like Katanagatari even more so yea, there’s my reason.

Next episode is going to be out a week from now (Feb. 8th) but the review will likely to be posted on the weekend if subs come out on regular time on Wednesday. I hope it’ll be shorter since there’ll be less introductions. I enjoyed writing this but it took me almost 4 days to finish. xD;

Alrighty, see you all in a week then. ^^

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Katanagatari ~ Ep. 1 ~ Well, action lovers, this review is not for you.

  1. Maybe I’m just really not picky with my anime, or maybe I’m easy to please, but I don’t really see what was so horrible about this episode. I mean, yes, in the end, I was left kind of feeling like not much happened, due to the talking. But I didn’t think that it was extremely excessive. Overall, I’m okay with the information overload, the action we did get was great, and blushing Togame was just great.

    As to the whole romance question, I myself don’t have a straight answer. I mean, when he said, “I’ve fallen for you,” I took it as not entirely literal. I saw it as a sort of joke that a person tells, but there’s truth behind it, and they mean what they say? Not too sure how to explain, but I just didn’t think it wasn’t meant in a completely serious way. However, after, with the whole “aishiteru,” I didn’t know whether to see that as pushing the joke or sincerity, but figured the latter would make the most sense seeing as Shichika isn’t the kind of guy who would keep up a joke like that. So I, too, felt it was a little fast, but overall, I’m definitely okay with these two. I think they have chemistry. c:

    Anyway, great post. Lookin’ forward to the next episode!

  2. Same here on both. It’s just a matter if I like it, not like it, or will come to like it (less cynicism = moar enjoyment, imo).
    Technically, if people know what NisiOisin’s work is like (and they should given how Bake was so mad popular) then they really don’t have anything to complain about. This is his style and he still manages to give us something interesting.

    I thought of that, too. It’s really hard to make any firm guesses since Shichika is almost your average-day guy who doesn’t completely understand your average-day things due to his isolated upbringing. I guess we can also assume that him saying he’s fallen for Togame can be interpreted as him telling her that she can trust him. Because like she already said to him, she can’t trust people working for money or honor, leaving only the love option available. And an answer coming from Shichika doesn’t seem to contain any traps either (hopefully). So yea, I hope you get what I’m trying to say from there.

    But at least all this tells that their little romance tale isn’t a simple, third-rate flop. There are a lot of things that still need to be worked out and that’s what going to make them a couple worth supporting. Which makes me happy. hehe ^^

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Really, it helped me think this reply up. haha xD

    • I think that statement is something universal that everyone should keep in mind. Less cynicism = more enjoyment! Too many people ruin their experience by throwing all their cynicism and expectations onto the series. :l

      Yeah, I see what you’re trying to say, and I agree, it makes a lot of sense. In the end, I also think that these two have something special going on there, and I support them completely. c:

      Haha, no problem. I always enjoy reading your posts, so yeah. (Btw, late reply is laaate. Sorry, haha. orz)

  3. First thing, does anyone else think the guy in the preview looks like a duck? Because I keep thinking that and it makes me feel silly. xD

    I didn’t think there was an over-the-top amount of dialogue, but then again, I love NISIOISIN and am very much used to all his dialogue, haha. :]

    And I absolutely love your gif of Togame falling! xD So cute~

    (random comment is random, sorry, my brains all fried from econ this morning D: )

    • The dude with the black hair or that minion-looking person? If it’s the latter, I thought he looked like a stork cuz he’s all decked up in white and so tall with that huge beak he’s poking his face out of. lol XDD

      Yes~! THANK YOU! x3

      Arigato~ I make it my plan to gif all her dojikko moments from now on. x3

      • The minion-looking person, and a stork is certainly similar to a duck, so I don’t feel so strange anymore. :D (and yeah, it’s basically the giant beak that made me think that too!)

        Hooray~ I look forward to them. :3

  4. wow what a long review for just one episode >_> ( i didn’t read all of your post)

    i have just watched the 2nd episode and although there was a good amount of frivolous dialogue which annoyed me at times. I think the characters (even their adversaries) are quite quirky but in a funny way <_<. examples of this .

    **SPOILER AHEAD from Episode 2******

    1.The ninja that talks in reverse LOL but gets absoluely piz-owned by Uneri. (i had to pause to read the subtitles backwards lmao)

    2. Shichika licking and smelling Togame to help him recognize her LOL. And thinking its completely normal to do something like that to someone.

    3.Shichika launches off from Togame's face to get in the air for an aerial attack. I lawled.

    This certainly might not be an action lovers pick, but the quirkiness/awkward humor is definitely a strong point about this anime. (ie Shichika's mannerisms and Togame's reactions to it). I guess there will be alot of room for character development? (since Shichika is completely oblivious to the world lol). The fact that Shichika strictly uses melee as his way of fighting is pretty cool. Hopefully Togame doesn't ramble as much in the next few episodes. Other then that i'm looking forward to this anime :o. This certainly won't be an ordinary action anime.

Comments are closed.