Blade of the Immortal 22

Hiroaki Samura – Dark Horse – 2010 – 31 volumes

I forgot to write this one up! I thought I had forgotten to read it, but volume 23 made too much sense. A shame, because this was an awesome volume. I wound up re-reading it for the review to figure out if I actually finished it, but it was totally worth it.

This was a good aftermath/prologue volume, which shows us what happened to the official who was in charge of the experiments on Manji and wound up killing all the prisoners and almost flooding Edo castle. He’s ordered to commit suicide, but he gets 30 days to hunt down the members of the Itto-Ryu along with several death row inmates. Meanwhile, the new official that took his place makes a deal with Anotsu to get the Itto-Ryu out of Edo in 7 days, so the stakes are raised and the remaining members of the Itto-Ryu are hunted down. Except their numbers are only increasing, and they don’t really seemed too concerned.

Highlight: The conversation between Anotsu and the new official. I still don’t know which way that situation would have gone, which is something that very few series are good at.

That was the boring wind-down part. Elsewhere, there are adorable parting scenes between Rin and Doa, and lots of cute domestic stuff between Rin and Manji. Rin is pampering Manji due to his loss of an arm, and Manji isn’t that into it. Manji also looks like one of the Itto-Ryu members, so he’s also being hunted by the death row assassins, which is mostly just a silly feint.

There’s one… really intense scene between Manji and Rin. It took me by surprise, since romance isn’t something the series has bothered with all this time. It feels right at the time though, especially with Rin still buzzing after her victorious liberation of Manji.

Another nice addition is a pair of shinobi girls who are spying for the secret organization. They wind up staying at the same place as Manji and Rin without realizing who they are.

There’s also a cute scene between Anotsu and Rin at the end of the volume, which is more common as the series goes on, though still fairly unlikely.

Lots of good stuff on offer here, although that scene with Manji and Rin alone is worth the price of admission.



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