Blade of the Immortal Episode 3

Blade of the Immortal Episode 3

Act Three – Dream Pangs

Blade of the Immortal episode 3 was a fairly important episode for one of our two main characters, Manji. Now, it might not actually be all that important in the grand scheme of things, but we learned some useful information about him.

It turns out that Manji isn’t a true immortal. He has an Achilles’ heel, so to speak. Yes, his body will recover from just about any and all damage it receives, but he claims that the one way to truly kill him is by beheading. The only problem with this is that I don’t understand how he hasn’t been beheaded already.

From what we’ve seen, his fighting style isn’t exactly the most refined. Perhaps at one point it was, but as he is now he relies too heavily on his immortality when fighting. He doesn’t particularly attempt to block or dodge attacks because he knows they won’t kill him.

And if we take that into consideration and look at the fights he won in the first two episodes, it becomes clear just how much he relies on this ability. Without being immortal Manji would have stood no chance against the swordsmen he’s defeated so far. All of them inflicted would-be fatal wounds to him.

The fact that he’s not particularly a great swordsman aside, like I said, we now know he has a weakness. But why? Why does Manji have such a weakness? It’s implied that his immortality is a curse which was placed upon him for killing the innocent.

If this is true — it hasn’t been confirmed yet — then why would there be such a simple way for him to be relieved of this curse? Of course, he could also have been lying.

Makie Otonotachibana

Makie Otonotachibana is Manji’s opponent for this week (this series seems like it’s going to be fairly episodic). She’s particularly notable because as far as we know she’s the only female member of the Itto-ryu. It’s possible we’ll meet another later on, but that doesn’t seem very likely.

Interestingly, Makie wasn’t always a swordswoman. It does seem like she always wanted to be a swordswoman from a young age, but her mother convinced her otherwise. In a strange turn of events, her mother convinces her to become a prostitute instead. That’s some good parenting.

However, Makie didn’t stay as a prostitute. She eventually ran away with a man who freed her. And here is where things get a bit confusing. I’m not sure if Makie’s account of what happened next is a lie, or if these were two entirely different scenes.

Makie Otonotachibana from the anime series Blade of the Immortal
Makie Otonotachibana

On one hand Makie tells us that she and the man who freed her were caught and that the man ended up dead by hanging. But on the other hand we’re shown a different scene in which a man purchases Makie’s freedom only to then be killed by her when she realizes he wants to use her strength.

Either way, from that point on Makie followed her dream and became a swordswoman. She then eventually joined up with the Itto-ryu because she believed in their ideals — which I think has to do with overthrowing the shogunate.

And on an unrelated note, when Manji comments on Makie’s appearance he implies that she’s beautiful. I don’t know what Manji is on about though, because Rin is way cuter than Makie ever was.

Manji’s First Loss (of the series)

For the first time in the series, Manji actually loses a fight. During the fight he mentions that he’s never lost ever since he first picked up a sword, but he then says that was just a joke. I don’t doubt that Manji has lost before, but obviously none of those losses resulted in his death.

This loss, however, very well could have.

I think it’s safe to say that Makie was the strongest opponent Manji has faced up to this point. She’s definitely the strongest opponent he’s faced in the series, but I’m talking about over his entire career. For what we can assume was the first time since gaining this power, Manji couldn’t rely on his immortality.

And when he’s defeated by Makie, that’s when he actually tells her about his own weakness. Manji wishes to die with honor by the hand of the woman who managed to take him down. Unfortunately for him, she doesn’t grant him this request.

Makie defeating Manji from the anime series Blade of the Immortal
Makie defeating Manji

But this should be a turning point for Manji. The first two episodes introduced us to the idea that he’s immortal. And of course that would be a broken ability. But not only do we learn he has a weakness in this episode, we actually saw him lose. He saw himself lose despite having this power he’s relied on for so long.

So going forward I’m expecting to see Manji rely less and less on his immortality. After all, if he couldn’t defeat Makie even with it, he likely doesn’t stand a chance against the leader of the Itto-ryu.

Conclusion

While I’m a bit disappointed that this series seems to be so episodic, I have high hopes for it going forward. After all, Samurai Champloo was episodic for the majority of its episodes and that’s a solid anime. I know this series isn’t exactly the same as that, and it’s probably more like Dororo, but that’s not a bad thing.

Are you watching Blade of the Immortal? I don’t actually know anyone other than myself who is, so let me know in the comments. And while you’re at it, give me your predictions about the series. Is Manji going to learn not to rely on his immortality? Or is his immortality an integral part of who he is?

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Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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