Blade of the Immortal Episode 11

Blade of the Immortal Episode 11

Act Eleven – Fall Frost

If you’re a fan of action in your action anime, then episode 11 of Blade of the Immortal may be what you’ve been waiting for. I won’t say this episode included the best action I’ve ever seen, but the fight between Taito and Shira was probably the best one of the series so far.

Though, I did also like that fight between Manji and the swordswoman of the Itto-Ryu from earlier in the series. I think her name was Makie. That fight was good because it showed just how far someone like Manji still has to go despite being immortal. If he can’t even defeat Makie, then how could he possibly defeat Kagehisa?

And while I will be discussing the fight between Taito and Shira later in this review, I just want to take a look at Shira for now. Last time we saw him he had white hair like he does now, but that wasn’t the case before then. Originally he had black hair. So what happened over the past month to change it?

Shira holding up his severed arm from the anime series Blade of the Immortal
Shira holding up his severed arm

Well, it’s revealed that no, his hair didn’t turn white simply because his arm was cut off by Manji. And no, he didn’t dye it white either to symbolize his need for vengeance. Instead, his hair turned white due to what’s essentially a self-inflicted wound.

Rather than bandaging up where Manji severed his forearm, Shira apparently made it worse by cutting away the flesh leading up to the injury. He then sharpened the bones protruding from his arm into two points and reinforced them with a brace. Why did he do this? Because he’s officially gone insane.

Manji and Taito

Unfortunately, this episode appears to mark the end of Manji and Taito’s grand adventure together. During his fight with Shira, Taito learns that Kagehisa is in Kaga and may get attacked. Though it’s not entirely clear if Taito knows that it’s Manji and Rin doing the attacking.

He does mention that if the two of them ever cross paths again, they’ll probably be on opposite sides. And this is what I find strange.

Taito clearly knows that Manji and Rin are anti Itto-Ryu, and he knows that the two of them are traveling to Kaga. So did he not know why they were traveling to Kaga? It seems like that’s something which would have come up, but Taito genuinely didn’t appear to know that Kagehisa was there.

But I am sad to see Manji and Taito part ways. I enjoyed their dynamic considering they’re both basically the same person. I pointed that out last week, and Manji even commented on it this week. He said something along the lines of talking to Taito is like talking to a mirror.

They even support each other despite being on opposite sides of the whole Itto-Ryo thing. Manji sets up the perfect situation for Taito to get his revenge on Shira and then leaves him to his business. And after Taito learns about the danger Kagehisa is in, he doesn’t attempt to stop Manji.

Their respect for each other is pretty obvious, and I think it extends beyond the respect between swordsmen. They’ve become friends.

Taito vs. Shira

Now that I think about this fight more, I don’t really have much to say about the fight itself. We got some neat scenes, like Taito and Shira stabbing each other through the wooden wall, and when Taito kills Shira in the end. But aside from that, the draw of this fight for me was what it was about.

Taito is fighting for the honor of his slain girlfriend, and Shira is essentially fighting for his own honor.

Through the fight, and the conversations between these two, we also get a bit of insight into their minds, which is always interesting. For Taito, we see that he didn’t really understand his relationship with his girlfriend (I forget her name) until she was gone. In fact, she was never actually his girlfriend, though I’m sure he sees her that way now.

But as much as I like Taito as a character, Shira’s motivations are much more interesting. We actually learn that he’s not necessarily just some bloodthirsty killer — he’s a psychopathic serial killer.

Yes, he kills a lot of random people, but so do a lot of others in this series. That’s not really what makes him a serial killer, that’s almost like his profession. What makes him a serial killer is that there are certain people he kills in a very specific way which he gets off on. And these aren’t people he felt he needed to kill for his work.

Taito’s girlfriend was one of five victims who Shira killed in this way. So what Shira is really fighting for is to preserve his way of life. He needs to kill Taito in order to tie up the loose end left by his latest victim.

Manji’s Immortality

The final thing I want to mention regarding this episode is Manji’s immortality. I’ll be brief because we’ve already discussed this in previous episode reviews, but there’s some new-ish information this time around.

We know that Manji can’t be killed by having his limbs severed. We also know that he can be killed if his head is severed, or if all of his limbs are severed with no way of reattaching them. This time around we find that he can also survive being shot in the head with an arrow.

Manji getting shot in the head with an arrow from the anime series Blade of the Immortal
Manji getting shot in the head with an arrow

Perhaps you thought about this possibility before, but I actually hadn’t. I figured that it was possible for him to die of blood loss if his limbs or head were unable to be attached. But I hadn’t considered that perhaps direct damage to his brain could kill him as well.

I mean, we now know it can’t but I just found it interesting because it would make sense if that was one of his weaknesses. If decapitation is a valid way to kill him, it stands to reason that a direct puncture of the brain could do it too.

But I think the reason that this doesn’t work on Manji is because it’s the blood loss that kills him, not the fact that his brain gets disconnected from his body if he’s decapitated. As long as a third party reattaches his head, I don’t think decapitation would kill him either.

It’s the special worms in his blood which keep him alive, so if he loses too many of them, that’s what kills him.

Conclusion

So what do you think about Blade of the Immortal episode 11? Did you like the fight between Taito and Shira? Do you think Taito and Manji will ever travel together again? Or will they only meet in combat? And, are there any other ways you think Manji can be killed? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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