Blade of the Immortal Episodes 1 & 2

Blade of the Immortal Episodes 1 & 2

Act One – Meeting

Normally my weekly Blade of the Immortal episode reviews are going to be on Thursdays when the episodes release, but I was away last week. Also, considering we got episodes 1 and 2 rather than just one, I’m not entirely sure if there will be an episode this week.

However, since we have two episodes to discuss right now, let’s just get into it.

The first episode of Blade of the Immortal introduces us to our two main characters, Manji and Rin. Manji is a ronin samurai who takes jobs ranging from assassination to being a bodyguard. Rin is the daughter of a former samurai dojo master who was murdered, along with her mother.

Rin and Manji come into contact after Rin is advised to hire a bodyguard to protect her from the men who killed her family. The mysterious old woman Rin meets in the graveyard (who claims to be 800 years old) told Rin of a samurai who would be perfect for the job.

Manji smoking his pipe from the anime series Blade of the Immortal
Manji smoking his pipe

Now, before I go on with the summary (which is going to be blending the two episodes together) I have a question. Why are the men who killed Rin’s family coming after her too? I can understand why the first samurai comes after Rin, because he’s crazy, but what about the rest?

When Rin’s father was initially killed and her mother kidnapped two years ago, the leader of the group specifically said to leave Rin unharmed. We don’t know why she was spared, and we don’t know why that second chance at life has suddenly been revoked.

Did they hear about Rin’s plan to avenge her family and want to make an example out of her? Or is there something more going on behind the scenes?

Act Two – Founding

Although we were originally shown that Rin’s mother was kidnapped by the group of men after her father was killed, we later learn that she didn’t survive for long. After seeing his comrades brutalizing the woman, one of the samurai takes it upon himself to put her out of her misery.

He then sews her head onto his left shoulder, because like I said, he’s crazy. He also has his ex-wife’s head sewed onto his right shoulder. This is the first of the samurai to come after Rin, and through the fight against him we learn of Manji’s strange ability.

No matter how much damage he takes, such as having a leg sliced off or his heart pierced, Manji cannot die. Much like why the samurai are suddenly after Rin, we don’t know why Manji is immortal.

We know that he’s wanted for the murder of 100 men, and according to the synopsis of the series he travels around killing evil men to atone for his sins. I would assume that his immortality is some sort of curse, potentially put on him by the mysterious old woman, but we simply don’t know at this point.

In the second episode Rin and Manji come in contact with two more men from the group which killed Rin’s parents. Manji defeats both of these men as well, but not without receiving some serious wounds of his own. But don’t worry, he’s immortal.

This second episode also focused on Rin retrieving the sword of her late father from one of the samurai. However, we know the samurai who had the sword was not the one who killed her father. The samurai from episode 1 killed both of her parents.

Manji & Rin

So what else do we know so far about our two main characters?

For one, we know that Rin is currently 16, meaning she was 14 during the attack on her father’s dojo. We also know that his dojo was attacked by the group known as Itto-ryu so that they could make a name for themselves. They attacked all the surrounding dojo which were sanctioned by the shogunate.

And although Rin is only 16, she views herself as an adult. Though, to be fair, during this time period and considering her circumstances, she would be. In one instance she offers her body to Manji in exchange for his services as her bodyguard, showing that she’s mature enough to understand how the world works for unprotected women during this time.

Rin Asano drawing her sword from the anime series Blade of the Immortal
Rin Asano drawing her sword

However, Manji isn’t interested in Rin like that. You’d think that it would be because he’s probably at least old enough to be her father, but that’s not the case. It’s actually because Rin looks similar to Manji’s dead sister. And I think he mentioned that he was to blame for her death, so maybe we’ll get more details later on.

We also don’t actually know exactly how old Manji is. We could guess based on his appearance, but what about the fact that he’s immortal? Does his immortality only stop him from dying due to wounds? Does he still age? My guess is that time is frozen for him, so perhaps his sister died a hundred years ago.

Either way, the fact that Rin reminds Manji of his sister seems to be important. It’s probably why he agreed to take the job in the first place, and it seems to be why he secretly cares about her.


Are you watching Blade of the Immortal this season? This is one of the series I’m most looking forward to, and I’m glad it’s going to be 24 episodes rather than 12. Let me know in the comments what you think about the series so far, and if you’ve read the source material.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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