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Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu. The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine - the 100th film by master director Takashi Miike.
Remarkable effort. Compressing 30 volumes into film.
Having read the manga for close to 20 years. The live adaptation of the film is a fulfillment to witness. As a fan of the original, I have preconceived notions as to how the characters behaved and voiced in between panels.
Therefore the performances for bringing Manji, Rin, Anotsu and all the other casts to life were satisfactory. Compressing 30 volumes into film, means that there were major trimmings made in order to fit this medium. Most notably are the back stories and developments for all characters depicted. Some characters in film are relegated to cameos, while others lack the motivational complexity of their respective arc that were spanned across the years. And yet, I still found myself intrigued by the story presented to me here on film.
The actions are brutal. Not as gory as how I would like it to be though. The original format was way more gorier in certain aspects. But I can understand why it was needed to be toned down for live adaptation.
If one is into cinematography, feudal Edo era, a story of revenge, filled with action sequences of samurai swordplay - this is a film that I would recommend. It fulfills on all those aspects. It had heartfelt moments and dashes of fun sprinkled perfectly into its pacing.
However if one is into enriching character developments, motivations for all their arcs and more; I would suggest to visit the original manga instead.
Overall, it is still a very remarkable effort from everyone involved.
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