Anime Review Final Thoughts: Katanagatari (final)

Originally published and formatted for Livejournal on 3/25/11:

Anime Review Final Thoughts:

What this is about: Wrapping up the very last of the 2010 anime shows that I have watched. Rather than in-depth reviews with lots of pictures, here’s just a few quick thoughts to finish up everything before I move on to 2011. Just get it all out of the way, already!

My Thoughts: Cheerio! By all rights I should not enjoy this show. It is essentially a fighting show between ninjas and martial artists (strike one) set in historical Japan (strike two), and two mismatched souls travel all over the country to gather up the twelve perfected deviant blades. Twelve swords over twelve episodes, one epic fight per episode as they face off against ever-increasingly-superpowered villains. So, what drew me to this show?

Well, first of all, there’s the artwork, which is both interesting and gorgeous, truly a visual feast for the eyes. Bright and colorful and highly stylized, I love it. Yet, it takes more than just purty artwork to maintain a series over the long run. So…what else?

It’s the interaction between the main characters, Shichika and Togame. Katanagatari is an extremely wordy show, with long stretches of dialogue, which is a recipe for disaster for most shows. But here, it’s fun to watch the verbal jousting between the two, rarely boring. No longer just big-fight-per-episode, the show became more of a story watching the two main characters grow over the course of a year traveling together. In the beginning Shichika starts out as a social blank slate, nothing more than a tool (a “swordless sword”) for Togame to wield. And Togame, starting out as the brash, overbearing, selfish leader with a one-track mind. By the end of the series they have changed greatly. I would tell you how it ends…but by then you would be torn to shreds.

FINAL SERIES GRADE: B – Worth the watching.

What’s Up Next: A look back at the Top 20 Anime Shows of 2010, and the Worst 20 Anime Shows of 2010. After that, a look “forward” at the Winter 2011 season…only three months late!

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