Blade of the Immortal

This series just plain kicks ass.

Manji is a ronin samurai, an outlaw wanted for the murder of his own lord.

Rin is the daughter of a renowned dojo master who had been slaughtered over a feud begun generations past.

These two soon find themselves in each others company as Rin is on a quest to avenge her father’s death and Manji has vowed to kill 1,000 criminals in his quest to atone for past crimes.

Despite being an excellent swordsman Manji has one other thing going for him – he just can’t manage to die. It seems an 800 year old nun infected his body with Kessen-Chu, worms that heal his wounds (no matter how grievous).

One of the best things about Manji is his blades. Somewhere in the folds of his kimono are an assortment of weapons expertly used for much slicing and dicing.


Rin is no pushover either.

Growing up the daughter of the head of the Mutenichi-Ryu dojo, she can deftly handle a slew of knives that she sends flying from her fingers.

One of the real treasures of this series is the amazing mandalas that Samura puts in a few times a book. They can be as large as two pages and they encapsulate the essence of the story at that time.

Samura handles the dialogue in the story very well. The samurai and the government officials that Manji and Rin run into speak very properly, while the common street thugs and renegade swordsmen tend to speak in an anachronistic – for Medieval Japan – slang.

Manga traditionalists may balk at the left-to-right reading of the series but they should take heart.

Traditionally when manga was brought to the U.S. the page layout was mirrored and the text replaced with English. With this manga Hiroaki Samura decided that the pages would be taken apart panel by panel and then reassembled in a left-to-right format. The result isn’t obvious to the casual reader but will be appreciated by the more avid manga fans.

The first volume of Blade of the Immortal, “Blood of a Thousand”, is available for $12.95 at Waldenbooks and Borders. For you internet shoppers out there, no longer carries the first volume however you can get it from for $14.95.