blade-and-soulTitle: Blade and Soul: Complete Collection

Director: Hiroshi Takeuchi & Hiroshi Hamasaki

Studio: Gonzo

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: October 27th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Game Based, Girls with Swords

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Persona Rating: B



Trained since birth as the Clan of the Sword’s ultimate assassin, Alka has lived her entire life as a nearly emotionless human killing machine. Now, however, her Clan has been destroyed, her master murdered, and the Code she lives by leaves Alka just one final mission: to seek out those responsible and exterminate them. If that means taking on the impossible might of the Param Empire, and the demonic powers of their battle leader Jin Varrel, then so be it.

But while Alka may be the hunter, she has also become the hunted. With a price on her head, she must evade or kill the bounty hunters intent on collecting her skin, and in the bloody shadow-world of assassins, that means there’s no one she can trust.


Just by looking at the cover of Blade and Soul I figured I was in for a variable bounty of womanhood bouncing across the screen, but I was pleasantly surprised when a real story broke out all over the place. Sure it is nice when all the women are cute and well developed and of course love to wear just the right amount of clothing to make it interesting. Yes, the fan service is there, although it is nowhere as severe as I thought it was going to be. That was until you get to the last episode.

The story itself is a rather straight forward tale of duty and regret, Friendship and the bitter taste of revenge. I loved how they managed to paint a tragic figure out of Alka and then allow her to help not just herself, but the ones that were hurt the most by her action find redemption in living for humanities sake.  I know it is a little preachy and there are plenty of average anime that preach way too much. In Blade and Souls case there is very little preaching and plenty of living through the tough time that ends up being the teacher. Unfortunately there are plenty of innocents that find tragic ends on Alka’s path to humanity and all too many sad stories haunt her.

Overall Grade: B

Blade and Soul is a solid story that finds a way to teach a very Buddhist ideal and at the same time entertain with pretty ladies. I’m not too sure if the pretty ladies helped or hurt the story. I’m going to go with helped for now. I think that there was enough weakness in the writing that there needed to be some eye candy to keep a viewers attention. On the other hand there was plenty of times that the lovely bodies just got in the way of the ethical plot line that was being told.

The animation was a little disappointing for Gonzo. I have been a huge fan of their work for many years and for Blade and Soul I found the computer generated animation to be too hard edged and blocky. I would have loved to see a little more cell shading and smoothing of the characters and backgrounds in many of the more static scene.

If you are a fan of anime based on games and love to see pretty women fight then Blade and Soul is right up you’re ally. I enjoyed for the story and would like to see it remade with less sex appeal and more emotional candor.


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