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Katanagatari – 03

March 10, 2010

This months sword - Sentou Tsurugi

This month Togame and Shichika are after the Sentou Tsurugi blade, currently in the possession of Tsuruga Meisai of Sanzu Shrine.

The shrine can only be reached by climbing an insane amount of steps – of course since Togame’s endurance is crap so Shichika ends up carrying her.  Their assent is watched over by armed and masked miko from the shrine.

Upon reaching the shrine they are met by Tsuruga Meisai, current head of the Sanzu Shrine and owner of Sentou Tsurugi, a sword that is 1000 blades in one.  Togame attempts once again to negotiate the handover of the sword without the need for bloodshed.  However Meisai is not willing to let the sword go so easily as she has armed the 1000 miko of Sanzu Shrine with the 1000 blades that make up the Sentou Tsurugi – claiming that the blade is healing the damaged hearts of these miko.

Meisai sets Togame a challenge – if she can identify the original Tsurugi sword from among the 1000 blades and if Shichika can then defeat Meisai, she will surrender the sword on the condition that the miko of the Shrine are protected by the Shoganate.  If Togame and Shichika fail they are to surrender the two swords they have collected.

Only proper comedic scene this episode - Togame's hair is a danger and turns out that Shichika doesn't suffer from 'Miko-moe' 😀

The next morning Togame sets out to find the original Tsurugi blade, instructing Shichika to stay out-of-the-way.  When she is in the hall inspecting a number of swords, one of the miko attacks her.  However Meisai protects Togame and calms the distressed miko.

While Togame is busy searching the Shrine, Shichika is bored and wanders about the place  – he sees some of the miko putting bundles of wood into a storeroom and goes to help…..only to have them all run a mile.  They come back when they see he doesn’t mean them any harm.

Later that evening Meisai approaches  Shichika to have a talk – she asks questions regarding his reason for fighting and how many he’s killed in an attempt to unsettle him……it doesnt work.  Shichika is so straightforward in his thought-process that any attempts to shake his belief in himself and Togame is completely useless.

Also turns out that Shichika isn't a drinker 😛

Their discussion is cut short by the arrival of another Maniwa ninja – Maniwa Kuizame, who is also after Sentou Tsurugi.  Meisai makes short work of him though…….these Maniwani are really short-lived!

Togame comes back and presents a blade to Meisai claiming that this one is probably the original Tsurugi as its scabbard has the oldest scuff marks.  Meisai accepts this and sets the time for the fight between herself and Shichika for the following day at noon.

Shichika and Meisai face off, but Meisai just flings a sword at him and starts running.  Shichika pursues her, eventually ending up in the forest – however this was all part of Meisai’s plan as all the trees in this area have swords of the Sentou Tsurugi stuck to them.  Meisai’s sword style involves the use of many disposable swords – Sentouryou.

Of course now that she’s hidden from Shichika its the perfect time for Meisai to have a character developing flashback!  The heir to the Sentouryou style, she was left alone in the world when her father died during a battle and she ended up joining (and eventually heading) a band of bandits.  Meisai killed the original Tsuruga Meisai – the priest of Sanzu Shrine who took in women who had been mistreated as she was upset that no one saved her. However the priests final words of concern for the miko of the Shrine made Meisai have a change of heart.  She killed her bandit compatriots and took up the name of Tsuruga Meisai, and then armed the miko with the Sentou Tsurugi, using the blades latent aura as a means to heal the damaged hearts of these women.

Shichika takes the initiative and runs out of the forest to an open area where there are no swords, determined to get the fight back on an even footing.  Meisai takes a sword out of the sand and Shichika immediately recognises this as the real original Sentou Tsurugi as he can feel the blade’s aura.  The two then make their final attacks – Shichika ultimately winning.

Togame promises that the miko of the shrine will be taken under the protection of the shogunate, and then she and Shichika leave.

Seems Shichika enjoyed carrying Togame about

This was a much more serious episode and had much less comedy that the previous ones – although there was just as much chatter 🙂  It’s nice to see that Katanagatari can take itself seriously as well as play for laughs, this change of style was a nice change of pace and allowed the show to avoid getting bogged down in a set formula (always the major fear with this kind of ‘Sword of the Month’ concept).  Meisai turned out to be an interesting and sympathetic ‘enemy’ – it’s not like she was doing anything terrible with the sword and Togame almost expressed regret that Shichika killed her.  Speaking of which, he’s a bit nonchalant about this whole killing lark and also casually mentioned killing his own father!  Hope we get a bit more on that at some stage.

Animation was decent once again, but there are still too many of those slow pan shots during lengthy dialogues.  I also really liked the music in this episode (although wasnt fussed on this months ED :?).

Next months sword if the Hakutou Hari and its owner is that swordsman with the catchphrase ‘I’ll have you fall for me’ that has popped up a few times.  Looks like this will be a full on action episode – really looking forward to that!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2010 7:24 am

    The relationship Shichika and Togame share is an amusing one, which aside from the production, is why I like Katanagatari. Although, with this being said, I suppose this is applicable to anything adapted from Nisio Isin.

    Similarly, I’ve taken a liking to the soundtrack, appreciating the myriad of influences Taku Iwasaki has incorporated (the hip hop addition played during the previous episode was refreshing and welcomed), but in particular, the introductory track for the series was well placed during the end of this episode too.

    So far, the series has managed to remain engaging due to its unique styling and approach to storytelling (the clever use of dialogue is largely accountable for this) and I can only hope it’ll maintain this momentum until the end of the year.

    Good blog post, Cara. 🙂

  2. Keo permalink
    March 20, 2010 8:14 pm

    I haven’t noticed a post on this month’s episode on the forum. I didn’t want Meisai to die. She seemed like a nice person inside. 😥

    I’m also looking forward to next month’s episode. It should be an epic battle. 🙂

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  1. Katanagatari – 05 « Caraniel's Ramblings

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