Directed by Takashi Miike, Blade of the Immortal is his 100th film. Miike is best known for directing the popular samurai movie 13 Assassins about the end of Japan’s feudal era.
Immortal follows Manji, played honestly by Takuya Kimura, a highly skilled samurai, who becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. The foreboding of being haunted by the brutal murder of his sister drives Manji to continue fighting evil. He cannot die and is cursed with the pain of being sliced and hacked with swords forever more.
I found myself chuckling a couple of times when his severed hand would magically snap back to his arm. The effects were done well but a couple of shots seemed fake.
Manji wants to be able to die and regain his soul. He comes across a young girl named Rin, played beautifully by Hana Sugisaki. Sugisaki also plays his sister, which offers a correlation between him helping Rin for the sake of his deceased sister.
He promises to help the young girl avenge her parents’ death. They were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu, played by Sôta Fukushi.
The movie is in Japanese and English with English subtitles. The story is well told because Manji’s mission changes him. Kimura portrayal of Manji captured my interest and kept me watching the movie because as he changes even Manji cannot believe what is happening to him. I am right there with him all the way.
For those who love samurai movies, this is a must to see. The Blu-ray Special Features include a poster gallery, cast interviews, which are educational for anyone who studies movies, trailers, and a poignant interview with Takuya Kimura.