Well it’s ANIME REVIEW FRIDAY, its been a short age since I’ve posted an anime review so lets get this back in rotation with a show I loved kupo!
Seasons: 1 (24 episodes) Original Run: 16th April 2006- 20th September 2006
Sought by the greed of men since the dawn of human kind, but only bestowed upon the women whose fate it forever scars…the Witchblade. Is it the righteous sword of God? Or hand of the Devil himself? Now a new bearer has been chosen. And she must discover the answers for herself. As she stands on the brink of destiny, she is forced to seek the balance between ecstasy and ruin.
-Opening to every episode in Witchblade-
these words make known the impossible struggle of the one chosen to weild the powerful witchblade and serve as a constant reminder in the beginning of every episode that things will not end happily and that there is a price to be payed for wielding the power to do the impossible. The anime “Witchblade” produced by Gonzo in collaboration with Topcow (the company responsible for the original comic created by David Wohl and Mark Silvestri). Witchblade follows the struggles of Masane Amaha, a woman with no memory of her past save for the moment she awoke in the epicenter of a massive event called “the great quake” that leveled most of Tokyo, with nothing but a baby in her arms.
After years spent in homeless shelters Masane decides to take her young daughter Rihoko(the child she was found with) back to tokyo while she runs from Child services. It doesn’t take long for their flight from the authorities to end in Rihoko being taken away. This is where the first glimpse of this anime’s true potential shines as Rihoko is being taken away Masane’s maternal instincts kick in and she fights off two cops and steals a police car before finally getting into a horrible accident that finds her sent to the local police station and put under arrest. Masane’s drive to protect Rihoko is what sets this show apart from simply being Fanservice: the anime. The love and care put into every frame between the mother and daughter make their relationship feel real and this is even before Masane discovers she is the wielder of The Witchblade.
Now seeing as I don’t recap a while show on this blog let me just say Masane soon discovers she is in possession of a powerful artifact known as the witchblade. After transforming and combating a monster in the prison she escapes only to be captured by the mysterious Dougi Group, the former possessors of the witchblade. They then task her with the job of eliminating Biological experiments known as “X-Cons” in exchange for her daughters safety and a stable well paying job. This barely covers the main plot but what ensues is a complex web of corporate espionage, intense monster battles and a mountain of fan service, cleverly wrapped in mystery and a mothers innocent love for her daughter.
At it’s core Witchblade should not be confused for the action and boobs that fill the screen at as many opportunities as possible. Behind all the action and fanservice lies one of the best anime’s for character development and realization. Every character feels important and interesting, as well as very realistic and apart of me wants to ask if a level of this realism was brought from the unique American view of the Topcow staff. I won’t give anything away but once the slippery slope of fighting and protecting begin to take their toll of Masane you might find yourself cheering for her to win, to make it out alive and caring about the effect of her potential death might have on all characters involved. To stress that this show is high on drama and great storytelling is vastly important as many will discount Witchblade as mindless violence and sex, though it does have those in spades kupo!
Ultimately and like many anime this moogle takes the time to watch Witchblade asks the questions of what it means to be human, what lengths one is willing to go to achieve their goals, and ultimately what you are willing to sacrifice to protect those you love. I picked this show up because of my Hero Michael Turner’s involvement in the original comic, and was surprised to find that this show could stand on its own as a powerful and interesting take on the original source material. To say I would want more collaborations in the future between Top cow and other anime companies is an understatement. But for now I think I might take a look and see how the Marvel Anime line up is doing.
Overall, a fantastic anime full of boobs, fights and a deep look at mother daughter relationships as well as superb characterization and writing. You’ll laugh, cry, and cheer on the exploits of Masane as she delves into the darkest depths of the Witchblades all encompassing lust for battle. Highly recommended for anyone who likes the original comic or fans of the magical girl genre.
I rate Witchblade 4/5 Kupo!