Katanagatari 01 – The Way of the Sword that Used No Swords…?

70% of idle chattering, 20% action scenes, 6% witty comedy, 2% romance, the last 2%? Well, leave that for your imagination. If you’ve enjoyed the dialogue-heavy Bakemonogatari (anyone know when ep14 comes out?) with its pointless screentime of time-wasting conversations, then Katanagatari is surely going to be your side course as, not only but the original light novels written by the same author of Bakemono, but also retains the traditional useless long convos no humans could ever keep up talking, AND to increase the blabber time, each episode is virtually 50 MINUTES LONG! See if you can keep up with that. Sadly though, this isn’t done by Akiyuki Shinbo’s legion at Shaft like Bakemono, but by newcomers to the Anime studio industry White Fox, known for their first independent project Tears to Tiara.

Little Hi-jack Note: Been frequently busy with RL and elsewhere on the net, meaning I have not much time to update and post to this blog. Apologies for any inconveniences (if there is any that is…) and Baka Test episodic summaries will be posted as usual (if I have the time that is…).

Summary (being a 50 minute episode, I’ll be REALLY brief):

Siblings Shichika and Nanami has both lived alone together on a deserted island for many years now. After their parents (who’re apparently famous sword smiths or something) passed away years ago and they were forced to survive on their own from then. One normal tropical day, a girl arrives on the island called by the name of Togame. She is then immediately stripped of her sword as swords just before attacking Shichika and any types of blades are forbidden from use of the island (health and safety and all that). Back at the hut, she explains to the two about many thing regarding the past and their noble swordsmithing parents, and jumps to the point to request Shichika to go with her in retrieving these 12 sacred swords that are scattered across the land, as when you gather the 12 swords together, something fabulous will happen (Dragonball?). Unfortunately though, just before Shichika makes his decision, they are ambushed with flying shurikens and blades by a ninja, who happened to be in disguised as a sailor who sailed Togame over to the island. The ninja apparently has one of the 12 sacred swords literally inside his body. Many things had occured during this time, including Togame being kidnapped and tied to a tree, the ninja guy morphing into a spitting image of Togame and attempting to fool Shichika, but foiled as Shichika immediately knew it was him (maybe?). More chattering goes on between the ninja and Shichika, only till then Shichika finally makes his magnificent move (as Togame is going to have to send in a report on the findings of the 12 sacred swords, and that she wants the retrieval of the swords to be as fabulous as possible) which turns out to be the move Shichika was going to show to Nanami, but failed as she wasn’t interested. Togame and Shichika are reunited, gone over some stuff and before you knew it, the two set sail for the mainland, leaving Nanami behind as she is sick and needs her rest. Concluding the episode as the two sail into the horizon…

Cuz’ that makes total sense imo.

So, 50 minutes long for each episode eh? In a way, it seems like 2 episodes combined in one long tele-broadcast (as an average TV anime episode is roughly 25 minutes long) but seem even longer due to the endless dialogue the series seems to hold. However, due to its super long broadcast and terrestrial TV stations in Japan being very strict, it seems that Katanagatari will air in fortnightly intervals (2 weeks) to let the time schedule run smoothly and collected (according to the message in the preview). Fortunately though, both opening and ending sequences are at the usual one and a half minutes long, unlike the recent One Piece openings being a minute extended being to two and a half minutes long…

As for the episode… Great start for the first episode I have to say. Compared to how other anime series started out this season, this has to be one of the best. It exactly got straight to the point to the series half way into the episode. I kinda feel bad for Nanami though, at the end of the episode she gets left behind on the island taking care of hereself as Shichika and Togame sail off obtaining the 12 mystery swords they’re supposed to collect… all due to her bad condition she’s in… Togame however… LAWL at the fact that some saying she’s heard and believes in, she demands Shichika to fall for her! Haha… never see that often in Anime these days huh…

The art and animation on the other hand was rather unique compared to any other anime out there. Adapting off the original illustrations from the light novels of course, it has this light Americanised cartoon theme to the art style and the colours are yet basic but so… so detailed. Props to White Fox for achieving the unique adaptation!

Series slated to run for 12 episodes, in parallel to the 12 original light novel series it’s adapting from. Now that you think about it… 1 volume for one episode… makes the length of the episode 50 minutes seem worthwhile if you think it that way… Also note that a spin off novel was released for this series known as Maniwagatari. Expect some sort of OVA or an “Unaired Episode” to appear in the last DVD volume of this series or something…

Well that’s it for now folks, oyasumi.

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