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Monday, August 31, 2009

Blade of the Phantom Master: Shin Angyo Onshi DVD Impression

Blade of the Phantom Master
A big ol’ tease, that is exactly what Blade of the Phantom Master from FUNimation is, just one big ol’ tease. Like any good tease there is also much to be attracted too in this bloody and graphic story so let’s take a look at what makes a good tease.

The Amen Osa are mystical warriors who command spiritual armies and are marked by a medallion with three horses. They protect and serve the Jushin Empire, that is until its demise and with it their order. Moving into the realm of myth only one Amen Osa remains and he moves with the wind exacting his own brand of justice. He is no savior and an encounter with a young boy out to become an Amen Osa to aid in his recovery of his true love proves just how brutal he can be. Disguised in a very disturbing manner he enters the village where the boys love, Chun Young, is being held and controlled by a miserable little noble dictator. He lets the villagers dispose of the dictator while he fights with the controlled Chun Young who only stops by seeing a familiar headband. From this time on she sticks by as the Sando, the protector servant of an Amen Osa. As they journey they are sucked into aiding a young boy found on a beach. His island has its own issues and the seemingly peaceful lord is not all he seems to be. As the truth is revealed, a truth that is bleak and disgusting. A brief look into the Amen Osa’s past reveals an epic enemy just waiting to be found. Who is this foe from the past and why does exhaustion set in so quickly? Questions and answers for another time.

What’s in a tease, something attractive that whets an appetite and leaves you wanting more. Blade of the Phantom Master does just that in spades as it reveals a world that is gritty, a combination of Fist of the North Star mixed with Jean Claude’s Cyborg but with animation and style on part with Fullmetal Alchemist. The animation is top notch, sharp and detailed but will not break molds as it holds true to the apocalyptic style seen in the above mentioned features. The action is crazy good, but limited as is the background story. This is where the tease comes in as the story sets the stage with a very hard hitting, violent story, protagonist who really does not care and an enigmatic protector. The first encounter shows what power is all about, shapes the journey and the second builds on this relationship, shows hints of a much more epic clash to come then … it ends? Yeah, this is the tease part. Just when you’re hitting ‘next’ to see more you get credits.

Overall Blade of the Phantom Master is a bloody, violent good time that, while limited, should be seen by mature anime fans. Take on the anime then look for more stories because like many an anime of the 80’s and 90’s it’s just the tip of a much bigger berg to explore.

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