I started reading this manga about a week ago and now I am pretty much ADDICTED. In one week, it has shot up to join my list of ‘Top Favourite Series of All Time’. Why am I not surprised OTL I’m so weak to amazingly-written classics…
Most of my free time is currently spent binging and I’m now about 3/4 way through with just a little over 50 chapters left to go. Taking a break cos I really wanted to get this First Impressions out before finishing the series, so the faster I get this done, the faster I can get back to it, HAHA. This post will only cover the thoughts that I noted down when I first began the manga.
Manga: Mugen no Juunin「無限の住人」Blade of the Immortal
Vol 1 Japanese cover Prologue chp cover
Mugen no Juunin is a Seinen, action, adventure, historial, martial arts, drama by Samura Hiroaki. It was published from June 1993 to December 2012 in Monthly Afternoon and is complete at 30 volumes with 207 chapters. It was adapted into an anime that and novel in 2008 and a live-action film adaptation is scheduled for release at the end of April 2017. Throughout this post, I will be referring to the series by its Japanese title instead of its English title.
So… I only thought to start reading Mugen no Juunin after watching the trailer of the live-action movie coming out very soon. It was just too cool! I had heard of the series a long, long time ago and I knew that it was pretty old and definitely a classic, but maybe I hadn’t heard about it enough or something, it had never been on my to-read-list this whole time.
WARNING: Mature, VERY violent, gory, bloody, and pretty screwed up. Well, it’s a samurai series, so characters get cut up on a regular basis in all their messy glory, not to mention how socially questionable the time period the series is set in was. Morally challenging. Characters have both good and… not always bad, but more like… grey areas to consider. Also vulgar, crude, and NSFW with explicit scenes.
I’m not sure if it was my preference for Seinen and mature themes — To be honest, it’s probably finding out that this manga is ‘screwed up’ — but I got into the flow of the story really quickly.
Just chapter 7 and a crapload of things have already happened! Introduction, character history, plot escalation… I mean, I know this is all pretty much expected from a good development in the beginning, but from reading less than 10 chapters, you realise that the synopsis of this series only covers a single drop of water in the full bucket of expansion that is Mugen no Juunin. I’m not sure if that analogy makes sense, but I hope it
(kind of) brings the point I’m trying to make across, ahahahaha OTL
I’d always thought I didn’t have a specific view on it or anything, but reading Mugen no Juunin now… I’ve… probably come to love Samurai a whole lot XD The ‘samurai story’ and the historical time period it’s set in has turned out to be extremely appealing to me ~
From the beginning, Mugen no Juunin is sarcastic, with lots of crude, sometimes black, humor; It’s a heck of a lot of fun if you’re into things like that. The way in which characters speak is refreshing in that they feel natural. Characters don’t mince words in dialogue and you can really get a sense of how everyone’s personality is like based on the way they talk and how their conversations go, even through translations. I’ve come to love different aspects of certain recurring characters… and also developed a deep bias for Manji (the samurai protagonist), ehehe ~
Something I’m troubled about though, is that it’s a little hard to follow fight scenes portrayed in the manga, at least for me OTL I… don’t have good visual sense I guess. Because of the crazy movement, action lines and blood, plus Samura-sensei’s style of art, I can generally get an idea of what is happening, but it’s hard to tell each individual character movement. I also have a bit of trouble telling characters apart sometimes because of how similar they all look, which is probably due to the time period the series is set in, in addition to the art style.
After going through 3/4 of the series, I have so many other things to add, but I’m going to stop here or it won’t be much of a ‘first impressions’ anymore.
Already gone overboard and talked too much, oops.
Alright then, please excuse me while I go ahead to finish reading the rest of Mugen no Juunin. I’m so excited, I can’t wait!