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Blade of the Immortal #1--BLAND Review

 BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
 Story & Art: Hiroaki Samura
 Translation: Dama Lewis & Toren Smith
 Lettering & Touch-Up: Wayne Truman
 Years ago, the samurai Manji murdered his daimyo because he felt he
 was giving unjust orders. Since then, he has been on the run and
 killed more than one hundred officers of the law and in the process
 driven his sister incurably insane. Further cursed with the aid of
 "blood worms" which restore his body to perfect condition no matter
 how much damage he takes, he resolves to travel around Japan and slay
 a thousand evil men to balance out his crimes. This is the plot of
 BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, Dark Horse's new manga by Hiroaki Samura.
 Samura's artwork is gorgeous. Everything -- his painting, his inking,
 his zip-tone, and even his finished pencils -- is so exquisitely
 beautiful that I wouldn't want to change even a single line. Even his
 depictions of blood and gore are strangely attractive. At his request,
 Dark Horse cut-and-pasted the original panels instead of flipping
 them, and the result is a lot better than you'd think. Even the few
 Japanese sound effects that remain enhance the beauty of the book.
 On the other hand, his writing may be a bit troublesome. The story is
 well-done, but the dialogue is somewhat vexing. Instead of having his
 characters speak old-fashined Japanese, they speak more like
 modern-day street toughs. On the one had it's a lot easier to identify
 with characters that speak with modern idioms, but on the other hand
 it does seem a tad out of place. I haven't decided whether I like the
 effect yet.
 There's also a chance that the series will go downhill quickly. While
 I for one would not mind seeing Manji's adventures if they're all as
 good as this one, the series could quickly degenerate into "Manji
 kills another guy", which would get old fast.
  "Those who induce these stressors on you, were individually not your friends
 in the first place, for they wish through these stressors to either brainwash
 you, transvalue your sex, or even kill you with alphabet soup."
 							--Owen W. Gustafson