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R. Bruce Elliott,
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not your average Samurai series, not for the impatient, not for the young
This is a 12 part Anime series. I watched the Blu-ray (english 5.1) and thought it was "translated well", without knowing the original language (which is also on the disc in 2.0). Atmosphere and presentation is where this series really shines. The voice acting is good and ambient sounds can be great at times. The artwork and sound design is impressive and can be almost hypnotic. The story may seem a bit convoluted and i actually watched the 1st part again after finishing the series, but much of it comes together in the end.
This is not your average Samurai-Anime, if you're looking for something action-packed like Ninja Scroll, you won't find it here. If you like the more arty touch and trippiness of Ghost in the Shell and thrive on atmosphere and just enjoying the animated art, then you're in the right place. There aren't huge battles or war-scenes, the Samurai are mostly dueling, building up tension with dialog and the great score before bursting into short but intense fights. There is some pretty graphic violence, so only recommendable to adults, especially with the slower, more atmospheric style of the series, which can be interpreted as "boring" by viewers with a short attention span.
If you are in need of another Samurai fix, but with more action, then check out Ninja Scroll (1993) + Basilisk (2005)
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