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In order to protect her daughter, a young single mother is forced to fight after acquiring a powerful ancient weapon.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Jamie Marchi ...  Masane Amaha 24 episodes, 2006
Cherami Leigh ...  Naomi 24 episodes, 2006
Mark Stoddard ...  Reiji Takayama 24 episodes, 2006
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Storyline

In order to protect her daughter, a young single mother is forced to fight after acquiring a powerful ancient weapon.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Brutal and bloody!


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

5 April 2006 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Клинок ведьм See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Original Japanese)| Dolby Digital (English Dub)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in The Image Revolution (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Ashita no Te
Performed by Mamiko Noto
Written and Arranged by Yukari Hashimoto
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User Reviews

 
Mediocre fan-service anime series that Strays too far from its source material to be considered a good "adaptation"
16 December 2009 | by xamtaroSee all my reviews

*note: I do intend to play the devils advocate here in light of all these positive reviews. I'm just stating how i feel about this series*

A co-production between American comic book company "top Cow" and anime company Gonzo, Witchblade is loosely based on the famous supernatural genre graphic novel series of the same name. In retrospect, "loosely" might be giving this series way too much credit. As a whole, "Witchblade" feels like a completely un-related anime series with the "Witchblade" title slapped on it just because it happened to feature a gauntlet-like object that binds to a woman thus granting her supernatural powers while replacing her clothes with an overly skimpy combat outfit. Other than that, it has absolutely NOTHING ELSE in common with the comic book it is based on.

Whatever intriguing supernatural detective story or down-to-earth characters that are easy to relate to has been thrown out the window and replaced with cliché upon cliché, staple to many science fiction Japanese anime.

Our story is set in future Japan. A couple of years ago, a giant disaster ravaged Tokyo leaving one Masane Amaha and a little girl the only survivors at ground zero. Now Masane and the little girl Rihoko, whom she adopted as her daughter, have returned to Tokyo and get involved in A string of events that culminates in an encounter with a strange and dangerous biomechanical creature leading Masane to discover that the little jewel on her wrist is actually "the witchblade", a legendary artifact. Now Masane has become caught in the middle of a power war between the NSWF organization and the "Douji" group, each with their own bio-engineered super soldiers and each desiring to possess the Witchblade for their own ends.

Though the characters are tried and tested stereotypical anime characters, their interactions come across as very genuine. Masane and Rihoko especially play out their mother/daughter roles very realistically, thanks to an excellent voice cast both in the original Japanese and the English dub tracks. Both are extremely likable even though the whole "mature young kid" and "bumbling but kind hearted immature adult" stereotype is nothing new in the world of anime.

Sadly after a rather promising first few episodes, the series starts to falter. The subsequent characters introduced to the series tend to be rather one dimensional and set firmly in stereotypical roles of "the tough guy protagonist", "sadistic female assassin", "comedy relief gang" etc. The story pacing also takes a nosedive. It feels like a 12 episode story stretched into 24 episodes. There is a bit of Comedy, but comedy is a good thing when played right, not when it is awkwardly written and badly placed.

Awkward also translates to the animation and art style. It would be easy to criticize this show's overly sexualized portrayal of Masane and the other "clone-blade" users. On almost every young adult female character, it is either the butt or the.....chest or both that is disproportionately emphasized. Fanservice is at an all time high with scenes of scantly clad blood-lusting females duking it out with blades and bouncing "melons". Even the "bloodlust" is quite literally a "lust"; all in a bid to titillate the male audience. Characters are drawn off-model sometimes with Masane's body proportions seemingly changing size in-between scenes. The animation also suffers in the long run. Only the still shots and close-ups look passably decent but disappointingly stiff. Action shots and many scenes involving movement cause the level of art detail to drop quite a bit.

The mother/daughter drama between Masane and Rihoko might have been the saving grace of this series but sadly it is also stretched to breaking point over the course of the 24 episodes (again due to horrible pacing). The story gets more and more convoluted as the series passes into its second half while the art and animation sort of settles into a low-to-medium budget look and feel as the production constantly cuts corners by using one too many animation short-cuts.

For all the advertising Funimation and Top Cow did on the Witchblade anime, this series is an utter disappointment. Instead of building on the more original mother/daughter dynamics and character drama, the series decides to play the "sex sells" card and deliver one fan-service laden combat sequence after another, complete with jokes about the main character's over-sized breasts. Lacking even the coherence and cleverness of the original comic books, Witchblade may satisfy those hot blooded young male viewers who love to be teased by anime females in states of semi-nudity. Other than that, it is mediocre fare not worth the time or money, compared to other better series out there.


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