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Blade of the Immortal, Volume 5: On Silent Wings II

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In her quest across feudal Japan to avenge the murder of her parents, Rin has seen too much death and agony. When Rin befriends a young boy, she is horrified to learn that his father is one of her parents' killers. Wery of blood, Rin now wishes only for an apology from the killer, a mask maker whose only desire is to keep his evil past from his son and who will take up the In her quest across feudal Japan to avenge the murder of her parents, Rin has seen too much death and agony. When Rin befriends a young boy, she is horrified to learn that his father is one of her parents' killers. Wery of blood, Rin now wishes only for an apology from the killer, a mask maker whose only desire is to keep his evil past from his son and who will take up the sword again to protect his secret. Protecting Rin, however, is the immortal samurai, Manji--but if he kills the mask maker, will Rin's young friend be drawn into the same cycle of vengeance that has scarred her own life?


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In her quest across feudal Japan to avenge the murder of her parents, Rin has seen too much death and agony. When Rin befriends a young boy, she is horrified to learn that his father is one of her parents' killers. Wery of blood, Rin now wishes only for an apology from the killer, a mask maker whose only desire is to keep his evil past from his son and who will take up the In her quest across feudal Japan to avenge the murder of her parents, Rin has seen too much death and agony. When Rin befriends a young boy, she is horrified to learn that his father is one of her parents' killers. Wery of blood, Rin now wishes only for an apology from the killer, a mask maker whose only desire is to keep his evil past from his son and who will take up the sword again to protect his secret. Protecting Rin, however, is the immortal samurai, Manji--but if he kills the mask maker, will Rin's young friend be drawn into the same cycle of vengeance that has scarred her own life?

30 review for Blade of the Immortal, Volume 5: On Silent Wings II

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Halleck

    Where the series until this point was a bit inconsistent (though absolutely necessary to establish character background and motivations), it's here, with this arc that Samura's flashes of brilliance coalesce into a masterful whole. The story gets its first chance to move away from its central, establishing conceit (he can't die until he's repayed his karmic debt, she wants revenge for her parents' murders), leaves its hack-n'-slash emphasis, and starts to explore the deeper implications of Rin a Where the series until this point was a bit inconsistent (though absolutely necessary to establish character background and motivations), it's here, with this arc that Samura's flashes of brilliance coalesce into a masterful whole. The story gets its first chance to move away from its central, establishing conceit (he can't die until he's repayed his karmic debt, she wants revenge for her parents' murders), leaves its hack-n'-slash emphasis, and starts to explore the deeper implications of Rin and Manji's journey. The storytelling throughout the entire "On Silent Wings" arc (part I and part II) is fantastic. The art consistent and imbued with the perfect amount of drama, movement, and emotional subtlety. The pacing and handling of the action sequences is downright cinematic. The balance found here is the reason this series isn't just good, but award winning.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecka2

    And I thought that the series couldn't get any better. And I thought that the series couldn't get any better.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sydneroo

    Rating: 4.5 stars

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    4 1/2 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Case

    Very emotional and dramatic conclusion to the "On Silent Wings" arc. This volume really shows off the breadth of Samura's artistic ability, from the road strokes of his fight scenes to small subtle character moments. Very emotional and dramatic conclusion to the "On Silent Wings" arc. This volume really shows off the breadth of Samura's artistic ability, from the road strokes of his fight scenes to small subtle character moments.

  6. 4 out of 5

    shea

    Goddamn the antagonists are all written so well. How can this series be so good?!??!?!?

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Wiswell

    This volume includes a flashback that shows us more of what happened to Rin's household than we probably wanted to see, but provides vital insight to the activities of Itt-Ryu's assassins that night. This volume (and the On Silent Wings story as a whole) takes the next great step in developing the radicals as more than just terrifying villains. On Silent Wings' pivotal antagonist is an intriguing contradiction: he's a master torturer for the Itto Ryu radicals, but he's also a loving father and m This volume includes a flashback that shows us more of what happened to Rin's household than we probably wanted to see, but provides vital insight to the activities of Itt-Ryu's assassins that night. This volume (and the On Silent Wings story as a whole) takes the next great step in developing the radicals as more than just terrifying villains. On Silent Wings' pivotal antagonist is an intriguing contradiction: he's a master torturer for the Itto Ryu radicals, but he's also a loving father and maskmaker. This depth feels a little strange at times because the manga still relies on many tropes of heroic tales, including a grand entrance by Manji. Manji, Rin, the villain and an unexpected innocent victim are all wonderfully developed by the end of this heartbreaking volume, a display of brilliant plotting.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)

    Good volume.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    This one's even better. The complexity of revenge and the creative solution. Love it. This one's even better. The complexity of revenge and the creative solution. Love it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Will Chin

    Five volumes in, I would say that this is my favourite one yet. Samura takes the series to a new level with this entry in the series, filled with nuanced character moments and conversations — something which the series could not quite achieve until now. Volume five begins with a flashback of Rin's past. Much emphasis is going to be placed on her mother's rape scene, but I feel that the more consequential section is the conversation that her grandfather has with her at the very beginning. The the Five volumes in, I would say that this is my favourite one yet. Samura takes the series to a new level with this entry in the series, filled with nuanced character moments and conversations — something which the series could not quite achieve until now. Volume five begins with a flashback of Rin's past. Much emphasis is going to be placed on her mother's rape scene, but I feel that the more consequential section is the conversation that her grandfather has with her at the very beginning. The themes explored in this section — about the cyclical nature of revenge and violence — comes back later in the novel to form a full circle. This is the first time, I believe, where a flashback goes above and beyond the purpose of a flashback to tie the theme of the entire volume together. This I appreciated greatly. The rest of the volume, in a strange way, reminds me of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Allow me to explain: if there were two things that Tarantino is known for in his films, they would be revenge as a theme, as well as his love for set pieces. He takes his time to set up a film's climatic scenes, constantly tightening the knobs until it breaks at the very end. He isn't afraid to stay at the same location for 10 or 20 minutes, then filling the entire scene with long, drawn out conversations. There are also subtext within subtext; a boiling tension just beneath the surface that threatens to blow the lid off at every turn of the conversation. That is the brilliance of Tarantino films, and I think I see shadows of that in volume five of this series. I am referring here to the scene where Rin visits Araya, after running into his son and saving him at a festival. We know that Araya was the man responsible for raping (not killing) her mother, and we know that Rin is on a warpath — albeit an unsteady one — to avenger her parents. However, when she shows up at Araya's house, she does not immediately carry out her revenge. Instead, the two have a conversation over tea. When Araya first meets Rin in the room, he has no idea who she is until the conversation clues him in. In between, the two share their back stories, and you find out that Araya had long ago turned away from his criminal past in order to bring up his son in the right environment. Yet, even with the cards fully on the table, Samura does not allow the next section of the plot to kick in. Instead, he diffuses it, almost like a short relief or a breather, by having the son serve tea to the both of them. I love this pause, because it is exactly what Tarantino would do in his films. Think about the scene in Pulp Fiction, when Vincent and Jules are in the room interrogating the men. Halfway through the interrogation, Jules picks up a hamburger to taste it. Not only does this break the tension, it holds it in the air because the viewer — in this case, the reader — never quite know what's going to happen next. I love that Rin's purpose here is not to kill Araya, but to have him apologise. This ties back to the earlier flashback of what grandpa told her when she was a child. Now, it is naive and silly of her to think that Araya would take up her offer, but I love the turn of events here. Samura almost subverts the expectation that Araya is going to be yet another target Manji has to take down. Instead, this time, Rin wants to exact her revenge without a physical weapon at all. Although, to be honest, I would have preferred if her so-called revenge is to reveal his history to his son. That would have tasted sweeter and still avoided murder. Alas, even though the lead up is amazing in this book, Samura does resort to yet another fight scene. While this close-quarter fight scene is much easier to follow, having Manji show up once again to save the day does dilute the tension in the beginning. It is just a tiny bit disappointing that the scene has to devolve into yet another sword fight, which we have already seen more than a handful of times thus far. Samura does attempt to correct this with the last part of the book, especially with the part that concerns Araya's son. I think it is a beautiful closure to the arc and, again, ties back to the words of Rin's grandfather right at the beginning. In some ways, I find Manji's character perhaps less interesting than that of Rin's. Manji feels really one-note throughout the series, but Rin is the one that has been growing as a character. In terms of development, I see most potential in her. I am excited for the next entry in this series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Sorbello

    This is a review of the entire series. Manji is a ruthless ronin stricken with the curse of immortality. To undo his curse, he must take the lives of a thousand sinners. He's a wandering sword for hire that kills without mercy and hunts down evil warriors all over feudal Japan. He wanders and kills without purpose for quite some time, but his long journey to end his own life takes an unexpected turn when he meets a compassionate young girl named Rin who is seeking revenge for her parents after th This is a review of the entire series. Manji is a ruthless ronin stricken with the curse of immortality. To undo his curse, he must take the lives of a thousand sinners. He's a wandering sword for hire that kills without mercy and hunts down evil warriors all over feudal Japan. He wanders and kills without purpose for quite some time, but his long journey to end his own life takes an unexpected turn when he meets a compassionate young girl named Rin who is seeking revenge for her parents after they were murdered by members of a brutal new sword school called the Itto-ryu. Manji accepts the role of Rin's guardian and their drastically different ideals and personalities begin to change each other in ways neither of them could've foreseen as they clash with one merciless sinner after another. The story cycles between several groups of samurai warriors each with their own moral codes and objectives. Other than Manji and Rin, there is Anotsu Kagehisa; the leader of the Itto-ryu and his band of rogues that openly defy old traditions as they seek to revolutionize the way of the samurai through force. Hyakurin and her partner Giichi who work as government cutthroats under a faction called the Mugai-ryu along with a serial killer named Shira, and so on. There are also hundreds of assassins, criminal gangs and shady individuals that wish to learn the secrets of Manji's immortality for their own nefarious purposes. With so many vicious people on the loose, it's no surprise that this ends up being one of the most brutal and bloody samurai tales ever told. Blade of the Immortal makes ultra-violence look like a poetic art form. Blood and limbs fly like scarlet paint. Blades cut through flesh and bone like knives through butter. The use of clever battle poses and finishing techniques against the backdrop of hyper-stylized Edo period art makes for some museum-worthy battle and death scenes. Despite how glamorized violence and bloodshed is throughout the series, it does not shy away from exploring the aftermath of said violence and how it impacts the psychological state of the characters. A sweet girl like Rin seeks revenge against Anotsu of the Itto-ryu for leading an assault that resulted in the murder of her family and slowly grows accustomed to the constant brutality that the path of revenge leads to. Anotsu himself isn't the one-dimensional evil monster that Rin believes him to be as he is driven by a sense of revenge himself; his revolution against outdated traditions begins only because people he loved were hurt, killed and outcasted by the harsh rules and teachings of the old sword schools. Even those who live through vicarious swindling and assassination such as Hyakurin and her partner Giichi have very traumatic upbringings and take no joy in their work. We see how violence warps these characters into killing machines and then we see how the violence they inflict on others leads to more tragedy and bloodshed. Whether it be physical, mental or sexual, the violence throughout the series never goes unexplored or unpunished. It somehow manages to be brutally elegant and mature at the same time, the bloody battles are fantastic and the effects it has on the characters is even more so. What seems to be a cliche samurai revenge story subtly transforms into an exploration of the psychological effects that violence has on many different types of individuals. Some are defined by it, some are bound to it, some love it while others allow themselves to grow from it or be destroyed by it. Violence and revenge are never fully justified nor condemned. It's presented from a very neutral and realistic point of view, allowing you to see it from every angle possible and judge for yourself whether it can be justified or not. The story is simple, but the webs of conflict between many groups of complex and dangerous characters is where it truly shines. Strong development, elegant violence, moral ambiguity and an unusually modern punk tone in the dialogue and mannerisms of the characters offers a unique way of exploring a feudal-era drama that defies the expectations of a traditional revenge story. *** My Social Media My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPPs... My Instagram Account: https://www.instagram.com/michael_sor... My Wattpad Account: https://www.wattpad.com/user/Michael-... My Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/SorbelloHorror My Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/michael.sorb...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Adam Stone

    The trigger wasning for this book of violent samurai battles is that this volume contains a rape scene. It's not graphic but it's also not really neccessary. But this is a book from 1998, and wtiters were still using rape as one of the main origins for stories about vengeance. If you don't want to encounter the scene, you can skip the first quarter of this book, and you won't be lost picking up at the next chapter. I didn't give this book a lower rating than the other volumes because of the rape The trigger wasning for this book of violent samurai battles is that this volume contains a rape scene. It's not graphic but it's also not really neccessary. But this is a book from 1998, and wtiters were still using rape as one of the main origins for stories about vengeance. If you don't want to encounter the scene, you can skip the first quarter of this book, and you won't be lost picking up at the next chapter. I didn't give this book a lower rating than the other volumes because of the rape scene. There is a lot of action in thie volume, and it's not drawn particularly clearly. I was a bit taken aback, because I've really enjoyed Samura's sketchy art, but it felt lacking in this volume. There is also a point in the Main Battle where, out of nowhere, we start to see Rin having some sort of dream sequence. It adds nothing to the story, but causes confusion as to what's happening in the battle. This is still a great story. These are, for me, minor setbacks in my overall enjoyment of the series. I will continue reading, though, and am optimistic that the story will get back on track.

  13. 4 out of 5

    fonz

    Era sólo cuestión de tiempo que esta serie (que aparentemente va sobre la redención de un samurai inmortal, pero en realidad trata sobre el aprendizaje y la búsqueda espiritual de la auténtica protagonista del manga hasta el momento, que es su compañera Rin) rompiera su techo y creo que en este número lo ha logrado con nota. Los temas de fondo de la historia; la inutilidad de la venganza, la espiral de violencia sin sentido que genera y la capacidad (o no) de las personas para la redención, toma Era sólo cuestión de tiempo que esta serie (que aparentemente va sobre la redención de un samurai inmortal, pero en realidad trata sobre el aprendizaje y la búsqueda espiritual de la auténtica protagonista del manga hasta el momento, que es su compañera Rin) rompiera su techo y creo que en este número lo ha logrado con nota. Los temas de fondo de la historia; la inutilidad de la venganza, la espiral de violencia sin sentido que genera y la capacidad (o no) de las personas para la redención, toman forma de manera brillante en una conversación excepcionalmente planificada y planteada, de una emoción intensísima, entre Rin y Araya, el hombre que violó y asesinó a su madre cuando ella era una niña. Unas páginas para enmarcar. Ya sólo falta que Samura dibuje escenas de acción que no sean tormentas de líneas cinéticas, cuando llegue ese momento, obra maestra.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    This one was very melancholic. I think it's always more interesting when the 'bad guys' have good things in their lives and the 'good guys' do bad things to win. You can say that Rin and Manji do a good thing here, but it's very relative given what else they've done. A very complex emotional narrative this time round. "Say Manji... When people hate, is this how it has to be? Doesn't it ever stop until someone's dead?" "Ya dumb kid. It doesn't stop even when someone dies. Not really..." This one was very melancholic. I think it's always more interesting when the 'bad guys' have good things in their lives and the 'good guys' do bad things to win. You can say that Rin and Manji do a good thing here, but it's very relative given what else they've done. A very complex emotional narrative this time round. "Say Manji... When people hate, is this how it has to be? Doesn't it ever stop until someone's dead?" "Ya dumb kid. It doesn't stop even when someone dies. Not really..."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tom Bell

    I thought Volume 4, On Silent Wings I, was a little slow but the payoff in part II was well worth it. The underlying themes are starting to get really dark and the moral compass of almost all the major characters is questioned. Top all that off with a little samurai violence and you can an excellent little piece of reading. Enjoy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Drizztl

    7/10

  17. 4 out of 5

    Xilks

    This continuation was actually really helpful to understanding exactly what happened to Rin's family. Even so, it was done, mostly tastefully, but I'm not sure if I liked that it was shown in this manner, or if I would have enjoyed all the gritty details. Either way, this volume brought to light one of the many issues of blood feud and revenge. I thought it was interesting to see Rin have some insight to the subject, why still having another character that could only see the situation in black a This continuation was actually really helpful to understanding exactly what happened to Rin's family. Even so, it was done, mostly tastefully, but I'm not sure if I liked that it was shown in this manner, or if I would have enjoyed all the gritty details. Either way, this volume brought to light one of the many issues of blood feud and revenge. I thought it was interesting to see Rin have some insight to the subject, why still having another character that could only see the situation in black and white. Hopefully, I can find the next volume at the library.

  18. 4 out of 5

    A M

    This volume touches on the cyclical nature of revenge, while Rin still struggles with her conflicting emotions from the prior volume.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Josh Kaplowitz

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dave White

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liz Janet

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer K. Oliver

  24. 4 out of 5

    Len

  25. 4 out of 5

    Saikouhen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Faith W.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tho Linh

  28. 5 out of 5

    n.EYRE

  29. 5 out of 5

    Undeadzamiel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Justyna

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