September 16, 2009
Company: Madhouse Studios
Format: 12 episodes
Synopsis: Kogan Iwamato is one of Japan’s most powerful swordsman. He holds prestige, massive land holdings, and has numerous followers willing to obey his every beck and call. Yet, nearing the end of his life, Kogan is desperate to find a successor who is worthy enough to marry his daughter and carry his name into the next era. Among his many students, the cold-hearted Gennosuke Fujiki and the enigmatic Seigen Irako hold the most potential. While the choices continue to narrow, Kogan suffers a massive betrayal.
Pace & Editing: Fairly slow and emotional yet precise.
Art & illustrations: Great details (weapons, characters, settings, and over all mood) & Intricate.
Music & scores: subtle and works very well with visuals.
Violence and nudity: Very graphic & disturbing.
NOTE: Please be wary that this anime is not suitable for anyone under 18 and if you really insist on letting your little brother or sister watch this, we at Fat Kids are not liable for any traumatic impact or after effects.
WOW… is first impression anyone would have after watching Shigurui. Its graphic violence and nudity coupled with blood, details and subtle music makes it an intense anime to watch.
There are 5 things that I’m personally impressed by, the animation and illustrative style, details given to each character and weapon, the tension and build ups that worked immensely well with the picture, the score/ music that kept the picture alive and most importantly, the directors vision throughout the whole series.
Obviously the bits of gore, blood, battles, nudity and sexual connotations made the movie so much for interesting and diverse, but without a clear vision and a strong sense of direction, Shigurui would have just been another B grade anime.
Lets talk about the animation and illustrative style of Shigurui. When I first looked at the cover and booklet, it gave me a sense of how the series would be. Sketchy/edgy illustrations coupled with earthly colors such as brown, beige and some red, instantly told me it was going to be a strong, deep and bloody animation. I was right.
The style that was used, definitely brought out each character’s strengths and weaknesses along with the mood and emotions that were flowing through each scene. With the help of quick cuts during the battles and slow build ups…it made the anime more interesting and attention grabbing.
With the foley, sound FX and scoring team hard at work, it brought life to the picture in so many ways. It created tension, angst, betrayal, fear, pain, dishonor, hatred, guilt, sorrow, victory, death and more throughout the series. I have to say the music department did a great job.
Anyone that has seen Shigurui would love Madhouse’s battle/gore scenes. They are filled with so much detail and blood, its EPIC! You have to watch it to get the experience.
Madhouse has marked their spot again as one of the giants in the animation industry. I’d highly recommend everyone (over 18) to watch this anime.
Get your copy of Shigurui from Madman Entertainment now.
Fat Kids Rating: 8.2/10
Reviewed by Benny Teh