Witchblade – anime review

posted in: Anime Review | 15

I had this title on my “going to watch list” for a long time. Recently I found the time to watch it.
I actually knew nothing about the story of Witchblade before I started watching it. I just knew the cover of the anime which showed a sexy redhead demon lady in an quite revealing armor suit.

Witchblade is a 24 episode long anime which was aired from April 6, 2006 to September 21, 2006. Surprisingly It was based on the American comic by the same name, but instead of a mere adaptation, it was decided to create an entire new setup, with all new characters.

The cover of Witchblade is a little misleading, to be honest I was slightly disappointed by the lack of fanservice, I mean Masane (Masa-mune) has a great pair of boobs XD. Aside from one beach episode where she was wearing a revealing bikini, there wasn’t much that would deserve the term fanservice at all and she often wore the same set of clothes. One ecchi part might be the heavy breathing from Masane in Witchblade mode, or the perverted enemy’s in the first episodes.

Setting

In the 22th Century a catastrophe unknown origin occurred that destroyed a big part of the area around Tokyo. The 17 year old Masane Amaha, wakes up in these ruins she lost most of her memories and has a strange mark around her wrist. Next to her lies a baby, who appears to be her daughter Rihoko. Six years later she and her daughter Rihoko are on the run from the government child welfare agency that wants to take Rihoko away from Masane.

One day Rihoko is taken away by the child welfare agency and Masane is taken into custody by the police. During the night of the custody Masane is attacked by a mysterious creature.
A light emits from the mark around her wrist and Masane transforms into the new wielder of the Witchblade. In the further progress Masane comes in contact with Doji Industries, a big fish in the weapon industry and her boss the charismatic Takayama. He hires her to get more data about the Witchblade and uses her for other secret tasks, the job is very well paid, but it is a quite demanding one, not only that she has to deal with the tasks from Doji, she also has to deal with members of the competing organisation NSWF who is also interested in the Witchblade.

The events in and between these two different companies are an interesting part of this anime, different parties aspire for power and a lot of intrigues between them occurs.

Impressions

Masane was raised in an orphanage and never really had the chance to become an adult mentally. She isn’t the smartest one, also a little mannerless, but she’s a very likeable person with her honest words and caring attitude torwards Rihoko. Rihoko is the center of her life, she can give her the cozy feeling of the family she never had. Masane doesn’t know it any better and isn’t the best when it comes to daily chore, but she loves her daughter and would do anything for her.

Rihoko has adapted to her not so perfect mother and is also quite attached to her, of course. Regarding her age she  is a very independent child and the one who always does the chore, she cooks and does the laundry without fail. The mother child roles are reverted quite often, these scenes are actually quite funny.

With a job Masane is officially allowed to take care of her daughter, she and Rihoko move into an appartment, their neighbors are nice people with unique and interesting personalities. They support Masane in taking care of Rihoko when she can’t be around because of her job.

This anime shows that the love from a mother is more important for a child than providing it with lots of toys, money and a big house. Ok, that might sound cheesy, but this anime manages to portray this mother – daughter relationship in a down to earth way, without being exaggerated.

The tragic part of this anime starts as it was revealed that the Witchblade is actually a curse, Masane desperately tries to get rid of the device around her wrist, but it seems to be impossible and her destiny slowly starts to affect her life…

The atmosphere of Witchblade can be quite funny, but most of the time it has a faint melancholic touch which suits the setting very well. A very good detail of this anime were the letters, at the end of each episode a personal letter from either Masane or Rihoko is read out loud, it is never shown if the letter reached the person it was adressed to, but at least the viewer gets a deeper image of the characters.

Final Words

Witchblade has a multi layered setting with a lot of twists, it is very well directed and tells an very riveting story about tough business, ruthless science and the love between a mother and a child.

There are many sidestories that enriches the overall plot. During the 24 episodes the anime puts the viewer through different moods from lighthearted comedy to tragedy, everything is done in a believable, non cheesy way. Surprisingly the main focus of this anime aren’t half nude and curvy women fighting each other, it’s more focused on the bond between the two main characters.

Production values are good and solid for an anime of 2006, the style is quite appealing. Also the OST is well done and supports the plot in a very good way.

I enjoyed this anime a lot, the story can be considererd as thrilling and addicting. The characters are also very well created, you’ll end up caring for them on an emotional level at least for Masane and Rihoko. Even though I would have been happier with a different kind of ending. The anime had a great story overall, and with this end I would still rate this anime with 8,5 out of 10 points.

Thx for reading my humble review, Im on vacation starting next Tuesday and there probably won’t be any new post until the 07.06.2012. 

15 Responses

  1. Pedropinilla

    Hehe of course I have that one with the bikini and beer, more specifically, the original version with suntan skin ^^.
    Masane is the only character that I own more than just one figure, she’s just too hot xD.
    I’d like more figures of her also hehehe.
    Greetings!

  2. Pedropinilla

    Hi!

    I like your review of this anime, very nice done!
    About me, I watched this about two years ago and to tell you the truth I like a lot of things about it but the ending, I knew what was coming but I had hopes till the end that something extraordinary good would happen but… nothing happened after all.
    The character’s desing is excellent, in fact, Masane Amaha is one of my favorite female character of the japanese animation and maybe… maybe… maybe that’s the reason why I have three figures of her in my collection xD.
    And btw, if you like the designs, watch “Dragonaut the Resonance” that is also a great anime with a better ending.

    As always, a nice post, bye bye~

    • wieselhead

      Oh thank you very much, the writing was a little rough, but it was time for me to publish it.
      Im such a sucker for happy ends so I kinda wished for a happy solution, but it didn’t happen.

      I also liked her personality and how she had grew mentally durinhg this show.
      Ah three figures, do you also ave the one with the glas of beer?

      Thx for that recommendation I will take a look into it =)

  3. Nadav

    Witchblade had lots of fanservice and tended to cut and move to the next scene right when the action started. I liked the idea and some of the characters, but overall I though it was a bit mediocare. I can’t deny the fact that the anime sold tons in the U.S. though. It was popular that’s for sure.

    • wieselhead

      Oh reallly ? haha well Im used to much more fanservice in anime, so this show appeared quite modest in this regard.
      I liked it a lot only the ending was notreally my case.

  4. Nopy

    Witchblade was on my “to watch” list too for a few years, but after a while I realized I’d never get around to it. The series does sound good though, I had passed it off as a fanservice show because of the big-boobed character, but if the focus is more on relationships, then that certainly deserves a look.

    • wieselhead

      The fanservice is pretty low compared to todays standard. You won’t be distracted by it at all.
      Its a good show overall, you should watch it ^^

  5. Tier

    The original comic book is a bit like that, too – you look at the covers and think it’s about a woman who runs around in a metal swimsuit, but then you look inside and she’s wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

    I enjoyed the show a lot, though I was probably predisposed to like it before watching it, having been a fan of the comic book. I wish that they had done a little more with the original series of Cloneblades, though; I thought they were interesting characters and would’ve liked to have seen them get more character development.

    It seems like this show was the best of the anime based off of American comics; I don’t think I know anyone who watched any of the Marvel shows. I wonder if those will be the last US books to get an anime adaptation.

    • wieselhead

      Oh so the comic is also good?

      They should have given the Cloneblades a bit more space for development instead of tough cannon fodder, Reina and Maria were quite cool.
      Mhh there were some shows like Wolverine, or Iron Man adapted as anime, but I never watched them for some reason 😉

  6. hoshiko

    It’s here finally – the review of Witchblade! >.<

    Based on your review here, Witchblade sounded a bit sad, especially when it comes to Masane. But the companies involvement should make the series interesting enough for me to watch. I always like conspiracies and stuff. Plus, it doesn't hurt when there's some light-hearted comedy inserted in the storyline. I should consider watching this. Oh boy, my list is getting longer than ever.

    One more thing, am I the only one who misread NSWF as NSFW?

    • wieselhead

      I wouldn’t have finished it without your motivation ^^

      There are some sad parts, but it’s definetely a well written story. Masane has no easy life,but she is no crybaby, her mental strength and good mood is quite remarkable given her social circumstances and problems. Haha yeah thats a funny wordplay indeed XD

  7. feal87

    Oh no! You just remembered me of one of the few series I still need to watch in the years 2005-2012. >_<
    Need more time! è_é

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *