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.
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.
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.
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.