Blade of the Immortal

Blade of the Immortal, the 100th film by Takashi Miike, is a stylish, bloody action epic in the same vein as his 13 Assassins

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 04 Dec 2017
Film title: Blade of the Immortal
Director: Takashi Miike
Starring: Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki, Sôta Fukushi
Release date: 8 Dec
Certificate: 18

Prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike reaches 100 films to his name with Blade of the Immortal, a characteristically blood-soaked adaptation of a long-running manga by Hiroaki Samura. Pop star turned actor Takuya Kimura plays Manji, a samurai cursed with immortality following a near-death experience in a brutal battle – any life-threatening injuries he sustains, any limbs lost, will heal back up.

He gains notoriety over the years, and one day crosses paths with Rin (Hana Sugisaki), whose parents were slain by a group of ruthless master swordsmen. Persuaded to help the young woman achieve vengeance, Manji ends up encountering various other deadly figures along the way to their target.

Repetitive by design, Blade of the Immortal’s (painful) pleasures may outstay their welcome for many thanks to its 140-minute runtime; rather than a streamlined story, the viewing experience is like an evocation of someone binging on multiple similar comic issues in one go. That said, an epic multi-character final brawl, akin to the climax of Miike’s 13 Assassins, goes some way to making up for the prior dragging. 

Released by Arrow Films