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2 Samurai Manga: Blade 卍 and Vagabond

Egon

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Following the series of relevant manga/anime reviews for people who are interested:
Berserk
Noragami, Spice & Wolf, The Ancient Magus Bride

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Blade of the Immortal was one of the best experiences I have ever had in visual narrative, artwork per se and character writing. Unlike Vagabond that plays on philosophizing the spiritual, there is a distintic line for the supernatural elements here, the main character called 卍 (Manji) who gets immortality from a lady monk to fulffil his fate of slaying 100 scumbags for each good person he was deceived into killing, and helping the girl Rin exact justice for her family. Even though there some buddhist nonsense here and there, this story does not shy away from the themes of the rightful use of violence, and all of the philosophy does not feel out of place or hinders the natural unfold of the plot, making the character being too romanticized or unreal. This manga is complete in 30 volumes with one of the most satisfying conclusions and twists a story that has revenge as one of its themes.

**Trigger warning, there's graphic sexual violence and torture.

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The all famous Vagabond about the life of Musashi Miyamoto is pretty good but may not work for everyone. If you aren't going into this manga with the mindset that this is a Slice of Life narrative artbook with some philosophy of every martial arts movies ever, it can become repetitive.

The landscape artwork is very good. You will see a lot of realistic leaves. Everywhere. The places all looks the same and at some point looking at all these photo-realistic woods and sometimes dojos and beaches haven't the same effect. The character designs also look awesome, you will see the same faces menacingly staring at each other for like 300 panels until the enemy "loses his will" or something like that. The manga is historical but when there are things like astral projection and such it does not feel natural in the context they are portraying, with the wrong idea that you could think your way into spirituality if you try thinking very hard into "the way of the warrior" and all that jazz. It's an easy read with not much dialogue and quite enjoyable though, would be better if the manga didn't want to take itself too seriously in the over philosophical inner monologues.
This manga has 37 volumes and a couple of extra chapters, the author seems to have given up on completing it.

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The character figures are very beautiful to be used as artistic refference.

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I've recently became familiar with the work of Hiroshi Hirata. Some of the most formidable pieces of artwork and philosophy I've read in a long time.

Hirata's "Satsuma Gishiden" (Legend of The Satsuma Samurai) is one of the best manga I have ever read if not THE best. To name one reason I've learned some things about the meaning of the Raven (one of Satan's holy animal):

"Ravens are called 'Karasu' in Japan. According to him, even though these are distinctive words, 'Kara' also means 'void', and 'su' means 'element'. The void is the nothingness, and nothingness is infinite. That being said the void can be infinitely big or infinitely small. On the other hand, the elements are the origin of the world and also the principle, and the principle is God. [My note, the universal Akasha]

The Raven is God's emissary, and the sound it emits is 'Ka'. 'Ka' comes from 'Kami', God in Japanese. [Note the 'Ka' from the Egyptian tripartite soul, the 'Ka-Ba-Ankh']
Therefore, 'God said A', and when God opens his mouth, it is to deliver his message. ['A' the holy mantra vowel from the AUM, 'The Verb said by God']
That is why the Raven would be the emissary that transmits God's intentions.

The Raven is also covered in black feathers, which makes it the representative of God's intention. Because what is colored black cannot be tainted by other colors. In other words, the other colors are 'set to zero'.

Therefore it is concluded that the color black has to do with the numeral zero, which is also called 'King' in Japanese. If 'King' is 'zero', it is also 'infinite'. Not to mention 'King' is also the word that means 'spirit'.

The number zero also looks like the letter O. 'Ou' means 'King' in Japanese. The King is sovereign, and God is sovereign
" [Again, 'God' meaning the Quintessence, the Universal Akasha, but also Satan being the highest God and King who rules the Elements]

His characters inspire some of the most virile Will of Iron, based on the bushido code of warriors.
Keeping your honor and masculinity (or womanhood, if that's the case) in times of degeneracy and poverty, spiritual or financial. Totally opposed to suicidal, pacifist judeo-christard alien passivity, castration of the human nature, common in some other corrupted Eastern stories.

Most are based on historical themes, the common samurai and their wives surviving the harder times in Japan's history and strengthening their wills to survive and keep their honor.

His stories are Saturnian Lessons in its purest depiction, many times brutal and harsh but with something important to learn from them. The man who didn't want to be an artist and would rather labor as a manual worker, but did it anyway in the best quality to use his art for the survival of his family, but also transmuting important life lessons he believed in.

Unfortunately, Hirata also passed away in the same year as did Kentaro Miura (author of Berserk), also of heart complications, leaving an unparalleled work of art. Also I've only seen his work translated to Spanish and Portuguese, but there's a few volumes in English.

I don't have words to express how inspiring of an experience it was. I've been thinking about Lord Baalzebul a lot - who is also a Patron to the Eastern peoples. His justice, honor and paternal energy. If you have meditated on Him you can't just not immediately feel compelled to be better and do better in our warfare efforts.


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Al Jilwah: Chapter IV

"It is my desire that all my followers unite in a bond of unity, lest those who are without prevail against them." - Satan

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