Manji (Blade of the Immortal)
Manji is a male character that feature in Blade of the Immortal.
Manji was a man who would become a samurai and served the local daimyo namely Hatamoto Horii Shigenobu where he unknowingly enforced his brutal rule on the local populace until he discovered that his lord was corrupt whereupon he killed him. From that point onwards, he became a fallen samurai where he was considered an outlaw and hunted by the clan of the daimyo with Manji gaining the nickname of being the 'Hundred Man Murderer'. In that time, he would flee to his sister Machi's house where he forgot that she had married Saitō Tatsumasa who was an officer of the law. Whilst evading his pursers, Manji came upon Saitō Tatsumasa with the two facing off in battle that was suddenly interrupted the fight by his sister. Machi's arrival distracted Manji who realized that he was fighting his brother-in-law with this moment giving Saitō an opening to attack. Saitō took the opportunity to attack and lunged forward to attack Manji who in desperation attempted to defend himself though was unable to avoid his opponents assault. In the resultant battle, he lost his eye, Saitō Tatsumasa was killed, and his sister Machi suffered a mental breakdown at the death of her husband who became the 100th man killed by Manji. From that point afterwards, Manji decided to dedicate his life to looking after his sister. At some point, he also encountered Yaobikuni who was a mysterious nun that offered him the sacred bloodworms known as the Kessen-Chu that gave him immortality.
Manji and Machi have somewhat settled down in Edo with Yaobikuni and O-Yō. After an encounter with Shido "Johnny" Goybutsu, a bounty hunter disguised as a priest, Manji begins to question the purpose of his immortality. That same night he awakens to discover that Shido Hishiyasu, brother of "Johnny" Goybutsu, has kidnapped Machi in an attempt to force a confrontation between himself and Manji so that he can avenge his brother. Manji arrives on the scene and denies his instinct to immediately cut down Shido Hishiyasu and his gang, instead offering to fight them barehanded. Feeling insulted Hishiyasu murders Machi before impaling a stunned Manji. Manji, thanks to the Kessen-Chu, quickly rises and realises what he has to do. Making quick work of Hishiyasu and his gang, Manji returns to Yaobikuni the next day with a proposal, to make amends for the 100 "good men" that he killed before, Manji will kill 1000 "evil men" and then the Kessen-Chu will leave his body.
Some time later a young woman, Asano Rin, arrives at Manji's hut seeking his aid in avenging the murder of her parents at the hands of a renegade sword school, the Itto-Ryu. At first Manji declines, explaining that he has no way of knowing if the men are truly evil and stating that since he made this vow Yaobikuni's been sending everyone with a sob story his way. Eventually, due to the fact that Rin bears a resembalance to his deceased sister, Manji does agree to protect her on her quest.
Soon after, the duo have their first encounter with a member of the Itto-Ryu. For the past two years love letters had been arriving at the Asano dojo addressed to Rin, using these the two track down Kuroi Sabato, a tall Itto-Ryu swordsmen covered head to toe in armor and a long cloak, and confront him one night. Initially Manji hangs back, allowing Rin a chance to confront and get a confession from Kuroi. With his identity confirmed Manji enters the scene, attempting to engage Kuroi in battle only to find that the swordsmen is utterly obsessed with Rin to such a point that he completely ignores Manji. He pushes past Manji, leaving his back wide open for an attack. Manji takes the opening and quickly finds himself cut in two at the waist as Kuroi reveals that he has the ability to rotate his body completely backwards. Stunned and legless Manji watches as Rin attempts to fend off Kuroi using her multiple throwing knives in her patented attack "Flight of the Golden Wasps, Curtain of Death". Kuroi deftly blocks all the knives from hitting his body, but enough manage to strip the armor from his body revealing the horror beneath. As the armor and cloak fall away his faces become visible for the first time. His actual face and head are heavily scarred and completely bald, while sewn onto both of his shoulders are the stuffed and preserved heads of his ex-wife and Rin's mother. Shocked by this horrorific reveleation, Rin breaks down and is almost talked into committing suicide by Kuroi, who promises to remove his ex-wife's head and replace it with Rins, killing himself afterwards. Thankfully before she can go through with it, Manji manages to crawl up behind Kuroi and literally cut him to ribbons.
Shortly after his encounter with Kuroi Sabato, Manji is dragged to the house of a painter by the name of Master Sori. Sori is a long-time friend of Rin's family, and she hopes to convince him to lend his sword to her cause. Manji's no frills blunt manners clash with Sori's more refined and cultured attitude almost instantly and the two exchange verbal jabs at each other several time. At first Sori refuses stating that a humble artist would be of no use, then Rin reveals that she knows the truth behind Sori, that he's not just a painter but a member of Shogunates secret police. This revelation leaves both Sorii and Manji stunned, but again he refuses, this time citing shame at how tainted his sword is due to the various illegal and immoral acts his used it in over the years. Manji sees right this facade and eventually gets Sori to admit that he just can't be bothered to risk his life while all he wants to do is paint. The two exchange insults again and almost come to blows at one point. The encounter ends with Manji storming off in a huff leaving Rin to spend the night in Sori's place.
The truth behind Manji's departure is revealed early the next morning as a group of Itto Ryu members led by Hage sneak into Sorii's residence and attempt to kill Rin. Manji arrives in time to save Rin and reveals that he knew that Hage had been spying on them, and that he stormed off to lure the group in. Together, Manji and Rin battle off the Itto Ryu horde and seem to be in control of the situation until Hage ensares Manji in an elaborate trap. He forces Manji back against a tree which is covered in a netting of rusty hooks, which sink into Manji's back and hold him there while Hage turns his attention to Rin. While Manji manages to tear himself off the hooks, he's too injured to make it to Rin on time. Thankfully Sorii, who had spent the entire battle inside attempting to paint, finally steps in. Sorii, enraged at Hage for destroying a painting he was working on during the battle, makes short work of Hage, cutting him to ribbons before the amazed eyes of Manji. A few hours later the duo head out on the road again, but not before Sori gives them 30 ryo to help them on their way.
Personality and attributes
Powers and abilities
Manji carried a large number of weapons with him at all times with him taking such armaments off his defeated foes with these being named after their previous owners. Among his weapons included:
- Karasu :
- Shido :
- Imo-No-Kami Tatsumasa :
- Aun :
- No Name :
- Sukehiro Ametsubaki :
- Kotengu :
- Okorobi :
- Merabi :
- Manji was voiced by Japanese actor Tomokazu Seki and English actor Keith Silverstein in the dubbed version of the anime.
- Blade of the Immortal: