|Written by||Takayuki Yamaguchi|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Original run||2003 August – 2010|
|Anime television series|
|Shigurui: Death Frenzy|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Hamasaki|
|Written by||Seishi Minakami|
|Licensed by||Funimation Entertainment|
|Original run||July 19, 2007 – October 12, 2007|
An animated television adaptation, based on the first 32 chapters (or the initial six and a half volumes) of the manga, aired on WOWOW July 19th, 2007 to October 12th, 2007. The series was directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki, written by Seishi Minakami, and produced by Madhouse Studios.
The series is noted for its realistic graphic violence and nudity as well as its abrupt ending. The anime was licensed in North America by Funimation Entertainment under the fully translated title Shigurui: Death Frenzy. The licensing was announced in May 2008 and the full series was released on March 31st, 2009 on Blu-ray and DVD.
The story begins in 1629 Shizuoka during Tokugawa Tadanaga's rule. The daimyo staged a tournament where the participants fought with real steel Japanese swords rather than bokken ("wooden sword"), against his vassals' strong objection. The story revolves around the first match between the one-armed swordsman Fujiki Gennosuke and the blind samurai Irako Seigen and deals with the circumstances that led the two to participate in Tokugawa's tournament.
Gennosuke Fujiki (藤木 源之助 Fujiki Gennosuke )
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese), John Burgmeier (English)
The stoic star pupil of the Kogan dojo. In the present time in his duel with Seigen he has only one arm but it is noted that his back muscles could theoretically make up for lost strength. Fujiki is very loyal to Kogan (his master), and is said to be most likely to succeed as the school's master.
Seigen Irako (伊良子 清玄 Irako Seigen )
Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (Japanese), J. Michael Tatum (English)
An ambitious man who seeks to raise his status. In the present time, he is blind and has a deep cut in one of his feet. Years before, he joined the Kogan-Ryuu school afterwards and was eventually picked to become the successor over Gennosuke Fujiki, but he and Kogan had a falling out which resulted in his present-day blindness.
Gonzaemon Ushimata (牛股 権左衛門 Ushimata Gonzaemon )
Voiced by: Yūsaku Yara (Japanese), R Bruce Elliott (English)
A master of the Kogan-Ryuu school and Gennosuke's senior. A hulk of a man, Ushimata uses an immensely large wooden sword (Seigen comments that appears to be a Suburitō) which he wields with ease.
Kogan Iwamoto (岩本 虎眼 Iwamoto Kogan )
Voiced by: Seizō Katō (Japanese), Jerry Russell (English)
The Grandmaster of the Kogan-Ryuu school. Mentally unbalanced most of the time, he regains his sanity most often in the period between fall and winter. Kogan cares nothing for his daughter, Mie, seeing her only as a tool to continue his bloodline. He has a small deformity, a sixth finger on one of his hands. His technique "Nagare Boshi" (Shooting Star) is known and feared by many Samurai.
Mie Iwamoto (岩本 三重 Iwamoto Mie )
Lady Iku (いく Iku )
The concubine of Kogan. When she was younger she was consistently taunted with a Children's Song and the masses fled at her approach. This public scorn only increased her dependence on her husband.
List of anime episodes
|#||Title||Original air date|
|01||"Sword Match at Sunpu Castle"
"Sunpujō gozen jiai" (駿府城御前試合)
|July 19, 2007|
|Two damaged warriors share a twisted and violent past. Now they must face off within a brutal samurai tournament arranged to satisfy the bloodlust of a cruel tyrant overlord. The disfigured legends of the blade must summon the strength for one last battle, a final lesson in the artistry of violence where nothing is more beautiful than the kill.|
|02||"The Yodare-Azuki Ceremony"
"Yodare azuki" (涎小豆)
|July 26, 2007|
|Years before the tournament, Gennosuke Fujiki was the stoic star pupil of the Kogan dojo, and Seigen Irako was a brash young samurai seeking fame and an audience with the dojo's master. After disgracing Gennosuke on his own turf, Seigen must next face a superior foe to earn the right to meet the sensei. The battle is the most difficult of his young life, and a dark secret waits for him at the journey's end.|
|August 2, 2007|
|Once a year passes, Kogan awakes from his death-like slumber to oversee his dojo. Locked in a decaying state, the master demands to know which of his samurai is worthy of the Kogan legacy. Seigen and Gennosuke are the most likely candidates, but no one is sure which swordsman is best suited to give their demented leader what he desires. In the end, Kogan himself devises a devious challenge to clarify the situation.|
|August 9, 2007|
|For years, the tormented Lady Iku believed her body was cursed. Children mocked her and the masses fled at her approach. This public scorn only increased her dependence on her husband, Master Kogan. But now, Lady Iku has reason to question the man who has loved her for so long, the man who may hold the key to her deadly secret.|
|05||"Secret Swordplay Technique Instruction"
"Hiken denju" (秘剣伝授)
|August 23, 2007|
|As questions arise about Seigen's past, Gennosuke disappears from the dojo after being passed over as heir. Master Kogan becomes suspicious of his wife's conduct during his comatose hibernation and, with revenge on his mind, issues some very grave orders to his most trusted men. Summoned by the sensei, Seigen is transfixed by the promise of instruction in the Shooting Star Technique.|
|August 30, 2007|
|Betrayed and seething with anger, Kogan begins the systematic destruction of his former heir. Arrogant Seigen, blinded by ambition, is ensnared by his desire to learn the Shooting Star Technique , but he soon finds himself backed into a very dangerous corner. With his carefully laid plans crashing around him, Seigen must face a familiar opponent. A devastating battle ensues, and neither samurai emerges in his original state.|
|September 6, 2007|
|In the years since Seigen was sent away, packs of rogue samurai have begun wandering dangerously close to the secrets of the Kogan dojo. A new student, Suzunosuke, slays one of the ronin in a blind rage. Pleased with the young pupil’s instincts, Kogan sends Gennosuke to teach the novice a true lesson in the art of the kill.|
|08||"Chorus of Cicadas"
"Semi shigure" (蝉しぐれ)
|September 13, 2007|
|Shortly after his battle with the ronin, Gennosuke finds the mangled head of a comrade – a disturbing warning that could bring the dojo shame. Panicked whispering suggests something haunts the footsteps of the samurai, and when a Kogan mercenary crosses paths with a mysterious shadow of a man, the death toll mounts. The only thing certain is that the mysterious killer is a finely trained hunter with a taste for Kogan blood.|
|September 20, 2007|
|Mie’s despair over her cruel treatment eats away at her mind. Her body – starved to the point of near paralysis – is powered only by the deranged fantasies locked inside her head. After realizing the tragic state of Mie’s condition, Gennosuke and Ushimata begin to suspect there is only one man capable of this much hatred and carnage.|
|10||"Kengyou’s House of Punishment"
"Kengyō shioki yashiki" (検校仕置屋敷)
|September 27, 2007|
|A letter arrives summoning the Kogan clan to the palace of Kengyou Shizuhata. Upon arrival, Shizuhata wastes no time in luring Gennosuke into a duel with the barbarian warrior, Sekiun, who uses a Spanish rapier in place of a katana. Allegedly a contest of fun and skill, the tables turn when Kogan steps in to fight in Gennosuke’s place. Sekiun, unaware of the monster he fights, strikes a blow he will regret for the rest of his life.|
|October 4, 2007|
|Seigen has returned, and he is out for blood. Although blinded during his brutal punishment, he appears to have regained his former prowess. Gennosuke and Ushimata are on high alert, but the tricks of the blind draw them away at the worst possible time. While the sensei, Mie, and the entire Kogan legacy lie virtually unguarded, Seigen and Iku begin the final leg of their quest for revenge.|
"Mumyō Sakanagare" (無明逆流れ)
|October 11, 2007|
|As a battered Lady Iku watches, Seigen prepares to extract the full measure of vengeance for his former master’s sins. Kogan must defend himself one last time against forces that seek to harm him. As the sun rises on the final battle, only the eyes of the innocent are witness to the gruesome end of at least one mighty samurai.|
- Shigurui (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Shigurui (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Boxset review
- re-release review
- Funimation's Shigurui website
- T.H.E.M. review
- Chris Beveridge
- Mark Thomas
- Dani Moure