Raizo Kurima is a person who was betrayed by somebody he trusted, and now he has no place to return. He’s presently a hitman working for the group Revenger, which takes revenge on behalf of these with no energy. He works on the “Ribenjiya” retailer that acts as a basic retailer on the skin whereas hiding the Revenger group beneath the floor. His coworkers embody a doctor with damaging impulses, a wonderful and androgynous younger man who’s each merciless and harmless, a gambler who loves cash and alcohol, and an clever lacquer craftsman. The 5 males begin to construct a wierd friendship by working collectively.
It is a stable premiere. It serves as each the origin story for our viewpoint character and the introduction to our higher solid and the work they do. Kurima’s story is a traditional samurai story of honor, romance, and misplaced loyalty. He kills his soon-to-be father-in-law as a traitor on the behest of his lord solely to find that it was his grasp who was the true traitor—one importing opium into Japan, catering to international pursuits.
Nevertheless, the actual tragedy is that Kurima is worried along with his personal responsibility and honor that he neglects his fiancé’s emotions—not realizing that the disgrace of getting her fiancé homicide her father could be an excessive amount of for her to dwell with. Thus, he’s unable to supply his personal life to her in penance for his sins after taking his revenge as she has taken her personal life earlier than he can. It is a well-built emotional story, and one which’s simple to empathize with.
The opposite facet of the story units up every part else that’s to return. With Usui and his band, we’ve a gaggle of assassins working seemingly on the facet of justice. Whereas they seem like makers of toys and gold-lacquered objects, they’re truly expert killers—although not expert sufficient to see how Kurima has performed them for his personal revenge till it’s too late.
What’s most attention-grabbing for me, nonetheless, is the historic setting. Judging by the references to the opium commerce, it appears Revenger takes place within the early-to-mid 1800s, a time when Japan is successfully remoted from the remainder of the world, save for the Nagasaki port of Dejima (which we see a stylized model of). Meaning that is additionally the period when Christianity was banned in Japan—which makes Usui’s tattoo a literal demise sentence had been anybody to say it to the authorities. And as somebody who’s all the time down for some good historic fiction, I stay up for seeing how that is explored because the story continues on.
Are you prepared to look at a man get suffocated with gold leaf, a distinct man get killed by a kite, and nonetheless one other dude take a small knife via the eyeball? Or how a couple of girl stab herself via the throat? If the reply isn’t any, chances are you’ll wish to give Revenger a cross. In any other case, this can be the historic motion piece you’ve got been ready for. One thing about it jogs my memory strongly of Onihei, a sequence that I do not think about many individuals keep in mind, although I could not fairly put my finger on what that’s other than the historic setting.
This explicit story is about throughout the nineteenth century, which we are able to guess from the point out of the British having plans to make use of opium to take down the Qing dynasty. The presence of a giant Catholic cathedral in Nagasaki might also be a reference to the truth that it was the only port the place Portuguese and Dutch merchants had been allowed from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, which will surely give time to construct such an edifice, historic accuracy of such a factor current however. In any occasion, my favourite a part of this episode is that we’re given all of the clues we have to inform what the time interval is with out it being mentioned on display screen. This looks like a narrative that trusts its viewers to determine issues out with out having something spoon-fed to us.
Not that there aren’t some moments that made me roll my eyes, reminiscent of when the chief of our presumed Revengers drops his kimono high to disclose a big again tattoo of the Virgin Mary seconds after shoving a bit of gold leaf paper over a person’s face. I am not Christian, however I am fairly positive that it isn’t meant to endorse homicide as an establishment (historical past and human nature apart), and the juxtaposition of getting the man pray to the Virgin Mary whereas his sufferer suffocated struck me as a little bit of darkish humor. Nevertheless, I am moderately sure it was not supposed to be so. However Yui, the fiancée of perspective character Raizo, commits suicide earlier than he can attain her facet looks like a twist of the knife too many in an general violent episode, an unsubtle means of forcing Raizo to hitch the Revengers gang as a result of he has nothing left to dwell for in any other case. I’ve additionally largely misplaced my style for violence since my mom’s damage two years in the past, so I did discover the entire episode a bit a lot on that stage.
All of that mentioned, there’s actually one thing participating right here. The kite demise is certainly inventive, and I really like the little particulars in issues like creating lacquerware and the removing of the hilt from a sword whereas working. It usually seems to be good too, so regardless that I do not personally really feel like I am doubtless going to look at extra of it, this looks as if a really promising begin in case you’re on the lookout for a bit historic motion in your week.“Purposeful” is how I would describe this present. It is a completely competent product.
The visuals are positive. The story is advised succinctly and with none confusion or tough edges. Private style however, there’s nothing that this primary episode does that’s objectively incorrect. It is like a well-assembled chair or desk – it has an categorical perform and serves that objective in a completely unremarkable means. I would dare even to name it generic if this had been the mid-2000s as a result of the one factor that stands out about it in 2023 is that we do not get these grimly critical, easy samurai revenge tales in anime fairly often lately.
The issue is, I do not want the anime equal of a well-constructed desk lamp. If probably the most constructive factor I can say a couple of present is that it does not do something monumentally silly or clumsy, then there’s in all probability not a lot else to seize onto, and that is definitely the case right here. Revenger is as unmemorable as its generic title, going via the motions of its samurai revenge story with passionless effectivity. It has no time for fancy accouterments like attention-grabbing characters, significant themes, or a definite id. It is right here to ship completely serviceable sword-fighting motion for exactly 22 minutes earlier than clocking out and heading dwelling to eat untoasted white bread and watch the information.
About the one memorable moments of this premiere – and certainly, the one moments that could not be present in any variety of samurai exhibits that got here earlier than it – are a few the kills from the central assassins. The little child character utilizing a kite string lined in glass shards to garrote a man was enjoyable in a ridiculous means. Identical for the chief suffocating a man by sticking quick-drying gold leaf over his face. These had been the one instances it felt like something was attention-grabbing or distinct about this premiere, however then we ended issues with our primary character crying over his spouse’s lifeless physique, and we had been proper again to probably the most generic plot factors of 2006.
If actually all you need is a few decently animated motion stitched along with a plausible plot, properly, right here you go. Revenger will go well with you simply positive. However if you’d like the rest, like characters to care about or participating dialogue? Look elsewhere. I definitely will likely be.