OP Sequence

OP: 「冥夜花伝廊」 (Meiya Kadenrou) by 栗林みな実 (Kuribayashi Minami)
Watch the OP!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼


Twenty years after a big rebellion, Yasuri Shichika and his sister Nanami live by themselves on an island. Their hero father died a year ago, making Shichika the head of the family’s Kyotou fighting style. On this particular day, he comes across a white-haired girl named Togame who is a strategist of the Shogunate and has business with him. She first tries to test him, but she fails to attack him after tripping, so he takes her home with him where she meets Nanami. As it turns out, Togame is trying to gather twelve powerful swords made by the famous swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki. She can’t trust anyone who’d work for money or fame because of those who have already betrayed her, and instead she wants Shichika to act out of love. Specifically, she indicates that he can fall in love with her, and in the ensuing silence, the house gets attacked by shuriken. Shichika goes after the perpetrator who Togame realizes is part of the Maniwa clan of ninja that betrayed her after finding one of the swords.

Once on the beach, the perpetrator introduces himself as Maniwa Koumori, and he’s actually carrying that sword. What surprises Shichika in the ensuing fight is that he’s unable to break the sword, but Togame doesn’t want him breaking the swords anyway. Koumori then puts the sword away by stuffing it down his own throat, and instead of sticking around and fighting, he distracts Shichika with shuriken and kidnaps Togame. After tying her up, Koumori transforms himself to look exactly like her so that he can trick and kill Shichika. Unfortunately for Koumori, when he attempts this, Shichika instinctively kicks him, and Koumori coughs up the sword. He doesn’t give up though and instead tries to turn Shichika against Togame by claiming that she’s only after the swords for her own gain. He reveals that Togame is actually the daughter of the leader of the previous rebellion, a man who Shichika’s father had killed.

Koumori then transforms himself into Shichika and attacks with the sword, but what he doesn’t realize until it’s too late is that Shichika has no talent with swords. This means that Koumori inadvertently loses grip of the sword mid-attack, and Shichika is able to finish him off with one special unarmed technique. Afterward, Shichika finds finds and frees Togame, and he tells her that he’s doing this for her sake because he’s decided to fall in love with her. The two thus prepare to leave the island together, and Nanami is actually okay with it because she wants Shichika to experience the world. Once on the boat, Togame gives Shichika three general instructions, which she calls four because she emphasizes the last one twice: don’t break the swords, protect her, and protect himself. The two then embark on their journey to collect the remaining swords.

ED Sequence

ED: 「誰そ彼の月華」 (Tasogare no Getsuka) by 妖精帝國 (Yousei Teikoku)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼

So the opening song was pretty good, though I swear Kuribayashi Minami’s songs start to sound similar after a while due to the way she sings. The corresponding sequence had some nice shots of the characters too. The ending song isn’t bad either, but I’m less fond of because of the way it speeds up after the opening part. It doesn’t matter much though since it looks like they’ll be changing ending songs every episode.


For the most part, I thought this first episode was decent, but not exceptionally good. I mean, WHITE FOX did a fairly good job animating an hour-long episode, the music was as good as I’d hoped it’d be from the promotional videos, and I can’t say I missed SHAFT‘s unique style. But at the same time, the first episode failed to draw me into the plot, and I have my reservations about the sword-of-the-month approach, the same way I do about the monster-of-the-week approach for other series. The characters are probably the most interesting part because I’m curious to see how Shichika and Togame’s romance develops from this odd arrangement (I’m still not quite sure what’s motivating Shichika), and it’s a bit of a shame that Nanami is getting left behind since I liked her character.

As many of you probably know by now, Katanagatari was written by Bakemonogatari’s author NisiOisiN, and so there was indeed a lot of dialogue here. I suspect the episode probably could have gotten through the same general plot in two-thirds the time if they had cut some of that dialogue out. And while the pacing never felt too slow due to it, I was hoping for a bit more action from a series where swords play a central role. On that note, I also wondered if the series wouldn’t benefit from having a normal two-season broadcast with half-hour episodes instead of this one-hour-a-month-for-a-year deal. It’d certainly be easier for the audience (or in this case, myself) to stay interested in the series and remember the plot details that way. The second episode is fortunately airing in less than two weeks on the night of February 8th, but the episodes after that will have a full month between them. Anyway, I’m still not quite sold on the series, but I’ll probably keep watching for at least a few more episodes.


  1. this anime looks soo familiar….not familiar as in this is a copy…the familiar type is more like…I’ve seen this type of anime as a child maybe it’s the animation….it’s a good type of feeling…kinda like comfort food…

  2. Art Style’s definitely quite intriguing compared to the typical show and is one of the many reasons I’m most likely to continue watching at least through the first couple, or the whole series. Music was a plus. Only qualms were at times the dialogue seemed to drag a little, though in a way, like mentioned, it was to be expected, and wasn’t really that bad. Couldn’t get used to the voice of the ninja though… Anywho. Just realized the delay in airing of each episode, that’s a bummer, and I agree, would probably deter some viewers away, as some would most likely forget or not bother continuing with these month long breaks. Don’t know how it’ll end up, but hoping it won’t be a sword of the week…

  3. SO WACK! 50 minutes of blah, blah, blah…not since naruto have i heard so MUCH preemptive babble. made by the peeps behind Bakemonogatari eh? well the dialog was hardly interesting, and as u mentioned they could have summed up that generic plot way faster, i’d say like in 10 min..really. if i was to judge this going in by looking at the screen caps posted i would think that it was action packed, however i sh!t u not i counted about 50sec worth of action total. and considering the simplistic art style with it clean lines and solid forms you would think the animation would be spectacular to balance it out….NOPE. and i really didn’t feel the character interactions at all “except for the one they leave behind..sheesh”.. yeah i wrote alotta crap, and their just my opinions. but MAN was i let down..”his new ultimate move wasn’t even impressive!!!”… lemme shut up…soo angry

    BROOKLYN otaku
  4. Damn, once a month 🙁 I’m totally up for it but the wait is silly. I’m sure I will forget about this one a few times in-between episodes. I’m kinda surprised that the subbers are having such a hard time with this one – but a few of the pharses are terribly hard to understand & can easily be taken out of context.

  5. Talk scene was too talk.

    But I love the artwork and animation (true to Take’s original style). If it weren’t for those factors (another being that it’s based off of Nisio Isin’s light novel series), this’d just be another series to ignore.

    Definitely on my watch list until the end of the year.

  6. The original novel has ‘sword of the volume’ format too, so this sword of the month format anime adopted looks understandable.
    It looks pretty cool, so I’ll follow.

    BTW, TBS has officially anounced K-ON 2nd season is scheduled to come this April. Same studio, same artists, same Seiyuu’s.

  7. @omni i was hoping you would describe the past thing a bit more.
    The girl with the weird eye’s father was killed by the no sword guys father at the start, for some reason.
    Than halfway the episode no sword guy finds out about the girl willing to accept help from the ones responsible for her fathers death and he starts to get motivated/saying i love you.
    :s something like that

  8. I don’t like the character designs. I knew that going into it, but it’s something that really starts to bang at your head after 40 minutes. The girls were ok, but Leafhead and Deepthroat were just annoying to look at. When it comes down to the animation, I don’t miss SHAFT and its half-animated duct-taped cell photo nonsense either.

    The intro was pretty decent, but the episode itself was really boring. I don’t mind dialogue-heavy shows, but the author’s not really as funny as he tries to be and the sword stuff doesn’t interest me even a little. You can’t go into something called Katanagatari and complain a lot about the swords, but when it turns out that will pretty much be the entire show it’s not that appealing when stretched across a whole year. It’s monster (since all of the sword wielders will probably have magical powers, I’ll just call them monsters) and sword of the month.

    That said I’m inclined to watch another episode, simply because I hate dismissing things that aren’t overtly retarded from one episode. There were a few grins with some of the humor, and I hold out hope that the next episode might be a little funnier to makeup for the lack of depth in the formula. But since the author was crapping these volumes out one-a-month I don’t really have a lot of hope.

  9. Certainly an oddball so far. All the plot elements are there to make it good, but the focus on dialogue and the way the focus is executed aren’t that great. It’s always tricky using too much exposition.

    I have hopes for this series, though, so I’ll continue watching.

  10. personally i don’t care about the character designs for me they were good i don’t care about other opinions , i really enjoyed the first episode and i think their dialogues were an explanation of the history and i liked the personalities of the characters , some wanted action , but action isn’t the only thing in the world i not only are impresed but only action , i like a show for it substance and the history and i am not only care about fights and superpowers

  11. I am totally enjoying this series.. I was thrown off by the animation, even though knowing before hand it would be interesting, and it is. I got use to it pretty quick and totally enjoyed the first episode. I like the story line, I like the characters. I love the 50 minute episode durations, i think they allow alot to be done with each episode and help make the dialogue stay coherent and deep..

  12. I resisted the urge to fall asleep while watching this. People spoiled me the tragic ending anyway, but I’d like to see it for myself. It’s a good thing it’s coming out once a month if the coming episodes are as boring as the first one was.

  13. Love the artwork and music. I also like the whole element of the children of former enemies banding together for a common goal. I also think that there’s something up due to the whispering between the fathers during the death scene. The first episode introduced a whole lot of info, which is why there was very little action. Plus, the guy was a ninja… they don’t really use katanas in the first place.

  14. Nanami is fun but I jsut hope they aren’t planning on making her stronger then her brother, I mean she has sharp senses and since she is olderI can see her having trained with her father as well and more but it would just be ridicouless for her to be stronger.

    the reason I’m thinking this is because if the last thing she said:
    “though… that child is so weak, will they be ok?”

  15. Hi all : )

    Im simply curious about Togame; Why is her left eye change? Does it enhance her abilities somehow? If this was explained in the anime, could you guys tell me the time index on where it was explained=D

  16. outcast: I did say that “…Togame is actually the daughter of the leader of the previous rebellion, a man who Shichika’s father had killed. ” The fact that Togame was willing to accept his help, however, doesn’t feel like proper motivation for Shichika to go with or love her.

  17. I liked everything in this show. Every bit of it. From dialogue to the art style. It’s just my cup of tea. For me, that doesn’t come to often so I’m pretty happy that this anime came out. No complaints what so ever. I love swords, the combat/fighting game theme(one challenger facing off different opponents), simply drawn anime girls who have good character, and the epic feeling to all this. It just needs to answer to their epic dialogue of this talk of shoguns and thousands of swordsmen. This could be made into a fighting game! Just make sure Capcom does it.

  18. Seems like it will be an ok series. Lots of talk in a 22 minute episode is bearable. In a 40+ minute episode it puts people to sleep. I kept nodding off towards the later half of the episode.

    When this series is all over and done and people look back they will say there was too much rambling dailogue and not enough action.


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