As Western audience wait patiently for their chance to see Blade of the Immortal, it is currently running in theaters in Japan. Even though the movie has been building online, the film has not been doing very well in Japanese box offices. This could be due to the fact that other popular movies such as Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry was released in the same weekend. As a promotion to get people to go to the ongoing theatrical run, the author behind the Blade of the Immortal manga, Hiroaki Samura, and the director of the live action adaptation, Takuya Kimura, attended a talk show together to talk about the film.
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In the session the creator behind the franchise talked about how Hollywood wanted to do an adaptation of the story, and he declined. Samura stated that he turned down the Western live-action adaptation offer due to the drastic changes in script and setting. According to him, the Hollywood version wanted to set the story in modern-day New York and have the main character, Manji, be a "dishonest trading company employee". The original story is set in Edo period Japan, and Manji is an immortal samurai. He also talked about Miike's adaptation of the film with praise, stating:
"When a film adaptation is made, it is often criticized by the fans of the original, but rather, I have more fun when arrangements are made. As a film, it was completed with perfect quality. I think it was made as I expected."
Blade of the Immortal, had an original manga that launched in 1993 and completed in 2012. The manga has won many awards in Japan and the us, and was even re released in North America by Dark Horse Comics. The anime for the series was released in 2008, and it is so popular that there are even stage plays inspired by the series.
The story is set during the Tokugawa Shogunate period, and follows a cursed samurai named Manji, who has to kill 1000 evil men to regain his mortality. He meets a girl named Anotsu, who is on a quest to avenge her parents who were killed by a group of master swordsman. The series follows what happens next and the purpose of life and death.
The live-action film was directed by Takashi Miike, who is known for his work on Ichi the Killer, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and opened in Japan on April 29 2017.