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Mugen no Juunin   
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"To end his eternal suffering, he must slay one thousand enemies!" Manji, a ronin warrior of feudal Japan, has been cursed with immortality. To rid himself of this curse and end his life of misery, he must slay one thousand evil men! His quest begins when a young girl seeks his help in taking revenge on her parents' killers... and his quest won't end until the blood of a thousand has spilled.

Note: Won an Excellence Prize at the 1997 Japan Media Arts Festival. Won the Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material in 2000.


Related Series

Associated Names
A halhatatlan pengéje
Blade - A Lâmina do Imortal (Brazilian Portuguese)
Blade of the Immortal
Hoja Del Inmortal
Klinge des Unsterblichen
L'Habitant de l'infini (French)
Lame de l'immortel
Lưỡi Kiếm Bất Tử
Miecz Nieśmiertelnego (Polish)
Oštrica Besmrtnika - Samuraj Dvanaest Sječiva (Croatian)
Η Λεπίδα του Αθανάτου
Клинок Бессмертного
Անմահության բերան
شفرة الخالد
불멸의 검

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.30 c.206 (end) by HappyScans! over 11 years ago
v.30 c.198-205 (v2) by HappyScans! over 11 years ago
v.30 c.205 by HappyScans! over 11 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

in Country of Origin
30 Volumes (Complete)
15 Volumes (Shinsouban, Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1 (2008 / Immortal)
Ends at Vol 6, Chap 24 (2008) / Vol 30, Chap 206 (Immortal) Highly abbreviated

User Reviews

11 topics, 55 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.6 / 10.0 (964 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.53 / 10.0

Last Updated
June 25th 2024, 9:48am



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
Kodansha (1993; 2016)

Serialized In (magazine)
Afternoon (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Dark Horse (31 Vols - Complete | 10 3/4-in-1 Omnibus - Complete; Print | 7 3-in-1 Deluxe Omnibus - Ongoing; Print)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #573 increased(+115)
Monthly Pos #1030 increased(+179)
3 Month Pos #1615 increased(+149)
6 Month Pos #1992 increased(+133)
Year Pos #2134 increased(+214)

List Stats
On 2480 reading lists
On 1975 wish lists
On 1181 completed lists
On 181 unfinished lists
On 614 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Lost interest  
by panos
January 15th, 2021, 4:29am
Rating: 5.0  / 10.0
Rin gets so hypocritical later on. Doesn't make much sense, I recall she wanted stop someone from exacting vengeance while she was pursuing vengeance herself. Then as PZcolo stated, characters start contradicting themselves, but not for a reason/event taking place, just cause the author decided.
Dragging for no reason with self conflicting characters.
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The best action manga of all time  
by NazarethSTG
January 2nd, 2018, 8:22am
Rating: 9.0  / 10.0
This is a manga that delivers on all fronts.

The first thing that one realizes is the incredible quality of the artwork. Even on the first volumes where Samura was still a rookie in the industry he manages to impress with great character designs and masterful death spread illustrations. As he improves later on the quality of his entire art reaches heights hardly achieved in the medium. It's not only the quality of his execution, his ability at depicting movement and action is unparalleled. The choreography and paneling has a sense of motion and fluidity that makes you think you are watching an animation. This alone gives Blade of the Immortal a huge plus compared to other great manga in the genre.

But this is not only about fights and action. There's a big cast of characters with great designs, personalities and charisma. They are so good and complex that any of them could be protagonists, and many times they steal the attention away from the main couple. And this is something else that differentiates Blade of the Immortal from the many action manga out there: not only the protagonist, Manji, isn't the strongest character, but many secondary characters become as relevant as him and move the story forward on their own. This is not a story where the main character is the one who always prevails and makes the rest of the cast irrelevant. He can lose, and sometimes a secondary saves the day instead of him.

There are also big stretches of the manga where the action takes a backseat to character development, political intrigue and extensive analysis on the psyche of the characters. It doesn't remain comfortable in a single formula and changes pacing and themes several times over the long span of its run.

If I were to point some downsides, they would be that the beginning is the weakest part of the story, where the author focused on Manji fighting evil dudes. The art and the storytelling, while still very enjoyable, are clearly less developed and Samura starts deviating (in more interesting ways) from the initial premise.

Finally, the ending feels a bit rushed. While it is by no means bad, it could have used an extra volume to wrap things up in a more satisfying manner. But at that point maybe Samura was burnt out and wanted to move on to a different story.

Still they are very minor grievances as even when they feel not as good as the excellence from the rest of the story, they are still better than the vast majority of manga you will ever read. Absolutely recommended to anyone, it is a must read that you can't ignore.
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Great manga but not satisfying  
by miyagi1
December 10th, 2017, 8:35pm
Rating: N/A
This is a hard manga to review. Some of the story arcs are incredible but the overall story just isn't satisfying .To revenge or not revenge isn't enough to keep things interesting. This really becomes apparent at the end when you have "epic" battles that seem to have no purpose and it plays out like a hundred other manga before it.

In my opinion this manga really shines when it gets dark. Body mutilation and torture combined with the incredible artwork really makes this stand out. There is a constant fear of characters being caught and tortured which is great.
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As said by many others, flawed but still a masterpiece in its own right.  
by Joker06
January 12th, 2015, 5:05pm
Rating: N/A
Spanning over many years, the story doubtlessly deviated from its original course (relatively quickly anyway) and Samura didn't care much for world build or history, but I do not think these two aspects are truly relevant. What really matters in this work to my eyes is the exploration of violence, revenge, hate and related themes. On that front Samura does a fairly good job. To be honest, it's nothing really that deep or profound. But exactly because it's rather simple and elementary, it allows to be understood easily by anyone. And even more than the themes themselves, what really makes the greatness of this manga is the way they are expressed, so in one word the art. Yet I am not praising just the art in itself (which, mind you, it actually is already great in itself, if you ask me), but rather the way Samura uses it to express simple and yet never exhausted themes. This work to me is somewhere in-between a proper manga and an artbook. The story is, as often is the case in many manga, little more than a pretext for the author to portray certain scenes. The fact that Samura doesn't care much for historical accuracy only goes to show his purely aesthetic reasons for choosing his setting.
It's worth noting how Manji, the supposed MC, fades into the background more and more as the story goes on, and he turns out to be more of a spectator than an actor of the story, which pretty much suits his existence as an immortal that is something other than human, and this sense of alienation is further reinforced in the final chapters. His main playmate is Shira, which in body and mind is a freak just like Manji.
The greatest expression of Samura's art in this work is probably Makie, a triumph of violence, coldness and sensuality, mixed in with a sense of ephemerality and caducity, faced nonetheless with a will of steel that accepts mortality and misery, and yet is not willing to give in until the very end.
Kagimura and Anotsu are two others great characters. Anotsu is unable to accept the contradictions of what happens to the martial arts when they are reduced to a mere formal system that cares more about etiquette than efficiency. His Itto-ryu has only one single rule, and that is the prohibition of overnumbering the opponents. This differentiates it from being a mere no holds barred, since those who fight without rules only care about the outcome while those who abid by the Itto-ryu's rule are fighting mainly against themselves in a battle of self-improvement. What Anotsu care about is the personal growth in real battle situations. A very down to earth and elementary, even primitive, drive: the desire for true personal power founded on one's own ability rather than depending on other people. Yet a desire that contradicts the very nature of what human society has become, and hence Anotsu wishes to change that same society and show to its members the value of his pursuits, to show them how weak their illusionary power dependent on technology and bureaucracy actually is. And of all this Kagimura, the warrior who became a bureaucrat himself, is well aware and what drives him the most in his hunt for Anotsu is not the orders he receives from above, but rather his envy for what Anotsu is trying to accomplish, something that Kagimura desired in his heart of hearts but never dared to pursue. Though admittedly Kagimura is conflicted, because he still sees value in the society that Anotsu wishes to destroy. That's why he ultimately chose to sacrifice his own personal pursuits as a warrior for the sake of order and stability, for the sake of his family.
There is no black or white and there is no clear answer in the end. Even knowing the pointlessness of her own revenge, Rin can't help but wishing to go through with it nonetheless; even knowing the pointlessness of his social struggle, Anotsu doesn't put down his sword until the very end; even knowing the pointlessness of his battle against the already fallen Itto-ryu, Kagimura doesn't stop chasing Anotsu. The feeling that we get from the whole picture is that of a human life made up of things that are cherished and that are ultimately lost, yet we can never let go of them even if it's hopeless to try to grasp them, and so we keep fighting a losing battle not for the sake of the future but rather for the sake of the past, because if we gave up everything we had done up until now would lose all meaning.
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<3 Anotsu  
by selvaggiah
June 10th, 2014, 11:16am
Rating: N/A
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I adore this manga. It is the first one I ever read and to this day it has remained one of my favorites.

Of course, some may not appreciate the chaotic (and genuinely unfulfilled) script where slapstick and/or bloody sexiness is used as a pretext for introducing situations, characters and whatnot. I however think that not only does the art compensate for that but also, and more importantly, does the overarching goal of the artist with the story compensate for that: the point is that in life there is no point to revenge (or for that matter, to almost anything, including infatuations, disease, science and so on). I think the anti-sentimental "cruelty" of the very last chapter was kind of refreshing. There are romantic comedies around, for any one who are looking for that kind of plot; there are furthermore plots perfectly rounded off and motifs operative on a global scale in a smarter way than here. But that is just the point! There are no such stories in real life. Hence it is a romantic comedy when regarded sub specie aeternitatis: from an "omniscient" and eternal viewpoint, the moments of "intense" emotion (or anything as close to that as the mangaka gets) are but comical - because they do not last even 90 years.

I think Anotsu kind of compensates for the idiocy of some other characters (including of course the lead). Anotsu is a hopeless dreamer, nourished by this weird fantasy of something he does not really believe in. I really liked him and it pained me that he was crippled in the end. Btw, judging from some pictures in Love of the brute where an Anotsu-like creature reappears, I wonder if he in the imagination of the mangaka was not some kind of hermaphrodite *irrelevant*

... Last updated on June 10th, 2014, 11:19am
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One of top 10 for me  
by sUnDeAl
January 5th, 2014, 5:43pm
Rating: N/A
This manga is really good :

- great combat scenes, with a HIGH sense of body movements.

- drawings as realistic as I like them.

- great character design, with both graphically interesting characters (and weapons as much as you should ever want) and equally interesting personalities. The main ~20 characters are figured out.

- a great scenario, with an appropriate sens of flow (I mean I have the feeling the scenes are given the right amount of pages) and a significance for the characters how have been presented.

This manga is worth re-reading at several aspects.
I really don't see anything lacking in it. I consider it being a masterpiece.
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A heavily flawed masterpiece  
by Fundefined
November 19th, 2013, 10:45pm
Rating: 7.0  / 10.0
The biggest flaw with Blade of the Immortal is that its very apparent that the author got bored with his story and had no clear plan as to how it would unfold. Out of the numerous characters that show up, there really aren't too many that stand out story wise. The story's original premise is discarded pretty early and too many arcs feel pieced together rather than leading to an overarching point or theme. Even the setting itself isn't fully explored because, as he reveals in the book's commentaries, he honestly isn't that much a fan of historical period pieces. There should have been much more of a universe to this long story that is never fully expanded on.

With that said, the art is simply breathtaking, if inconsistent. Like the story, the author gets bored of certain aspects and changes things without planning, such as the death murals going away. When Samura is at his best, when he's drawing a character he clearly enjoys to draw like Makie; his attention to detailed poses and motion is unparalleled. But when he's drawing yet another Manji vs. mook fight, he tends to slip up. But even his lazier art is better than most's full efforts. At times, it feels he invents new characters just because he wanted to draw something fresh. Or worse, he invents out of place scenes so that he can blatantly draw his various fetishes.

Blade of the Immortal was Samura Hiroaki's first work and it really shows in artwork and especially his storytelling. You see a maturation process happening but also spikes of disinterest in his own work. He was able to gut it out to a mostly satisfying conclusion but reading it as a whole provides a very uneven experience. Fights are sometimes spectacular and sometimes mundane. Characters sometimes drastically change or stagnate without proper setup. But Blade of the Immortal's high point are high enough to consider it a masterpiece.

... Last updated on November 20th, 2013, 12:54am
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Dropped for now  
by PZcolo
October 2nd, 2013, 2:25pm
Rating: 5.0  / 10.0
Volumes 13 and 14 completely put me off and I lost all interest in this one. When a mangaka contradicts all the story and character development and the only explanation he can give the reader is a globe in the head of the main char saying "I don't know why I'm doing this" that destroys the whole story for me, the previous volumes lost sense and a story based on that crap can't be good.
May be wrong and I may retake this in the future, I actually waited for it to finish to start reading it after all, but right now it's just crap in my eyes.
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Took A long time to finish it!  
by little1213star
September 20th, 2013, 8:27pm
Rating: N/A
But god was it worth it!
Blood, gore, humor, action, adventure, romance (A little bit/I'd rather say fluff), it's a mix of many genre to will seduce many readers.
This manga kept me on edge and I always wanted more and more and more!
So when it recently finish, my heart broke into many pieces, even if I was "somewhat" satisfied by the ending (Damn it, that ending -_-!).
I would have wished it continued forever but we all know it's impossible.
Anyways, the plot is uniquely crafted, as they're are many emotional conflict in it by the lead female character! Manji and her have a relationship that just grows, lots of characters evolution.
Anyways, it's an amazing read and I highly recommended like most who have reviewed this manga.
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In my top 5  
by willmcgowan85
August 15th, 2013, 8:14pm
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
Such a unique story. The aspect of Manji being immortal is only a small aspect of the overall concept. With some modifications where the immortality didn't exist in this world, it would still be a great story. It is amazing how the concept of good and evil just does not exist. There are many people/groups that are clearly evil, but as for the good guys, there were no major characters that were truly pure and innocent, which is the best aspect of the manga.

I highly recommend this series to anyone that can handle the maturity (lot of good gore, sexual assault) with a little bit of tragedy.

Category Ratings:
  • Plot/Story: 9 - Most of it was excellent with some small sections that just seemed like they did not fit
  • Characters: 11 - So many different characters each with their own unique personality. Even the extreme type characters felt real.
  • Ending: 9.5 - The ending was good and well balanced emotion wise. Not super happy but not super tragic either, and definitely not rushed.
  • Target Genres: 10 - Loved the fight scenes, well balanced drama, deserves the mature tag without feeling like it was forced or deeply disturbing.
  • Lasting impression: 11 - The art was amazing from start to finish, I loved all the different weapons and the explanations at the end of some volumes was an added bonus. There will be some characters that I will remember for a very long time.
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