Witchblade vol. 1 DVD Impression
Top Cow's Witchblade series which follows Sara Pezzini, an NYPD Homicide Detective and wielder of the Witchblade, has received many spin-off series chronicling the various possessors of the Witchblade throughout history, but none so unique as FUNimations's Witchblade anime.
The Witchblade anime has two things in common with the comic. The title and the Witchblade itself. Do not think you're getting an animated version of the comic, you're not. What viewers are treated to is a unique story for the Witchblade, one anime and comic fans can both share their joy in. Set in a futuristic Japan ravaged by a massive earthquake, the Witchblade's current bearer, Masane Amaha, is just trying to stay with her child Rihoko while avoiding child services who seek to separate the two.
The Witchblade, as seen in the comic, is an age-old weapon which can only be wielded by women, and chooses it's bearer. Masane does not remember how she came into possession of the Witchblade. She was at the center of a grand catastrophe, left with her child and no memories. Recruited, forcefully, by the Doji Groups Reiji Takayama, Masane is charged with the destruction of men, X-Cons, who transform into murderous machine-like monstrosities preying on society. She agrees to these conditions to protect her daughter Rihoko.
That is the basic story seen in volume 1 of Witchblade. There are many mysteries yet to be answered, enemies revealed such as Lady Reina Sohou, part of the NSWF Cloneblade team, and NSWF Chairman Father Tatsuoki Furumizu. How does freelance photographer Yusuke Tozawa tie into the story as he uncover more about the Witchblade and the rash of mysterious murders around town? All to be revealed in future volumes, but it's volume 1 of Witchblade that will hook fans of comic and anime fans in general.
The story sets itself up very well with plenty of action and mysterious story yet to be revealed. Strange enemies and stronger ones yet to appear keep the viewer glued to their seats waiting for the next time the ecstasy begins with the Witchblade awakening. See, Masane is a very docile woman, not very combative (except when it comes to her daughter) and does not really stand out in a crowd. She wants to live her live with her daughter and has no ambitions for power, making the Witchblade's choice as her for a bearer all the more interesting. When the Witchblade takes over, usually when it senses danger, a euphoric ecstasy consumes Masane as she transforms into one of the most sensual, sexy, plain erotic anime heroines we've seen in a long time. Masane as the Witchblade is everything Masane as a mother is not. Aggressive, violent, lusting for combat. The Witchblade shows its bearer as the ultimate weapon, but just who's in control? See, Masane tends to no remember what happens when the weapon takes over, a departure from the original comic where Sara was aware and somewhat in control. For Masane it's total transformation form hair to the barely there coverings of the Witchblade. A true feast for the senses, the Witchblade anime is not for the faint of heart or the young. It's a visceral experience that will keep viewers coming back for more until all mysteries and story elements are revealed ... and no it's not totally anime-ized with strange settings and big-eyed characters.
I highly recommend the Witchblade to anime and comic fans alike. It's a unique mixture of East meets West in animated format that all can enjoy. Witchblade fans owe it to themselves to check out the anime, and anime fans that dig this new series from Gonzo will want to check out Witchblade at Top Cow with their ongoing Witchblade comic, and their Witchblade Takeru Manga, which Comics Alliance as previewed in the past. Read the issue 8 preview for Witchblade Takeru Manga here.