When he started the series in 1993, Blade of the Immortal creator Hiroaki Samura only intended for the fan-favorite manga to run for five volumes. Nineteen years and nearly 30 volumes later, his story of a deathless warrior on a quest to kill 1,000 guilty men has transformed from a simple but intriguing premise to arguably one of the greatest and most popular mangas in recent memory, which is why fans of the series will be sad to learn that it will finally come to a close at the end of 2012.

Known for its beautiful, detailed art, Blade of The Immortal has run in the manga magazine Afternoon for its entire duration, and is published in the U.S. by Dark Horse Comics. Set in the Tokungawa-Shogunate period of feudal Japan, it is the story of the crass and temperamental immortal samurai Manji who, after accidentally murdering his sister's husband, sets out on a quest to kill 1,000 guilty men to make up for murdering 100 innocents, and to lift the curse of agelessness set upon him by an 800-year-old nun. Early in his quest, he meets Asano Rin, a young girl who becomes his companion after he promises to help her avenge her parents, who were murdered by a cadre of swordsmen. Blade of the Immortal won the 2000 Will Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material.

According to Samura, the final chapter of the story will be 219, which will run in the February issue of Afternoon, on sale December 25th, 2012.

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