1629 Shizuoka, at the beginning of the Edo Era, Japan was enjoying a rare time of piece under daimyo Tokugawa Tadanaga’s iron rule. However, the lord wished for a fighting tournament to be staged and so it was – though despite his vassals’ strongest objections, Tokugawa insisted that the standard wooden bokken were forgone in favour of the sharp steel of real Japanese swords.
Two past students of Iwamoto Kogan, Japan’s greatest swordsman, find themselves preparing to do battle against one another, the prize being the proof that they are indeed the true successor to Iwamoto’s school. One-armed Fujiki Gennosuke and blind Irako Seigen are about to fight one another to the death – so beginning a story of intertwining fates, conflict and twisted destinies.
The first 32 chapters of Takayuki Yamaguchi’s dark and bloody manga, Shigurui was adapted into a television anime in 2007, directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki and written by Seishi Minakami. Production was handled by famed anime powerhouse, Madhouse Studios.
The series quickly gained notoriety for its detailed and realistic, graphic violence and nudity, and combined with its stunning style, choreography and visuals, makes for an excellent if somewhat disturbing watch.
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