Katanagatari, “Zantō Namakura”
Posted by Doug on February 17, 2010
Unfortunately, there was nary a trace of Nanami in this episode, but other than that, this was an interesting episode that actually managed to surprise me a little. Togame and Shichika do a little shopping before heading to the middle of the Inaba Desert, where the second of Shikizaki Kiki’s Deviant Blades, the Zantō Namakura, is to be found in the possession of a certain swordsman named Uneri Ginkaku.
Like Bakemonogatari, it seems that this series is going to be very dialogue-driven, with the majority of the forty-nine minute anime taken up with Shichika and Togame talking about a variety of subjects from Shichika’s odd choice of clothing to a debate over what his catchphrase should be. I was surprised by Shirasawi’s fate: since Kōmori had some fairly neat powers, and put up a good fight against Shichika, I really wasn’t expecting Shirasawi to be killed so shortly after he was introduced. Then again, the real adversary in this episode is Ginkaku.
Two episodes in, and Katanagatari is still top-notch, but whether or not one agrees with this appraisal would largely be dependant on how much they enjoy long stretches of well-written dialogue.
Backwards talking is power special whose, ninjas Corps Maniwa the of another is Shirasawi Maniwa. Annoying really getting started shit talking-backwards the before just two in sliced getting by viewer this shocks and, Castle Ginkaku at arrive Shichika and Togame before Ginkaku Uneri confronts Shirasawi. Isn’t he, no but, ninja solitary a only he’s since, badass pretty be to going was he thought I here. Disregard that crazy backwards jibber-jabber. Shirasawi Maniwa is another of the Maniwa Corps ninjas, whose special power is talking backwards. Shirasawi confronts Uneri Ginkaku before Togame and Shichika arrive at Ginkaku Castle, and shocks this viewer by getting sliced in two just before the backwards-talking shit started getting really annoying. Here I thought he was going to be pretty badass, since he’s only a solitary ninja, but no, he isn’t. He’s just a jobber. He appears to be thoroughly dead. Weird.
Shirasawi Maniwa’s voice actor is Hatano Wataru, who has done a number of minor roles in a variety of different series, including Naruto, Ah My Goddess, Magikano, Darker Than Black, and Yumeria.
Uneri Ginkaku describes himself as a ronin, the last of his clan, dedicated to protecting his castle. He has perfected a technique he calls Zerosen, the art of drawing his sword and cutting with it in one continuous movement, perfected it to the point to where the act is so quick as to be imperceptible. Combining this technique with the power of the Zantō Namakura, which becomes even faster when it draws blood, Ginkaku’s strikes are invisible even to the trained eyes of someone like Shichika. Ginkaku defends the castle with the hopes of restoring it and the land of Inaba around it to its former glory—a noble goal which is now tainted by the Deviant Blade he carries, transforming Ginkaku into a jaded loner with a pointless obsession.
Uneri Ginkaku’s voice actor is Miyamoto Mitsuru. Miyamoto has had some major roles, like as Roger Smith in Big O. He was also art teacher Mizuhoshi in Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Kisaragi Itsuki in RahXephon, and Leon Links in the Zone of the Enders anime series.