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Blade Of The Immortal Season 2 release date: Mugen no Junin: Bakumatsu no Sho manga is a direct sequel [Spoilers]

Blade Of The Immortal logo
The Blade Of The Immortal Season 2 anime will adapt the manga sequel’s story called Blade of the Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc. Pic credit: Liden Films

A Blade Of The Immortal Season 2 anime seems likely in the future based on the popularity of the manga series that’s the source material for the anime series’ story.

What’s more, there is already a direct manga sequel called Blade of the Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc (Mugen no Junin: Bakumatsu no Sho) that launched in 2019.

First, let’s back up and explain how the current series came to be produced. The Blade Of The Immortal anime that’s streaming on Amazon Prime Video is a reboot of the anime.

The first attempt was created in 2008 by animation studio Bee Train, comprised of 13 episodes that only told part of the story.

With the manga’s original story finished in 2012, animation studio Liden Films (Berserk, The Heroic Legend Of Arslan, Hanebado!, Boarding School Juliet) was tasked with rebooting the anime. Screenplay writer, novelist, and manga writer Makoto Fukami (best known for writing the Psycho-Pass anime’s story) is attempting to fully adapt the entire first Blade Of The Immortal manga series with only 24 episodes.

To put the immensity of this project in perspective, scriptwriter Fukami is tasked with cramming 30 volumes comprised of 206 chapters into a coherent structure with only two cours to work with. Arguably, the full anime adaptation should have been at least three cours, but it is what it is.

At the helm is director Hiroshi Hamasaki. Having also directed the 2007 Shigurui: Death Frenzy anime, he has experience working on historical samurai anime. He’s also produced some fairly bloody action anime, including the 2014 Terraformars anime, which was also animated by Liden Films.

This article provides everything that is known about Blade Of The Immortal Season 2 (Mugen no Junin Season 2) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Blade Of The Immortal manga compared to the anime

The 2019/2020 Blade Of The Immortal anime is based on the Mugen no Junin manga series by writer and artist Hiroaki Samura. Serialized from 1993 through 2012, the ending was released in Volume 30 back in December 2012.

The official English translation of the Mugen no Junin manga series was handled by Dark Horse Comics. The panels were rearranged so the English manga could be read from left to right. The chapters were also split up a little bit differently, with the ending released in Volume 31 back in April 2015.

The manga is divided up into five major story arcs:

  • Prologue/Introduction: Volumes 1 – 6
  • Kaga/Mugai-ryu: Volume 6 – 9
  • Aftermath: Volumes 10 – 14
  • Prison/Demon Lair: Volume 14 – 21
  • Winter War: Volumes 21 – 30

The original manga also spawned a live-action Blade Of The Immortal movie that premiered in Japan on April 29, 2017. The film only adapted the first two volumes of the manga series.

The Blade Of The Immortal Season 2 anime would be based on the Blade of the Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc manga series that launched in Kodansha’s Monthly Afternoon magazine on May 25, 2019. New chapters are being released on a monthly basis, and by January 2020, the new series was only up to Chapter 8.

Surprisingly, the Blade Of The Immortal sequel is not being written or illustrated by original creator Samura. Instead, he is collaborating with writer Kenji Takigawa and artist Ryu Suenobu.

Unfortunately, an English translation of the manga sequel has not yet been licensed by a North American publisher. However, there are fan-made scanlation projects that have kept up with the Japanese releases.

Blade Of The Immortal Bakumatsu Arc Manga Volume 1 Cover Art
Yes, Manji spends some time in the American Old West in the Blade Of The Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc manga series. Pic credit: Ryu Suenobu

In general, the 2019 anime adaptation is significantly improved over the 2008 attempt. It’s a flawed masterpiece where Liden Films is doing their best given the episode limit that was likely imposed by an anime production committee.

The overall direction and cinematography do not come off as extraneous or wasteful. When characters need space to breathe, they receive it. When crucial story arcs such as the Demon Lair arc need time, they are given it.

Dr. Burando was portrayed perfectly by showing an old-school film projector aesthetic where ethereal forms slowly revealed the good doctor’s descent into madness. What seems whimsical at first transforms into this visage that’s an impressionistic painting of death scrawled on the walls using soy sauce.

The director uses such scenes to fill the atmosphere with tension and unease. The action sequences also attempt to capture certain moments captured by the manga artist.

The biggest flaw is that many of the manga characters are short-changed along the way. While anime-only audiences probably won’t notice the pacing issues, fans of the manga series can’t help but be disappointed by the fast pacing and skipped/rearranged content.

In general, the anime adapts a little over one tankobon-format volume per episode. Some sequences that were originally several chapters were condensed into mere snapshots of important moments.

Many elements were rearranged. For example, the ending of Episode 15 pulled elements from Chapters 120 and 121.

To be fair, with only 24 episodes to work with, it’s admirable what Liden Films has managed to pull off. But the anime has skipped at least a full volume’s worth of content, including one villain.

Blade Of The Immortal Manji Symbol Back
Trivia: In the manga, Manji’s name comes from the manji symbol boldly worn on his back, but Liden Films likely removed it since the symbol is literally a swastika. The German translation of the manga series also modified the symbol so it was an “X”. Pic credit: guido_mng

The most notable change was to Manji’s introduction. Anime-only audiences do know that he killed 100 other samurai in the past and that he became immortal thanks to the sacred bloodworms given by the 800-year-old nun named Yaobikuni.

Although it’s made plain in the opening sequence that the death of his sister that started his quest for redemption, what the anime fails to mention is that he also killed his sister’s husband.

Even Manji’s core motivation for helping Rin Asano find and kill Anotsu Kagehisa is skimped over. Manji believes that he can end his immortality by killing 1,000 evil men to make amends for his previous criminal life.

Of course, that particular detail won’t become important until the beginning of The Blade Of The Immortal Season 2, but that’s getting into spoilers territory (see below for full spoilers).

Even though Manji technically is the protagonist of the entire story, cutting down on his backstory and focusing on developing Rin and Anotsu was the correct move considering screen time limitations.

Knowing every detail of Manji’s history isn’t as crucial since the motivations of Rin, Anotsu, and the Itto-ryu are more important in the overall scheme of things.

The prologue story arc also depicted the core philosophical ruminations of manga creator Samura. It’s about documenting the human struggle and chapters dived into issues such as duty, obsession, revenge, and redemption.

Unfortunately, Anotsu’s long speech about the origins of the Itto-ryu and their philosophical motivations and goals was reduced to a handful of lines.

Regardless, the anime managed to elicit some sympathy for Anotsu since his ultimate goal is to fight the widespread corruption of Japanese society even if he follows the path of ends justify the means.

Depicting Anotsu as more than a one-dimensional villain who seeks dominance for his sword school teaching was important and the 2019 anime managed to achieve that goal.

Blade Of The Immortal Manga Anotsu Kagehisa
The epic speeches of Anotsu Kagehisa were cut short in the anime adaptation of the 2019 Blade Of The Immortal anime. Pic credit: Hiroaki Samura

Still, due to all the skipped content, it’s recommended that English-only manga readers start from the beginning if they wish to read the original story.

Since the original manga explains Manji’s backstory in more details it’s a better setup for reading Blade Of The Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc (or watching Blade Of The Immortal Season 2).

Mugen no Junin Season 2 release date

As of the last update, Liden Films or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Blade Of The Immortal Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a Blade Of The Immortal sequel been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Mugen no Junin Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.

Besides the financial success of the first anime season, the biggest factor influencing the production of the anime sequel is the manga. The timing of Blade Of The Immortal S2 must wait on the release schedule for the manga sequel.

Even assuming the anime sequel faithfully adapts each chapter in full rather than partially, new chapters are only released monthly. That means it will be several years before there’s enough manga content available for creating the Blade Of The Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc anime sequel.

Blade Of The Immortal Bakumatsu Arc anime spoilers (summary/synopsis)

Set in the 19th century during the Bakumatsu period, Manji is now over 100 years old, and he’s reached the point where he has stopped counting birthdays. Since the last time we watched the warrior he has traveled to America, learned English, and was even mistaken for a Native American.

To his great annoyance, Manji is still quite immortal despite having killed over 1,000 evil men over 30 years ago based on the suggestion of Yaobikuni. For the last 14 years, Manji has been living in the Tosa Domain on Shikoku of Japan and by 1864 he was teaching English to a young boy named Niijima Shimeta.

Living thus, Manji meets a 28-year-old samurai named Ryoma Sakamoto (he’s a real historical figure so don’t Google him unless you want potential spoilers).

This young man enjoys listening to the “tall tales” of Manji and, unlike other listeners, he believes Manji’s claims of immortality. Ryoma tries to learn more about Manji’s past, especially his romantic history, but Manji is either vague or avoids answering.

Since killing villains did not help Manji earn redemption and end the “curse” of immortality, Ryoma suggests that Manji might seek atonement by helping people, instead. Although the two men have differences of opinion on the best future for Japan, Manji recalls helping Rin in the past and decides to set out on this new path.

Ryoma is a Tosa Imperialist who is loyal to the Emperor and not the Tokugawa Shogunate. He asks Manji to accompany him to Kyoto, where there have been conflicts between the Imperialists and the Shinsengumi, a special police force organized by the Bakufu military government during the Bakumatsu time period.

Historical Shinsengumi members include Okita Soji, Kondo Isami, and Hijikata Toshizo.

It’s not long before Manji has a run-in with the Shinsengumi in Kyoto, and he’s cut down promptly. To Ryoma’s delight, Manji proves his immortality by rising from a mortal wound and defeating his foes.

The fighting in Kyoto has reached the point where one faction is considering burning the city to the ground. But Manji doesn’t want anything to do with such extreme measures.

Meanwhile, a woman named Ayame Buran knows of the horrible experiments conducted on Manji under Edo Castle 80 years ago.

A descendant of one of the characters from the first season, Ayame is the great-granddaughter of Dr. Ayame Burando. She knows who Manji is and desires to meet him for her own peculiar reasons.

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Blade Of The Immortal Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "woke-taku" and he enjoys covering all the latest news related to Japanese entertainment.... read more

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