Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - GONZO
R1 License - FUNimation
Events of six years ago stole the memories of Masane Amaha, and agents of the Ministry of Child Welfare have judged her to be an unfit mother. Despite their efforts, Masane and her daughter, Riko (Rihako) are still a family and together, they have fled to what the remains of the island city of Tokyo to start a new life. But Masane is the wielder of a mysterious weapon called the witchblade and the strange forces of evil are now on the move.

Legends refer to it as a powerful weapon of god or the devil’s tool of destruction. The witchblade can only be wielded by a woman and only at a time when the forces of evil are the strongest, when the need is greatest.

Based on the American ↗Witchblade comic book published by Top Cow.

Animation by GONZO and others.
24 TV Episodes

R1 license by Funimation

FUMImation sponsored promo (4:19min) - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 7 7 6 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:1362#1552]
I chose to trek my way through Witchblade because of how ridiculous I found many things throughout the series. A good number of the elements to Witchblade seemed to be put together just so you could see women in sleazy attire fighting one another. This series seemed to do enough at points to try setting up sleazy moments such as jokes cracked about Masane's bust, your archetypal perverted old man and Maria's attire during her early appearances in the middle of the series. The antagonists to the series are so shallow and looney that they are laughable, in particular Furamizu and his ridiculous mother complex. In addition, I could really care less about the conflict over the Witchblade due to the lack of depth covered on it, as well as tensions between Douji and the NSWF. This whole plot setup was mostly put together just to see Masane spar with the Douji's machines or the NSWF's Neogenes.

What does save the series from completely dipping into an Avoid rating for me was the implementation of the mother-daughter bonding theme. The series explores the bond of Masane and Rihoko as the former is stuck in the conflict between Douji and the NSWF, as well as a couple Neogenes from the NSWF trying to come to their own understandings connected to motherhood. The theme isn't all perfect as there are a number of contrived or unsympathetic elements to the developments of the characters that somewhat or completely wreck any concern you should have with these characters. Reina's developments were perhaps the best for this theme as she tried comprehending what it felt like to be a mother and experiencing love, which led her to defy the NSWF at a number of points throughout the series in trying to satisfy her personal feelings. Masane and Rihoko, being the main focus of Witchblade, do have a likeable bond as the series does do well enough in later episodes to convince you that the two do care greatly for one another as they overcome enough dramatic moments. However, caring for them does require a bit of suspension of disbelief at the start of the series as the two were rather well-adjusted to their situation of being homeless and Rihoko being more responsible and skilled at homemaking than her own mother. Maria's selfish, bitchy* and destructive behavior had me caring less about her mother issues since she seemed way too unsympathetic for me to connect with.

Overall, Witchblade attempts to implement a mother-daughter bonding theme that has its effective moments yet also doesn't work too well due to contrived plotting or a character so negative in personality and actions that you could care less about them. Combine this with the blatant use of fan service and innuendo plus lack of fleshing out on elements to the Witchblade rivalry and you have a rather mediocre action series.

*- I don't often use profanity in my reviews. But considering how unlikeable I found Maria, I think the word does well at describing her character.

Last updated Saturday, August 20 2011. Created Saturday, August 20 2011.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1362#967]

Last updated Friday, August 29 2008. Created Sunday, June 04 2006.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Series Web Site http://www.witchblade.jp/

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