Anime Review: Shigurui: Death Frenzy (2009)

Anime Review: Shigurui: Death Frenzy (2009)

Shigurui (シグルイ, Death Frenzy) is a Japanese animation based on the manga series written and illustrated by Takayuki Yamaguchi. The first 32 chapters of the manga series contribute to the plot here. There are no news if the rest of the series will be made into animation.

Shigurui is not for anyone with a weak stomach. It's by far one of the most graphically violent anime I have watched to date. Unlike other hack and slash anime, the characters in Shigurui spill actual guts when (pardon the pun) gutted, you can see the actual intestines and brains splat. Shigurui also contains quite a lot of graphically explicit scenes of nudity — no outright hentai though.

The story starts with two samurais in a final showdown at a sword tournament. One end stands Gennosuke Fujiki with only one arm, the other dragging his feet along is Seigen Irako who's a blind cripple. You know on the spot they are out for each others' blood. The anime depicts the circumstances that lead to the showdown using flashbacks mixing with storytelling. It's a moving and thrilling tale of how fate has intertwined the two swordsman, both disciples of the same sword master, competing for the right to his legacy and his daughter.

The artwork of Shigurui is filled with scenes of symbolic imagery, the pace is slow, but not draggy. The general look of the anime is largely done in lighter colours, very much like water painting, with fight scenes more vividly coloured because of the blood. Fight scenes are typically short, focusing on sword techniques rather than the number of corpses piled up.

While watching the series, the potential for a great ending grew with each episode I watched... except that, that ending never came. It left me wanting for more. At the end of episode 12, we are left with the scene where Fujiki and Seigen Irako prepare to face each other one last time.. and that is.. that.

This anime has good artwork, pace and fight scenes. The only short coming is the lack of a proper ending.

I give it 3/5 stars, it would have garnered a 4 if the ending was there.

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 01

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 02

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 07

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 03

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 04

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 05

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 06

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 08

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 09

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 10

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 11

Shigurui: Death Frenzy - screenshot 12

A little disclaimer for the Youtube video below. The music's not from the anime.

Where to find it

Visit the links below to read more reviews on Amazon. There are other disc formats available also. Do note the region code for the disc and your player before buying.

Country-specific Amazon links for Shigurui: Death Frenzy [Blu-ray]: | | | - DVD



This Was By FAR the GREATEST

This Was By FAR the GREATEST Anime EVER! I am 24 years old and by this age... a thought nothing will ever impress me. I had noticed that i was watching Shigurui and also clenching my teeth for 4-5 minutes already. The atmosphere is awesome , the slow paste of the action and the complexity of the characters draws you in line quicksand and never leaves your system. This was a awesome experience. Thank you Takayuki Yamaguchi!

You gave Shigurui a 3 because

You gave Shigurui a 3 because of a cliffhanger ending? That's pish. This series is by far the greatest anime I have ever seen. Everything about the series was just amazing. I have been trying to find an anime like it ever since I saw it but it's just not possible. I've already watched the entire series 3 times. An anime like this comes along once in a lifetime.
If you're really so hung up about the ending, and you're too lazy to put your imagination to work, go read the manga. It's about three times as long as the anime, and the next fight in the series will not disappoint.

Hi, thanks for your

Hi, thanks for your comment.
I gave my rating as it is, the way I think the anime itself scores.

Similarly, let us now assume that you purchase a copy of Angry Birds, the graphics are great, the animation and music are amazing, but after you slingshot the birds, you never get to see the birds land. Sure, you could use your imagination, and imagine the killing all the pigs, or you could read up a comic book on the possible ending. BUT, how would you rate the game itself? ^_^

But I accept and understand where you are coming from. Everyone has their favorite anime, and wishes more people shared their views.

I don't remember much about

I don't remember much about Shigurui except that it's a violent samurai anime. The stories weren't particularly memorable, not that I remember much about other series that I watch. It's just that this anime didn't have as much lasting impression as others.

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