Aired: Jan 25, 2010 to Dec 10, 2010
Producers: White Fox
Genres: Action, Adventure, Martial Arts
Duration: 50 min. per episode
What a pleasant and unexpected surprise was to watch Katanagatari! Episode after episode, the way this anime grew on me is hard to put down in words, but I'll do my best!;D
The plot is actually quite simple, the way it is developed, on the other hand, is masterfully done.
We have this stubborn and cute strategist, Togame, whose objective is to collect 12 legendary swords by the order of the current shogunate, who fears a revolt from those possessing the 12 Perfected Deviant Swords. After being betrayed by ninjas and samurais she seeks help of a man who lives exiled in an island with his sister. The 7th Kyoutouryuu head, Yasuri Shichika, an easygoing youngster whose only worries prior to Togame's arrival were training and living peacefully with his sibling, Nanami.
After getting to know a bit more about the strange girl's past, Shichika decides on helping her on her quest and so they set on a journey full of joy and sorrow which will change their way of seeing the world and themselves, as well.
Surprise is certainly the best word to define this series. Each episode lasts for around 50 minutes, but you can hardly feel those minutes going by. The art, characters and story are so rich and amazingly done that there wasn't a single moment of boredom while I was watching it.
This is not your typical anime art, but any other than the one we have in it would look out of place. The sceneries, the characters, the whole atmosphere, everything is really beautiful, full of colors and details. You could say that the art itself would already be enough to give this anime a chance.
Thankfully, this is not the only reason. The characters are outstanding, as well. Their expressions, their voice actors/actresses, their development, thoughts and reactions. All of it, is very much human and the it was the major surprise I had while I was watching it. You can easily connect with the main character and with the side characters as well. The only letdown I had was the Princess Hitei - Emonzaemon part. I think they could've had a bit more development, specially on their past, but it's nothing that hinders the overall enjoyment.
The soundtrack was the weakest point in Katanagatari. It ranged from perfect to average during the show, but the overall feeling is of a very good sound production.
Katanagatari is a rare jewel in a time of so many cliches and average animes. Its beauty, the likable characters and the involving story will definitely catch your attention till the very end.