Sunday, September 28, 2014

Of Samurai, Swords and More

Of late, I have been thinking of a topic to write upon. So let me combine some of my interests into this blog post: anime, swordfighting, ninjas/samurais.
I admit, I have been fascinated by samurais and ninjas ever since I was a child. I think that was the beginning of my passion for anything Japanese. It started off with watching the martial arts movies, and also the fictional accounts of Ninjas and Samurais. [Just for the record, do watch the classic masterpiece Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa if you haven’t already]. Of course, video games like Ninja Gaiden and Double Dragon added to the spirit.

So in this post, I shall be listing down some of the famous fictional swordsmen who have actually inspired me a lot.

1) Roronoa Zoro:

Arguably, one of the most loved anime characters in the entire history of anime, and also one of the most popular swordsman, Zoro is a class in himself. Originally a bounty hunter, he became a pirate under Luffy, with the sole aim of becoming the strongest swordsman in the world. Zoro has an incredible level of stamina, and is able to withstand the strongest of attacks, even though it might leave him in an exasperated state. Without having any special powers, Zoro relies on training the old fashioned way, using three swords to cut anything he wishes too. Zoro indeed stands for a ‘Never say Die’ Attitude.

2) Himura Kenshin:

Also called the Hito-kiri no Battosai, or Samurai X, Kenshin is said to be one of the best swordsmen of his generation. Labelled as the most feared manslayer during the times of war, Kenshin later adopts a more peaceful approach, and promises never to kill again. Of course in the anime, he seems to have several superhuman moves, using the Hiten Mitsurugi style of swordfighting. Kenshin is indeed the legendary samurai.
A similar character is Jin, from Samurai Champloo. Am not mentioning his name separately, but he too is a good swordsfighter.

3) Kuchiki Byakuya:

Although, technically speaking, he is not really a swordsman, but definitely depicts a samurai of the older Japanese times. I have written about him earlier, so will not repeat it again.

4) Raiden, from the Metal Gear Series:

Raiden is a very popular video gaming character, who is half human and half cyborg, fighting against the forces of evil, in the immensely popular Metal Gear Series. In fact, he is the major character in 2 of the games. Though his real swordfighting skills are involved in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

5) Ryu Hayabusa from the Ninja Gaiden Series:

Ryu is the typical epitome of the Mystical Japanese Ninjas. The series combines swordfighting with magic, and other supernatural elements, but Ryu is arguably one of the best Ninjutsu users of his times.

Of course, there are other famous characters too, but am limiting to these five as of now. Keep tuned to more stuff in future.


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