6 years ago, Tokyo was hit by an unknown event that ravaged the city. Among the survivors, a woman was completely unscathed, holding a baby in her arms. This is Masame Amaha. Unfortunately, she lost her memories during the disaster, the only thing she is sure of is that the baby is her own. Masame unfortunately, has no job. So despite her best efforts to care for her daughter, Rihoko, she is constantly chased by the child welfare office. It's after her latest attempt to run away with Rihoko that she winds up in jail that just happens to be holding a man that has turned into a monster. This monster attacks her, awaking her own dormant power - the Witchblade - which turns Masame into a deadly force.
Her problems seem to keep growing from there. Along with looking after her
daughter, and dealing with her new-found powers, she also finds herself having
to fight ex-cons, high-tech human weapons that have malfunctioned and 'Neogenes',
who all use clones of the Witchblade.
The Witchblade anime is an interesting mix. On one side, you have a quite heavy action series, with Masane getting into battles in almost every episode. The action is fast-paced to go with the deadly force of the Witchblade. On the other side though there is a story of a family living their lives. When not busy with her ‘job’ a lot of Masane’s time is spent with Rihoko at the apartment block they live in, whey we get to meet a group of extra characters who bring a level of normality into the show.
One thing that certainly has to be said about Witchblade, is that the series is
heavy on the fanservice. While Masane herself is well-proportioned, her
appearance is looked at in a more comical way, with other tenants at her
apartment giving her the nick-name Melony (Masa-Mune in the Japanese version,
meaning ‘undefeatable breasts’) due to her huge chest.
A lot of the female cast is similarly endowed, and it’s made all the more apparent when they transform. The most notable fact is that they loose all of their clothes, which is replaced with a skin-tight amour which, in Masane’s case, leaves little to the imagination. This isn’t too much of a surprise though if you are familiar with the original Witchblade comic series, where the heroine was also barely covered by her own armour.
The only real downside I had with the series
The only real downside I had with the series was that there was never any real true enemy. The ex-cons generally served as a starting point to introduce us to the kind of things Masane would have to fight, and the Neogenes themselves are more of a rival to the company she works for. We meet some interesting opposing characters, but never anyone that you could truly call ‘evil’ or a ‘badguy’.
In all, Witchblade is a decent series. It doesn’t particularly shine out above others, but it does take a more unique blend of genres and mix them together for a worthwhile experience. It may not be a must have, but its certainly worth a watch.
Along with the standard trailer-reel and text less openings/closings, there is a large portion of extra features throughout the series.
First of all, there are a number of interviews with a host of Japanese VA’s, including Mamiko Nato (Masane) and Akemi Kanda (Rihoko) among others. Each actor talks about their time with the series, about the work they did and some of the things they enjoyed.
Also, throughout the series, you get a lot of material from Top Cow studios, the creators of the original Witchblade comic. Along with a tour of their offices, some of the team spends some time talking about the work they put in to making a comic. Along with this, there is a huge 3-part series ‘The Witchblade Forged’ which spends almost an hour with Top Cow members talking about the creation of the studio, the birth of the Witchblade series and its sudden rise to fame and how it became an anime series.