Blade of the Phantom Master (2004) Reviews online.
This anime has original title: Shin angyo onshi
I watched this one after having seen Sword of the Stranger. You might think that they would have similarities: both look like they are samurai flicks, both have a serious-looking dude on the cover. No, it ain’t necessarily so.
Released in 2004, this 90 minute feature has no real coherence. It seems to be 3 episodes stuck together, but there’s no real relationship between the first two and the last story. The main character, Moonse, is the last remaining Amen Osa, a type of super-powered mystical warrior who were loyal to the former king of Jushin. Moonse, the last one, is wandering the landscape aimlessly. He seems to have no real purpose but to try to help the downtrodden when he happens to stumble across them. He will then fight the good fight to get rid of the inevitable evil lord of the manor.
Although this is called Blade of the Phantom Master, don’t expect to see his sword doing any work. He seems to rely on an assortment of guns and dynamite, which he conceals in his overcoat. We meet him as he is dying of thirst in a desert. He seems to have forgotten his water bottle. He is saved by a idealistic young man, Monlyon, who has both a water bottle and a camel – no prizes for guessing who is the smarter one. Unfortunately, after spilling his guts about his girlfriend who is being abused by an evil lord, Monylon gets a spear in his back from some desert fiends. Moonse uses the dead man’s body as a trap for the fiends. He stuffs the kid’s body with dynamite, which then conveniently blows all the desert carnivores to kingdom come. Moonse then inherits the former young man’s flying desert bat, an animal mascot which adds nothing to the story at all.
This sort of nonsense gets repeated as Moonse decides to release his former mate’s girlfriend from the clutches of the bastard lord. The girlfriend is, of course, a fox, being tortured wearing a flimsy outfit which would make any S&M fan drool.
I can’t be bothered retelling the rest of the story. It is all a nonsense, but perhaps this doesn’t matter too much. The plot to Fist of the North Star is also nonsense, but I still enjoy watching it. Maybe the idea with these sorts of anime is to put your brain on hold and just enjoy the action scenes, which are plentiful. If you enjoyed watching Kenshiro fighting an endless army of supermutant humans with bad hair cuts, then you might just get some laughs out of this one. If this was a live-action flick, the perfect person to play Moonse would be Chuck Norris. Moonse shows no real compassion to either side; his bad-ass attitude makes him a less than sympathetic character; he will leave someone to die if they don’t meet his standards. He is God and everyone else is just an inconvenience. Who gives a shit about someone like that? Certainly not me. I’m hoping that future Korean – Japanese co-productions show more flair and intelligence than this nonsense.