I wonder how much more I would have liked this show if the ending wasn't so aggressively telegraphed for a second season (as compared to another great Maya Erskine vehicle, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which left the door open for future episodes but book-ended things perfectly), because the lack of committal in the first season's final few moments undermined many of the show and script's finer moments.

The show's largest assets are its aesthetics: incredible animation, terrific music, great voice acting. All of these things have been covered at length; they're all true. Where the show loses me — or perhaps, more accurately, prevents me from considering it a great piece of art — is its inability to thread the needle between naturalistic Game of Thrones-style deconstruction of the samurai myth and loving, caring, homage to the many many works in that mythos.

The show's best moments — Fowler showing off the smuggled guns and instantly contextualizing the threat of gunpowder, the parable of the onryo — are the ones that nail that balance. The show's worst ones are when it decides that it needs to hit the timings and cadences of a sit-com instead.



"Taigen's won 24 duels! How many have you won?"

"Should I have been counting?"

No one murders so well as the british; it’s our number one export.

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