Inktober 2020 Day #5: Blade. I had two ideas for this prompt, but went for the slightly more obscure. The first was a take on the Marvel vampire slayer Blade, the other was the manga Blade of the Immortal, which I love (and got my oldest son hooked on). The main character is named Manji, which happens to be the name for both the weapon known as a sai to most westerners as well as the name for the swastika. The swastika was a symbol of well-being in Hinduism and Buddhism before it became corrupted, and the main character has one on the back of his kimono. Manji is a rogue warrior, infected with a parasitic worm that causes him to regenerate from injuries and thus be immortal. The story tracks his journey out of his life of killing to one of…well, still killing, but killing bad guys and helping a young girl avenge the murder of her family by a rival sword school. Manji’s kimon is also half black, half white, with the symbol the opposite in the middle of his back. Not wanting to cause a stir, and because it made sense to me, I replaced the manji on the kimono with a banana for PMD, as well as gave him a plunger-tsuba (the guard plate on a katana) on the sword. The funky weapon in his left hand is one invented by the creator Hiroaki Samura, and it’s one of Manji’s favorites.
I had a ton of fun with this one, though I had my doubts at first. I really enjoyed the kimono, both crafting the folds (especially the way his tail pokes out and lifts the cloth to reveal his signature purple with yellow flowers shorts) as well as trying to create the local color for half of it. It’s a bit tricky to have it not read flat and to have the details (like the folds) still stand out, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.