This here is a battle of people who are in comic books with the word “Blade” in them. Blade is in a comic book called Blade. Go figure. Manji is in Blade of the Immortal.
Seriously, I’m reaching on this here, people. (For the love of Bruce Campbell, offer suggestions below!)
Anyway, Blade is a daywalker/vampire hunter. Manji is an immortal ronin. They’ve both skewered victims aplenty, but let’s see which one I like better, shall we?
On to the warfare! (I thought I’d change it up a little this time.)
Physicality. Blade, also known as Eric Brooks (like, could his name be any blander?), is a ripped black guy who was played by Wesley Snipes in all three (?) Blade movies. I’ve never liked Wesley Snipes’ hair, but I find I don’t have a problem with the rest of the man. Like, I especially don’t have a problem with his arms. I’m completely and utterly fine with them. Manji, also known as Manji, is a one-eyed samurai. He lost his eye in a swordfight, so he’s got all these gnarly scars on his face. Still … Samura’s pencils are so beautiful, you can’t help but think maybe they’d get Takeshi Kaneshiro to play him in a live-action movie. (But they’d probably get Keanu Reeves, since he is part Chinese, that’s almost like being a full-blooded Japanese to Hollywood!). Winner? Manji, because I am biased in favor of Japanese men. But this was closer than usual.
Murdered more baddies? At the beginning of Blade of the Immortal, Manji is known as the “hundred-killer,” because he has killed 100 people. He doesn’t stop there, and, like, half the pagecount is comprised of these beautifully gory fight scenes. The kind that make you glad Hiroaki Samura is an artist and not that guy you ran into in the alley with a big knife. Blade has surely staked/exploded/garlic-ed a bunch of vampires to death. I don’t really keep track of that sort of thing. In any case, they’ve both murdered the hell out of a lot of baddies. Winner? It’s a tie.
Has faced Dracula? Here’s a gimme for Blade, since Blade of the Immortal is set in 1782, and Dracula wasn’t written until 1892, so Dracula would’ve just been a teeny widdle baby at best back when Manji was stabbing the hell out of people. Also, Blade of the Immortal doesn’t have vampires. Blade, however, has faced Dracula a bunch of times, because you can’t be in a vampire comic book/movie/television show and not face Dracula, unless you’re in one of those romance ones, you poor bastard. Winner? Blade.
Is immortal? Hey, I’ll bet you were wondering why Blade of the Immortal is called Blade of the Immortal. (If you weren’t, then you are surely a faithful reader, and omigod, weren’t Rin and Manji so cute together in the last volume???) Well, I’ll enlighten you: it’s because Manji is immortal. For some reason, this 800-year-old nun grants immortality to Manji by introducing something called “bloodworms” into his body, which can regenerate any wound, and are pretty gnarly looking. Manji’s been stabbed in the brains, had limbs cut off, been tortured, shot and other painful things Wolverine has never even dreamed of, and he’s still alive. Blade, being part vampire or something, has a longer lifespan than a normal human, but you know what? If you stab him, does he not bleed? If you stab him in the brains, does he not die? I’m not really sure of the answer, but I’m pretty sure he would die. Because he’s no Manji, is what I’m saying. Winner? Manji.
Has a really adorable romantic interest even though neither of them will admit it? I’ll bet you read this category and though, “Boy, Lokifire, that’s an awfully specific category there,” and you’re right. It is awfully specific, but Rin and Manji are just so squeeeeee together that you don’t even know, so I had to make a category just for them because if the series ends and they haven’t kissed, I will cry like a little girl. A little girl who loves bloody samurai comic books. Blade might have a girlfriend or something, I don’t know. Winner? Manji (and Rin).
Has better weapons? Blade has lots of weapons, including wooden knives, which doesn’t sound that awesome, but you have to remember that the man is fighting vampires here, and for some reason, steel just doesn’t cut it. (Gosh, I hope everyone gets my joke there!) Manji carries around enough weapons that he is known as “Mister twelve blades,” probably because there are 12 of them. Also, he has named a lot of them. Somehow, it’s cooler when you name your weapons than when you name your purse dog. Unless you use your purse dog as a weapon, which would be awesome in ways I can only imagine. Winner? Manji.
Has a more tragic backstory? It seems like comic book characters have tragic backstories, but who wants to read about happy, well-rounded people who aren’t crime-fighting vigilantes, you know? Blade was born to a prostitute who was killed by a vampire during the birth. That’s pretty tragic. Also, his girlfriend was killed by Dracula, which is why “staking Dracula” doesn’t make anybody’s top 10 list of “best dates ever.” On the other hand, we have Manji, who accidentally killed his sister’s husband. Well, it was accidental in the sense that it was his sister’s husband, but he totally meant to kill the guy. After her husband’s tragic demise, Manji’s sister went a little loopy, because that is what women did in the 1700s, and he took care of her until she was kidnapped and murdered by a gang who wanted to get revenge upon him. That’s pretty tragic. I don’t know what happened to Manji’s parents, but I can only assume he is an orphan, because he lives in a comic book, where everybody is orphans or clones. Winner? Blade, because Manji’s backstory wouldn’t be so damn tragic if he didn’t go around stabbing random people.
Overall winner? Manji, because adding the words “of the Immortal” to the word “Blade” just makes it that much more awesome.