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Chane - Dagger

archica in dailyhorrordose

Anime: Mirage of Blaze (2001)



Mirage of Blaze is a 13 episode anime tv series that began airing in 2001. It is based on a series of light novels by Mizuna Kuwabara. The series focuses primarily on Takaya Ohgi, a high school student who discovers that he is a "possessor", a spirit who possesses a new body every time his current one dies. He is in fact Lord Kagetora, a powerful warrior who has been locked in a supernatural battle with various other "possessors" since the 1500's. As he reunites with allies and foes from his previous lives (including the handsome and powerful Nobutsuna Naoe, a former enemy who is both a great threat and a great help), his abilities to exorcise spirits awaken and grow in power. As enemy clans begin raising undead samurai zombie armies and endangering the modern world, those abilities will be put to the test.



You need to be aware that Mirage of Blaze is a shounen ai (boys love) series. If you don't know what that means, well, perhaps this isn't the anime for you. The shounen ai elements are somewhat tame (excluding a rather surprising scene in the separate OVA) and take a backseat to the action and the complex plot. Takaya is an interesting protagonist, mostly because he's sort of a "two for one" deal. Lord Kagetora and Takaya have very different personalities, and despite the fact that, as a "possessor", Kagetora should have effectively killed the real Takaya at the time of possession, it often seems that the two of them are wrestling for control. Naoe is also a highlight. There's something dangerous and, at times, frightening about him as he always seems to be on the verge of snapping. When his past is revealed (including a secret so terrible that it caused Kagetora to seal away his memories), he's even more disturbing. The action sequences are great, with some flashy supernatural powers being thrown around. There's also some rather scary imagery from the samurai zombies and various other creatures. The whole series has a dark, foreboding vibe that permeates every scene.

Mirage of Blaze is available on DVD. The OVA series, Rebels of the River Edge, is also available on DVD. None of the novels have been released in English, but fan translations are easy to find online.

Comments

Oh man, I love love love Mirage of Blaze. Funny, I've never really thought about it as a horror story but you're right. There are some very creepy things which happen in the plot.
Yeah, I think I found the whole idea of the Possessors to be the scariest thing, just because it seems that they tend to possess people at a young age and I couldn't help but imagine them shoving out the spirits of children so they could take over. :/ And even though I loved Naoe and thought he was hot (he was my favorite character, actually), he totally creeped me out. There's definitely a stalker element to him, even worse because it's gone on for hundreds of years. And what he did to Kagetora in the previous life... OMG. Talk about messed up. The novels even make it worse.
Gah! You know it never occured to me to look for the Mirage of Blaze manga. I guess I just assumed that it was one of those straight to Anime series-- because that happens so often in Anime right? *faceplant* clearly, I have to correct this oversight.