“Shōgun” is more of a political drama, not an action show. As /Film’s Michael Boyle explained, the finale of “Shōgun” is a deliberate anticlimax for audiences expecting a war epic. There’s a reason many (us included) have compared the show to early “Game of Thrones,” even if the showrunner of “Shōgun” disputes the comparison.

There are plenty of great samurai action movies to watch if that’s more your speed — and if so, you should read “Blade of the Immortal” too. One scene, where a series of panels adopt the POV of a swordsman cutting down opponents charging towards him, feels like the comic adopting the action language of cinema. 

The manga doesn’t just deliver heapings of blade-twirling, limb-slicing action, it cuts through feudal Japan’s hollow decorum. The villains and (Rin’s revenge targets) are the Ittō-ryū, a group of warriors who reject the samurai’s Bushido code for a survival of the fittest philosophy. But the action is what carries “Blade of the Immortal.” Like any long-running manga series (Samura was writing/drawing it from 1993 to 2012), the narrative sometimes sags under the weight of serialization. When I started reading, I expected something more episodic; would each chapter be Manji hunting a new villain to cross them off the list of 1000?

Nope. If anything Manji’s goal fades into the background. This is a comic about Rin’s quest, and he’s along for the ride to safeguard and teach her. By the story’s end, you’ll be questioning alongside Manji whether redemption truly can be earned through killing. That said, the art and action in “Blade of the Immortal” will captivate you and keep your attention even if the story doesn’t always.