Would Katanagatari have been a success if it were released during the lockdown?


During the lockdown phase, anime witnessed an unparalleled increase in popularity. It is apparent in shows like Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, Chainsaw Man, etc that are known all around the world. Following such incredible shows, would a show from the 2010s have received a similar success? My question exactly is if Katanagatari, a decade-old anime, would have received similar popularity among the anime community.


Today, I will break it down if the show has what it takes to make a comeback and stand on the same level as these beloved new-gen anime. If you love the analysis below, be sure to subscribe to Spiel Anime’s Newsletter, where we bring exclusive and extensive anime content from all around the community, not once but twice a week.

Katanagatari – What is it about?

Set in Edo-era Japan, Shichika Yasuri practices a very unconventional sword style. This sword style utilizes his entire body in place of an actual sword, as his own body is used as a blade. A powerful technique, his school has been exiled, only to be called back in service for the Shogunate. Togame, a vessel of the Shogun, reaches out to him to seek his help in retrieving the 12 Deviant Blades.

Shichika and Togame meeting for the first time
Shichika and Togame meeting for the first time | Courtesy of White Fox

Interested in the girl, rather than the mission on hand, Shichika accepts the quest. And so begins the tale of the enigmatic duo and their adventure across the lands as they face tenacious adversaries in their quest for the 12 swords.

Would the show have succeeded during the Lockdown?

Shichika defeating the wielder of Zantou Namakura
Shichika defeating the wielder of Zantou Namakura | Courtesy of White Fox

The short answer is Definitely. Considering the shows that are now the face of the anime community, this show would excel beyond comparison. There are multiple reasons for this conviction:

  • The show is rated 8.31 on Myanimelist, with reviews on both ends of the spectrum. This highlights the fact that a whole lot of people with different tastes watched the show.
  • The story is engaging and thrilling, easily surpassing Demon Slayer, which falls short in the “well-developed” story category.
  • The story has a direction, which puts it above Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man, shows that did not really have a goal till half the show had been explored.
  • The show was animated by White Fox from a Light Novel, and they did an amazing job executing the delicate action scenes of this battle-focused story.
  • Even if not for all the points stated above, it would have definitely shone through for its track songs.
Shichika defeating the Ninja
Shichika defeating the Ninja | Courtesy of White Fox

With the attention current franchises have been receiving, Katanagatari could have easily bagged Ufotable or MAPPA. Any of these two studios would make it the anime of the year. The story breaks in part to directly jump to the next adversary, however, such a flow acts not against but for the story. The story is heavily focused on how Shichika and Togame manage to overcome the adversaries together.

This allows their bond to grow not in silence but in action. This is something most Shonen utilize, they put their characters in spots that are difficult to navigate unless the characters in question have complete trust in each other.

Shichika fighting the wielder of Sentou Tsurugi
Shichika fighting the wielder of Sentou Tsurugi | Courtesy of White Fox

Their opponents carry their weight in the show, each with a lesson that does not make Shichika stronger, but instead softer and sensitive to Togame. The shows highlights greed, jealousy, envy, and fear in a way that is usually not shown in other shows. These expressions are discreet and only turn up when the MC focuses on them, mirroring how it actually works in reality.


This is why Katanagatari would have been a much bigger success if it had been released during the Lockdown phase. Currently, it has 200k members, while the big names have members around a million or two. This brings forth a question for the community, do we need to have reboots of shows like these or is it our responsibility to revisit them as time goes on?

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