I am going to absolutely blunt here: it was shit. But it was funny shit. I’ll elaborate on that a little.
I understand that, for a movie adaptation of a long long series of something, be that anime or manga or any other form of media, some changes have to be made, especially when your target audience is from a very different culture to the one it was originally built for. But this? Who the hell were the target audience? I do not understand who this was supposed to be for: the fans, teenagers, B-movie enthusiasts? Whatever few references that they made to the original manga or the anime adaptation just felt cringey to me as a fan, so I don’t think that’s it. It’s a bit too gory for teenagers, but the plot and the use of shitty pop music absolutely makes it feel like one. So was it made for B-movie enthusiasts, among which I count myself? Perhaps, but even for that it was not very good.
I finally finished The Witcher Saga a few months ago, after a decade of waiting for translations. On top of that, I found and started running a Pathfinder adventure path (a long term pre-written campaign) called Reign of Winter (don’t read the book summaries unless you’re willing to be spoiled) because of it seeming utterly insane story wise and being heavily influenced by Slavic folklore, and concerning one of the most well known of the characters in it: Baba Yaga. All of these things just falling upon my lap has lead me into just becoming fascinated by fairy tales, particularly those of Slavic origin. To feed this new fascination, I decided that I wanted to both read into the original fairy tales, and the history and culture of various Slavic cultures. For the time being, I’ve ended up focusing on Russia. So much so that I’ve even started studying Russian – something for which I’ve been looking for an excuse for a while. But before I started doing that, I bought three books inspired by said folklore: The Bear and the Nightingale, Uprooted, and Deathless. I decided to start with the first one on that list.
It’s got a very striking cover.