When I ordered this brush, beginish (Bob) ask me to give my candid assessment of whether Manchurian was as good as legend says it is. I did have high hopes for it, that I posted about at that time...... ....So when the Beauty arrived and I used it for the first time.... and it seemed to have that magic degree of scrubbiness. I thought I just might be letting my high hopes for it color my judgement. The next time I used it, I did a side by side comparison with the Emperor 3 Two Banded. It won the brush off. The Emperor was still too scrubby for my taste and the Manchurian took it just to the edge of too much, but landed instead at just right. The next outing was a side by side comparison with a Rooney 1/2 Finest. It won again. For me the legendary Finest is still too scrubby for my taste. Now in a classic case of YMMV (your mileage may vary), my husbands favorite brushes are the Simpson 2 Banded and the Rooney Finest. He used the Manchurian today (his second use of it) and told me, "If it was any softer, it would be too soft. Instead, it's just right there with just enough scrub." After comparing our impressions we both agree it is a great all around brush. It has good backbone and density, produces and releases lather easily, and walks the tightrope of scrinchiness for two people with very different preferences in brushes. It looks like we found our unicorn and a welcome addition to our stable of brushes. The Manchurian Badger might best be described as a hybrid of Simpson's Two Banded and Three Banded Super. It's bloom is more like the Three Banded, while it's face feel more resembles the Two Banded. It's interesting to note that the knot on the Manchurian Badger does indeed look like a crossbreed of the brushes on either side in this picture below. M7 GYLE finest Silvertip, M7 Manchurian, Emperor 3 Two Banded * On a side note - When I received my brush, the good people at Simpsons included a complimentary full size tub of Sicilian Lime shaving cream. I would be remiss if I didn't say "Wow! What a wonderfully fresh lime scent it has. It smells like a good Key Lime pie taste.