Rurouni Kenshin the Motion Picture
Flash back ten years. The Meiji Revolution has reached its peak. A group of samurai led by Takimi Shigure attacks a village only to find that it is completely vacant. At the same time, another smaller group of samurai attack a village and become overwhelmed. Himura Kenshin, dubbed the Hitokiri Battousai walks out from one of the homes and attacks the leader of the clan, Takatsuki Gentatsu. Kenshin kills Gentatsu before Shigure can come back with this samurai to save him. After that point, Kenshin swears never to kill again.
Well, his past has caught up to him. During a day vacation with Kaoru, Sanosuke, and Yahiko, we see Takatsuki Toki being roughhoused by a group of sailors. Out of nowhere, Shigure Takimi and Himura Kenshin take out the sailors with ease. They form a mutual friendship, but when Shigure starts gathering a new army who is displeased with the corrupt Japanese government. Will Shigure finally attain closure? Or will Kenshin do something about it?
This is the worst that the Kenshin saga offers to anime fandom.
Yet it still rocks. It seems that the movie was an attempt to merge the dark past and violence of the OAV and the comedy and artwork of the TV series. And it was actually done very well. The flashbacks (or rather, flashback that appears seven times) are animated and drawn in the style of the OAV and the violence almost equates the OAV in those scenes. The comedic scenes are drawn in light colors that are easier on the eyes.
While the concept of corruption in the government causing rebellion and revolution has been done before, the addition of Kenshin to this cliche puts an interesting twist on this, as his philosophies contradict the objectives of the rebellion at hand, allowing for a plot that is a bit more complex in nature. The characters are their normal selves. Yahiko, being the son of a man who was killed in the same battles that Shigure and Gentatsu fought in the past, wishes to be like his father and learn to fight and ride a horse. Sanosuke, the oaf of the group, still has some killer martial arts. Unfortunately, Kaoru is not utilized too much in this movie. Toki, the helpless and frail sister of Gentatsu, has occupied that spot. Saito, of course, make his cameo appearance, warning Kenshin not to get involved in this rebellion.
It seems that little to no effort on the audio track was exerted on both the dubbing and music. The opening theme to the movie is HORRIBLE. This rubbish would anger even the deaf. The vocalist sings way, way, way off key and the instrumentals are ear wrenching. The dubbing and English dialogues are terrible. The ADR Scriptwriter is a horrible job on this, as many of the English translated lines miss some critical points in the movie.
But these negatives are chump change. The plot and characters are both positives for the movie and the unique mix of dark and light artwork along with some above average animation proves that while this may be the worst of the Kenshin lot, it sure as heck isn't that bad.
Recommended Audience: Plenty of blood is shed in this movie. Some mild lechery shown by sailors early on, but nothing all too bad. Older teens and up would dig the action in the movie.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Rurouni Kenshin the Motion Picture © 1997 Watsuki Nobuhiro / Shueisha / Fuji TV / SPE Visual Works
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