English: Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc
Synonyms: Rurouni Kenshin: Shin Kyoto Hen
Japanese: るろうに剣心-明治剣客浪漫譚- 新京都編
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Dec 17, 2011 to Jun 23, 2012
46 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.091 (scored by 2381 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisA large scale remake of the time after Kenshin leaves tokyo up until before the inferno of Kyoto.
Related AnimeParent story: Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan
Characters & Voice Actors
The most succinct way to describe Shin Kyoto Hen would be: "glossed over." What else would you expect from a two hour retelling that attempted to cover 27 episodes of the original series? That's not to say, however, that the OVAs are entirely without merit.
The environments are strikingly beautiful. The characters are modernized: cleaner and redesigned to better suit the current aesthetic, but unfortunately look washed out and unfinished when set against the detail of the backgrounds. Cinematography is done very well; the usage of color and light, particularly contrasting Kenshin's meetings with Misao and Shishio, is a nice touch.
Animation was hit and miss. Where the TV show would use light and sound to indicate a superhuman move being performed, Cage of Flames impresses with full animations; noteworthy in Kenshin’s confrontation with Misao and battle with Chou. The fights in Song of the Light, however, lack the impact of those in the series. (Saitou’s evaluation fight with Kenshin comes to mind.) An argument can be made for the finesse of Kenshin vs Soujiro’s shukuchi duel, but the gatotsu and the futae no kiwami just don’t have the same raw explosiveness.
The soundtrack is still excellent. While the renditions lack their predecessor’s quaint appeal, they are more intricate in timbre and more “cinematic.” Familiar themes are used accordingly and don’t fail to accentuate the mood of a scene or remind us that this is indeed Rurouni Kenshin. Just don’t expect something as amazing as Tsuiokuhen’s OST.
Much of the gag humor and lightheartedness of the series was omitted in favor of a serious tone that accurately reflects the gravity of the arc. Studio Deen was aware of the age of the RuroKen fanbase, and thus had no qualms about showing the brutal reality of the fights and Shishio’s world; things that were implied and understood but not displayed by the series. This is where Cage of Flames truly shows its potential, setting all the scenes for conflict, building tension, and acknowledging all the right events from the original anime.
As if discouraged by the nostalgia-biased criticism of OVA1, the staff seemed to give up in Song of the Light. Sloppy animation aside, every character seems deflated. Both writing and delivery are unnatural given how little the development of their camaraderie is depicted. (I did like the more mature Misao, though; more convincing for the role of Okashira.) Aoshi and Shishio, obviously keeping their desire to strike in check in the first OVA, never demonstrate that catharsis, wasting all the anticipation.
As for how everything plays out... The absence of so many things (and members of the Juppongatana) completely overshadows the version of the story they attempt to tell.
Kenshin and Sanosuke never meet up; Sano is instead exclusively partnered with Saitou.
Sano’s parallelism with Anji is not explained.
Hiko’s arrival at the Aoiya is far less grand, because Yahiko never proves himself against Henya or demonstrates his impressive spirit.
Soujiro’s internal struggle to reconcile Kenshin’s and Shishio’s philosophies is barely there.
Saitou does not show his loyalty to Aku Soku Zan & police fighting Usui.
In fact all the duels that are glossed over don’t take place in Mt. Hiei, even though it was shown in Cage of Flames. I can go on, but the greatest wtf of the OVA and absolutely unforgivable omission is that Kenshin never uses his ougi…every major fight is won handily and anticlimactically. The conclusion of Watsuki’s Kyoto Arc is fundamentally altered and weakened.
*One thing did pique my interest: Saitou didn’t disappear in the blaze; he escapes with Soujirou. What might happen should the prodigy be taken under the wolf’s wing?
And so our heroes return (heroes being Kenshin and Aoshi, wtf happened to Sanosuke?) While Studio Deen apparently forgot how to make shounen/seinen fights epic, they do reunions passably well. (Kaoru finding Kenshin in OVA1, Misao welcoming Aoshi back.)
TL;DR Longtime fans of RK, Cage of Flames is worth checking out. Song of the Light is a waste of the va’s reprising their roles. Newcomers, don’t bother, watch the series, but feel free to stop before the Christian Knights and FengShui >_> read more
Rurouni Kenshin has always been one of my favorite shonen anime. When I heard that there was a new anime project coming up, I was excited because I thought that perhaps we would get the Jinchuu arc from the manga animated, since it has never gotten a proper adaptation. More news came by in the coming months and it transpired that the project was simply a movie retelling of the Kyoto arc; this by itself already represented a wasted opportunity, since that part of the story has already been adapted faithfully in the first anime, so there really should not be any reason for this to exist in the first place. But that didn't mean it had to be awful. Having now watched the first part of it however, I can say that that the worst has come true.
The original story of Rurouken was very good (especially by shounen standards). However, it was obvious that due to the small runtime of the two ova's, much of the story would have to be condensed and as such the it might stand to lose some emotional impact due to not having enough time to give the proper scenes their due. Unfortunately this issue has struck this movie very hard. The pacing of the OVA is very fast, and it doesn't cover the story very well at all because of it. Everything feels incredibly rushed, almost like I'm watching a recap of something that already happened. There were also some changes to the plot besides simply condensing it, most of which are harmless, but there is one particularly egregious example which is the battle between Kenshin and Chou. I won't spoil it, but the way this OVA plays out ruins the entire point of the fight and what happens afterwards.
The animation is incredibly bland. Nothing really stands out and it just feels serviceable at best. It seems as if DEEN didn't pour a lot of money into this or the animators just didn't care that much. The character designs are alright, but they could be a lot better. This wouldn't be as much of a problem, except that you can't help but compare it to the old series, which had a far superior budget and/or just people who cared more, so it just comes off as worse.
The one aspect of the OVA that is possibly good is the music...but this doesn't really mean much, because the melodies are just different renditions of music from the old series. While the compositions themselves are good, the arrangements in the movie are inferior to the original renditions, because they're simplified and lose a lot of their energy and substance.
Overall, I'm not sure what exactly the point of this OVA being made was, and who it's supposed to cater to. As someone who is already familiar with Rurouken and has watched the old series, this did nothing for me whatsoever. I don't care to watch a bland, condensed, glorified recap episode of the Kyoto arc when I can just watch the original tv series, which was infinitely superior. This OVA will do nothing for people unfamiliar with the series, because it doesn't do a good job of introducing the characters and the events prior to the Kyoto arc, so anyone new won't have any emotional investment in what's going on, they'll just be confused.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this even to diehard fans of the series. It just doesn't give you anything and feels like a waste of time and effort on part of the studio, which didn't even make the effort to do something good with the source material. This is a blatant cash-in as far as blatant cash-ins go.
Though Rurouni is more revolved around Samurais and Brave 10 is revolved around ninjas, both have many unique things in common. First off there is a girl that falls in love with the man character, and both main characters have an evil pass where darkness comsumes them. Another pointer why i think these animes are similar is because they both use a secret art of fighter. Last is... they have happy endings :D
Opening ThemeNo opening themes found, add themes.
Ending Theme#1: "Nanairo no Kaze (七色の風)" by Rina Sumioka (住岡梨奈)
#2: "feel you" by Rina Sumioka (住岡梨奈)
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Related ClubsRurouni Kenshin, Forever Alone, Shiro-Alucard, All The Best, Polski FC Katany, The OVA/ONA/Anime Movie club
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