This is the true final episode of the 1996 Rurouni Kenshin anime series which was so poorly handled (read my review if you wish) that they didn't even give it an actual ending episode. Imagine following 94 episodes of an anime without even so much as a "thank you for watching" from the production team.
Anyway Kenshin and Kaoru travel a bit to pursue their favorite hobby of visiting graves except a terrible tragedy occurs when it begins raining a lot. The two stay in a hotel together and Kaoru holds Kenshin's hand, literally the extent of their relationship's evolution after nearly 100 episodes. Sanosuke and
Yahiko also visit their main squeezes but none of these plot lines are resolved. Might as well be another random filler episode that teases an obvious attraction and does nothing with it. At the end Kenshin and Kaoru return home and everyone waves at them. That's it. It's the most boring ending possible but at least it ends the series by re-establishing part of what it is rather than ending on an irrelevant filler arc.
Since this was made a while after the series and is a one-episode production it looks nicer than the series. In a sense, at least. The resolution's better and it's brighter, but the colors are flat and lack the smooth detail and shading the series had. At its best, the series looked much better than this special. There's also a weird tendency to make the backdrops actual photographs or videos, so there's scenes of animated cels Kenshin and Kaoru standing on the beach of a real ocean which looks incredibly awkward. It's not even the first time I've seen this (Macross Dynamite 7). Must be a 90s thing.
Anyway, this isn't a rewarding watch but if you've sat through the entire series then you're probably used to that from its filler and might as well go all the way so you can brag to others that you got out alive.
No one has written a review for this so why not be the first?? Many people count this as part of the original anime, many people also probably think it is pointless to write a review of one small episode but I will write a review for those who are curious. Don't worry this will be quick.
Story- This is a ending of the original Rurouni Kenshin. There is no fighting and that is totally ok. I'm going to assume you have been watching or probably finished Rurouni Kenshin and are either wondering if you hould watch this or not or to compare feelings towards this.
The whole 3rd season of Rurouni Kenshin was filler and this is a filler ending but it works. Everyone gets their time to shine and the love interests get stronger so nothing to complain about the story. It's as good of a story as you can get without conflict of any kind.
Art- The art... I'm giving this a 10 because I think the site I used was weird. The art was the same as the original story for the most part but there was a couple of scenes that were real life. Kenshin was walking a actual beach, there were real waves and a real sky sometimes it got me confused. Maybe it was the site which is my thinking. If it is not than the people who made the special are weird haha.
Sound- Exactly the same ost's as the original.
Character- Same as the original
So this special was good to say the least. Word of advice. If you are currently watching Rurouni Kenshin or the prequel and you hate filler go straight from episode 77 to this special and you will have a great ending that leads you up to Seisou-Hen the final OVA. So this isn't bad not at all, it was a nice ending to an almost perfect anime... almost. Give this episode a shot.
Released after the end of the TV series, this standalone episode serves little purpose and doesn't add anything to the main story.
The reason for this is because essentially nothing of merit takes place in this episode. We watch Kenshin and crew go about their lives, with a few shots of the scenery that go on for a bit too long (almost as though they're stretching for time), and then the episode just kind of ends... without much of a climax.
I'd be surprised if this episode even had a writer. It's much more likely that the actors just got in a booth and recorded some new
lines of dialogue and the animators slapped something on top of it. The story is THAT poorly done in this thing. The most I can say is that there's one humorous moment with Sanosuke.
As for the art, it's a slight step up from the TV series, utilizing digital coloring, digital linework, and even some live-action shots spliced in. It gives the episode an iconic look which works in it's favor, but I think I still prefer the classic hand-drawn look of the original series. That being said, the art is probably the best part of this whole special.
Sound is nothing outstanding, and does little to impress, but also isn't offensively bad. The actors did a fine job, despite not having many lines... but they also didn't manage to be overly impressive either.
The characters still seem like themselves in this special, but due to the extremely poor storytelling they don't really get any chance to shine, instead relegated to being there mostly for no reason.
Overall, I really didn't enjoy this at all. The art had an interesting look to it, but that didn't wow me enough to warrant the 25 minutes I spent watching barely anything happening on screen.
Even if you're a fan of the series, I can only recommend this special to the most die-hard Kenshin fans. To everybody else, it isn't required viewing, and your time would likely be better spent elsewhere.