The war against the Tokugawa Shogunate ended years ago. But there are some who are not happy with the outcome. Shigure Takimi watched his friends and family get slashed down in the name of freedom and prosperity. Now he and a band of desperate rebels have sworn to settle one final score. Only one man stands in their way: Kenshin Himura. But when Shigure discovers Kenshin's true identity as the Hitokiri Battousai, his fight becomes a personal vendetta.
This is essentially a standalone episode of "Rurouni Kenshin" stretched to a running time that this story does not support. Yes, another tale of disgruntled veterans of the violent Meiji Restoration, coming back for blood! Such concepts work in the series (see the second arc) because of well-developed characters. Even the most simple plot idea can be made epic by a cast we care about! Almost all of my enjoyment for this movie was derived from my existing fangirl obsession for everything Ruroken. When viewed as part of the larger Ruroken story, this movie is certainly good for an afternoon
of enjoyment, but that's it. Romantic tension and Kenshin's internal struggle are two things, for example, that shone in the series, due to the large episode count and the time spent on developing these ideas. But, uh, I'm completely repeating myself!
My verdict is simple. If you're never seen any Rurouni Kenshin, please stop now and go watch the OVAs and the series. But, if you've already proved yourself to be uttered devoted to our cross-marked ex-assassin, then you must watch this to satiate your addiction, you sick little otaku. ^_~x
Well, it's a non-canon anime movie of an already existing franchise. You probably know how these go by now. If you don't, I'll fill you in:
1. Plays like an extended filler episode that doesn't expand upon the already existing franchise out of either some fear of meddling, lack of ambition, or likely both.
2. Introduces new characters with stock personalities and motivation which ties into...
3. Recycles themes and stories expressed in the main series without any attempt at one-upping them.
In this feature length film, Kenshin and the rest of the gang go on vacation or something for no real reason and discover Shigure Takami, yet another
ghost of the Bakumatsu who has a bloodstained vendetta against the current Meiji government. Only Kenshin along with Shigure's doting implied lover Toki Takatsuki have a hope of teaching Shigure the valuable lesson that revenge isn't the answer.
Truly gripping stuff. It is the blandest storyline element the original Rurouni Kenshin series would have ever given us stretched out to an hour and thirty minutes, thus making it worse. The new characters feel like empty shells, making it impossible to care about their plight or its resolution. This is lame fanfiction with our favorite characters stuck in the middle to get our attention, just like our usual non-canon anime movies.
Upsides? They exist. The animation is nicer than the series and deservedly so, since it's a movie. The main cast of characters (as in, the old ones) are used quite well, each of them getting moments of individual attention, except for Kaoru who just kind of seems to be there. The movie gets decent for five minutes near the end when it remembers Rurouni Kenshin combined its historical roots with (then) modern battle shonen to spice things up a bit for the final duel.
But all in all, this is just an extended filler episode of the anime, and naturally not a very good one.
About the review:
This review was written by me some time ago, i.e. before I was a member on MyAnimeList. Therefore, I have no score on Enjoyment and you wont find any section called Enjoyment in this review. I think you will do fine without it, though. ^^
Since the Rurouni Kenshin movie is produced in the middle of the production of the Rurouni Kenshin series (henceforth referred to as "the series"). I usually watch related series/movies in chronological order, so I wasn't sure when to watch it, but I decided it would probably be best watch it after I had completed the series.
is not what I would consider an actual sequel to the series, despite taking place two years after the end of the storyline of the series. The movie is not depending on the series, so it is fully possible to watch it without having watched the series in it's entirety.
The first minutes of the movie shows a fighting scene from the Bakumatsu where Kenshin fights and eventually kills Takatsuki Gentatsu.
Following the intro and titles, Kenshin meets Takimi Shigure, friend of the late Gentatsu. Since the day of Gentatsu's death, Takimi has taken care of his sister, now 18 years.
As the synopsis states: "Takimi blames himself foolishly for his friend’s death, and vows to take revenge upon this corrupt Meiji government who wasted Gentatsu's sacrifice".
So, as the majority of the enemies in the series, Takimi plans to overthrow the government and Kenshin tries to stop him.
Is this story like the multitude of poor arcs in the series? No. Actually, I'd consider it as one of the better ones, if it was a part of the series. Once again, you will experience some good moments with an enemy doing what he believes is right, not realizing the consequences of his actions.
Like the series, this movie is made by Gallop, sharing the same style of animation, though with some minor differences. Focus is put on aesthetics instead of realism. The Rurouni Kenshin movie is animated like many action movies are filmed, with interesting cuts, angles and perspectives. It's as if the creators tries to make the fights awesome, in that way that any 12 year old boy would think "Woow! I want to be a samurai!!" when watching.
I don't think that it's very bad, but I'm not sure sacrificing realism is necessary — just look at Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen.
As for the differences between the movie and the series in terms of animation, I notice a somewhat different character design and generally stronger colours. As an examle, the blood in the first scene is almost self-luminous. The strong colours further increase the aesthetics and decrease the realism.
Some might like it this way. I don't dislike it, but I don't really like it either.
The sound effects are the same as in the main series, with the weird cutting-flesh sounds and the sound for clashing blades resembling that of a tuning-fork. The sound effects gives a very synthetic impression. In what way is it supposed to represent the real world? I don't like it at all.
What saves the sound section from disaster is the music. The music lifts the series, and helps creating emotional moments. The opening song isn't really that wonderful, but the rest of the soundtrack is very nice. At the emotional peak of the series I almost, almost, shed a few tears. Almost.
As I stated in the story section, I get a feeling of understanding for Takimi Shigure. That is the case with quite a few of the characters. I don't want to repeat myself, but the depiction of people that aren't really bad, only making wrong choices, is very convincing.
I can't find anything in particular to complain about. Takimi Shigure develops in the movie and that's good, but he may be the only one. In any case, this is a movie, hence not giving that much place for character delevopment. All in all, I'm satisfied.
I get the impression that The Rurouni Kenshin movie, not being a sequel, is not really made for the fans of the series. The opening and first scenes hints that the movie is made more like a short version of the story made to attract Kenshin fans that haven't watched the series — or completely new fans for that matter.
Like the series, the movie seem to sacrifice much of the realism (in both story, animation and sound), trying to give a more aesthetic and cool impression.
The final line is that the movieis much like the series — the good parts, that is. If you like the Rurouni Kenshin series, you will enjoy the Rurouni Kenshin movie (also, there's a good chance you will even if you haven't watched the series).
I will make this review a short one, I didnt planned to make it at first, but since I cant find anything agreeable to my Point of View at other's reviews, I m writting this.
I was avoinding to watch this movie, I had seen the amazing 64 episodes and the filler arcs downed a bit my enjoyment of the overall 95 episodes, so I had enough for some time of the classic anime kinda of style that Rurouni Kenshin was at first, and that I though this whole movie would me! And so I saw the OVA's and the 2012 "kyoto arc movie" first, I
was dragging along on watching this, it will be boring, I dont want a story that is not written by Rurouni Kenshin mangaka, I have had enough of fillers!
I already knew Kenshin begginings, middle life's days to its last days, days of the samurai whose dark past, made him treasure even more, the future!!
The one who protects the weak with his warm smile, his sword and his life, clearing a way towards a better future using his blade to protect the people, not slay them!
So despite being an original story not written by the mangaka, I was very pleased and astonished with the movie. It fits very well on Kenshin universe.
The story was a bit cliche, but it wasnt bad at all! I found the story to be well paced, with some of greastest characters of the series appearing again, since Kyoto's Arc (Saito for example, his absence was very missed in the filler's arcs!)). The new characters that show up are great on their own, nothing too special but for a movie(1 h 40m), they filled well the roles each was given to achieve, along with the classics of the series, of course!!
The movie belongs to 1997, and for that time the art and design was great, it is on pair with the great quality of the anime, and IMO it has aged well enough to still be pleasurable enough to watch.
With great characters, and their past stories and conflicts of those bloody war's days, resurfacing, especially kenshin, his past is one that seems predestined to chase him till the end... I was never bored, like I said I was very surprised... the movie captured very well the Rurouni Kenshion spirit, I soo much enjoyed while watching the anime, yes Makoto Shishio arc and story are better, but that said, this movie wasnt a filler for me, it was much better than the whole filler arc (that had "some" not so bad moments to it too...)!!
And watching the movie now, it was really a great time, a reminder of some of the stuff I loved so much before filler's arc! I wanted to watch classic kenshin (the OVA's shine at a different light, great on their own, but dont have that classic feeling to it) MORE, but I didnt knew it, I though what a bother, but now that the movie ended, I say it filled that "unknown need" of mine. This is a great movie, a great story to take its place at kenshin's universe!
I reccomend all kenshin fanbase to give this a try, you will find it worth of your time.