Rurouni Kenshin: Tonkuhitsu-ban (or Restoration) is not just an update of the original series, it is a re-telling as a kind of parallel story. Restoration retells the very beginning of Rurouni Kenshin with a little bit faster pace, more villains that you'll remember from the series (if you read it) and it is a little bit more violent than before. Treat it as one short arc of "what could have been."
Story - 8
The premise of Kenshin remains the same from the original. It is about a Hitokiri with a cross-shaped scar on his cheek that killed to achieve a new era, but swore never to
kill again and now must live in Meiji. It does differ in execution, though. Since this is a re-telling as a parallel from a source material, it has quite a bit of things to work with, and does a brilliant job of mixing in elements of the original but combining them in a new way. There are a variety of villains that return from the original series, which kinda makes this into a "super-arc" of sorts. Because of this, is that it is very dense and exciting, though it can feel a little bit rushed at times.
But, because this is quite a shorter work, and isn't "Meiji Kenkaku Romantan," some of the strengths of the original are not present. There isn't really that much romantic tension between Kenshin and Kaoru anymore, as he is more of an outsider than he was in the original, though I do think it does well with what it can.
Character - 9
Character has always been important in Kenshin, and I am very pleased to say that they all remain intact and consistent. All the interactions between characters are relevant, and they do grow quite a bit in this short time.
Though I did say that the characters remain intact from the original, there are changes present in character to reflect the slightly darker, more violent tone, and the introductions are different. Kenshin himself is a little bit more aloof than in the original, and is a little bit more quick to anger. Though on the plus side I really did get more of a feel that "he could kill you, if he wanted to." So thats nice.
Art - 10
The art is fantastic. I really loved seeing the updated designs of the characters. Watsuki has come up with quite a few new ways to express character and themes through design choices, they really contribute to the story and are a pleasure to see. Most things are very detailed, and what I personally love is the attention to detail on the eyes. There is quite a bit of variation in how they are drawn.
Enjoyment - 10
I loved it. I'm a Kenshin fan through and through, so more Kenshin is always a bonus in my books. Watsuki delivered imo.