Rurouni Kenshin Uramaku: Honoo wo Suberu is just a little extra brought to you by Watsuki to celebrate Kenshin's return to the big screen, and honestly probably to gauge interest for the return of Kenshin to manga! Now that THERE IS A NEW KENSHIN SPINOFF ARC ANNOUNCED, i figured i'd write a review for this.
It stars Makoto Shishio and his lover Yumi. Showing how they met and why Yumi joined with Shishio and the Juppongatana. This is the main focus, though it does tease buildup to some plot elements from the main series.
Story - 7
Its good for what it is, but since it
is just two chapters there isn't a whole lot of stakes that can be built in a short time. We're used to seeing Shishio in epic battles that decide the fate of Japan, but due to the nature of this, it just isn't the time for that. There is action involved and a new "villain" of sorts, but it just doesn't connect to any major plot points and isn't necessary for your understanding of the series. Again, thats to be expected somewhat because this is just an extra. Its still entertaining and well written imo, but if you were expecting something more grand, just know that this isn't really it.
Art - 8
I mean, if you've read the original Kenshin, this will be a huge step up for you so I can't complain. Characters all look neat with their updated looks under Watsuki's new artstyle. None of the characters here were featured in Restoration, so it is really nice to see more old favorites return looking snappy. Some of the action near the end did feel a little cluttered, though I'd chalk this up to page restriction.
Character - 10
I may have given the story a 7, just because the plot doesn't feel totally important, but its the characters and their arcs through this that keep it interesting. The purpose of this seems to be to give more insight into Shishio and Yumi, and on that front it didn't disappoint. Since Shishio and Yumi are the main characters in this, you get to see their perspective more, rather than the goody-two-shoes kenshin, and its both entertaining and intriguing. Having Shishio as the feature makes his "the strong live and the weak die" motto a bit more tempting. I could see him as more of an "evil Edward Elric" in this. Yumi and Shishio's relationship are developed well, and you can see how Shishio's ideals resonated in Yumi. Which is great since in the original she really was more of just eye-candy save for one small soliloquy by kenshin after the Kyoto arc.
Enjoyment - 8
If you like Kenshin, you'll like this. The Kyoto arc was extremely popular and Shishio is a great character, so more of those things are fantastic in my book. I had fun.
Overall, for what it is, its great! Its a short, good read and anyone who liked kenshin will enjoy this. I took another look at it since there is totally a new Kenshin arc coming out January 2017, which i'm super excited for. So GET HYPED FOR MORE KENSHIN woo. Peace out, i'm probably going to be reviewing that too once i get my hands on it.