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Samurai X - OVA Collection


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Product Details

  • Directors: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
  • Format: Animated, Box set, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: ADV Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 205 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00016RNYY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,223 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

SAMURAI X: THE OVA COLLECTION

Amazon.com

Trust
The four-episode Samurai X: Trust original animation video captures the mixture of swordplay and poetry that makes Japanese warrior culture so intriguing to viewers on both sides of the Pacific. The OAV series serves as a prequel to both Samurai X: The Movie and the more lighthearted TV series. The action unfolds in 1864, when a few clans began the revolt that would overthrow the military dictatorship of the Tokugawa Shogunate and return power to the Emperor in the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Shinta, a lonely orphan, is transformed by master swordsman Hiko into Kenshin Himura, an assassin in the service of Katsura, one of the revolutionary leaders. Kenshin kills whomever Katsura orders with consummate skill and unshatterable calm. He believes he is using his sword to bring about a better world, even as the intrigues and counter-intrigues escalate. But he becomes aware of unspoken doubts when he meets Tomoe, a mysterious girl whose beauty, like the iris, is seen to best advantage in cloudy weather. Director Kazuhiro Furuhashi choreographs the sword fights with a grace that infuses even scenes of extreme violence with an elegant sensuality: in one striking image, he focuses on the rain washing a spatter of blood from Tomoe's cheek. The dialogue in the English translation often sounds stilted, but the words are usually superfluous.

Betrayal
The peace that reigns over the remote mountain village of Otsu contrasts sharply with the rapid-fire violence of the previous episodes set in Kyoto. Working as a farmer, growing crops and savoring the passage of the seasons, Kenshin comes to terms with the discontent festering in his soul. He regrets the death and suffering he has caused, and hopes to find a better life--with the mysterious Tomoe. A conventional story would end on this note of self-discovery and moral growth. But Samurai X unfolds like a Kabuki tragedy: the desire for revenge remains strong, especially among the agents of the last Tokugawa Shogun, who are anxious to crush the nascent rebellion led by the Choshu clan. Kenshin was an important agent for the Choshu; Tomoe is just a pawn, but the outcome of a game may hinge on a strategically positioned pawn. Kenshin finally grasps the lessons his master, Hiko, attempted to teach him: the need for inner peace and the possibility of defending the weak without resorting to violence. The exquisitely detailed artwork evokes 19th century Japan, and director Kazuhiro Furuhashi depicts these understated inner conflicts as skillfully as the epic sword fights in the first episodes. Samurai X demonstrates the power of animation to present stories of great emotional depth, earning it a rightful place among the top anime series.

Reflection
The final OAV brings the long-running saga of master swordsman and assassin Kenshin Himura to its conclusion. The story is set in 1893, long after the bloody conflicts of the Meiji Restoration--and the events in the previous OAVs that culminated in the death of Kenshin's wife, Tomoe. With his devoted second wife, Kaoru, Kenshin seeks peace in trying to aid the helpless. But he cannot escape the karmic burden of the many deaths he caused: there is no peace for Kenshin in this world. The Japanese concept of the transitory nature of beauty permeates the two-part adventure. Director Kazuhiro Furuhashi ushers the narrative along at a deliberate pace, deftly inserting the many flashback sequences. The result is a properly elegiac farewell to one of most popular anime characters on both sides of the Pacific. (Rated 17 and older: violence, alcohol use, mature themes) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

This movie really makes you think.
ElvenArcher
From one thing i can say that the samurai x series has better drawn characters from what i have seen in Rurouni Kenshin the Movie.
Dennis Jiang
I was very touched with the characters and storytelling, especially with the flashbacks.
In Search Of...

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By ElvenArcher on August 22, 2005
First off, this OVA series is very different than the TV series. It's much more serious, bloody, poetic, and the art is very different. Don't expect to see any of Kenshin's silliness and "oro!" remarks here. Don't worry--you still have the voice actors from the TV series in Japanese.

Since there have already been plot reviews, I'm not going to go over that again. In my opinion, I found the plot for all 3 OVAs to be brilliant.

In Trust and Betrayal, you get to find out more about Kenshin's past as a Hitokiri and how he got his cross-chaped scar. These 2 OVAs were my favorite. The music was breathtaking and wonderful, as was the animation, although I preferred the TV series' style. There's also a lot of symbolism going on--the crosses in the graveyard and Kenshin's scar, the white plum, etc. The sheer beauty of these OVAs can also be seen in several scenes such as the part in Trust where Kenshin is attacked by an assassin as Tomoe is walking down the street. That whole sequence with the "bloody rain" is silently powerful and very memorable. The ending of Betrayal was very moving as well as Kenshin is out helping in battles while the wonderful music score is playing in the background.

Reflection takes the viewer 15 years after the TV series. All the characters have obviously aged, especially Kenshin. This OVA consists of many flashbacks to the events in the TV series. For those of you who haven't seen the TV series, some of these flashbacks may not make too much sense. If you're familiar with the happy, funny Kenshin from the manga or TV series, you'll be surprised at this. The characters, although they have matured, seem to have undergone extreme personality reconditioning. For some viewers, it might be horrible to see the characters like this.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By In Search Of... on February 20, 2005
This OVA set focuses on the serious and melancholic side to the Rurouni Kenshin universe. It's a wonderful compliment to the more light-hearted TV series. After seeing the TV series, I highly recommend watching this OVA.

The TV series masterfully balances humor and drama while leaving the fans with a feeling of happiness. The OVA on the other hand, focuses on the internal struggle of Kenshin Himura as he learns the way of the Hiten Mitsurugi style and becomes the feared Hitokiri Battousai. It certainly shows the viciousness of Kenshin in the graphic violence in the anime. It definitely has a mature theme. The action sequences were much more fierce and unforgiving as the acts of the manslayer were depicted. I was shocked at some of the gruesome deaths of the people.

There was also a constant atmosphere of sadness throughout the anime. The music was beautiful with a very sad overtone. I was surprised at how moving the story was as the history of his distinctive cross-shaped scar was revealed. His heart could not cope with the trials and tribulations as he continually tried to attone for his past actions.

This OVA is a masterpiece and I highly recommend it. However, I must admit that I was left with a very somber feeling after finishing it. I was very touched with the characters and storytelling, especially with the flashbacks. Even if you have not seen the TV series, I highly recommend this boxed set. However, I would not recommend this for younger kids as the nature of the violence and melancholic tone may not hold their attention.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rob O on August 23, 2004
A lot of people have written reviews about this OVA series in general, but no one's really addressed this specific packaging of it: specifically, it's a three-disc set with the original four-episode series, "Trust" and "Betrayal" (Tsukioku hen, I think, was the Japanese title) on two discs, and the third disc with the new OVA episodes, "Reflection" ("Seisou Hen").

The discs themselves include a fair amount of extras: there could be more, but then again they could have opted for none.

Personally, I like having the discs arranged in this format. Back in 2000 I bought the original videotapes when they came out. I bought "Trust" at least two or three months (or more) before "Betrayal" and perhaps because of that I've felt that it's best to watch the two halves separately and give the contents some time to "digest" if you will. If you haven't seen it before, trust me, watch the first one one night and the next one the following night. Then watch them both back-to-back the third, and you'll see that these really feel better when they have some breathing space. Of course, that's my opinion.

"Reflection" is a difficult matter. The first series is a good stand-alone, even if you're not familiar with the Kenshin series or otherwise have no interest in it (I know a lot of people who can't *stand* the show because of the cuteness factor, but love the OVA). "Reflection" is kind of dependant on one's knowledge of not only the show, but the manga to some extent as well (at least, if you're not aware that the third story arc of the manga is the "Jinchuu" arc and that Enishii comes back, it might be a little mystifying). It's not an "independant" film, it's more of a completion to the Kenshin franchise.
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