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Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie [Japanese Audio with English Subtitles] [All Region]
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Half-fighting and half-romance, Kenshin is a historical fiction set in the years after Japan's final civil war and dissolution of the samurai caste. It follows Himura Kenshin, one of the civil war's greatest warriors, who has given up killing and now wanders Japan seeking nothing more than a peaceful life. Yet he finds himself constantly confronting the ghosts of his past.This live-action adaptation covers a mix of the first two story arcs of both the anime and manga. It deals with Kenshin fighting an opium dealer who is trying to carve out his own little kingdom in the heart of Tokyo and with a killer claiming to be Kenshin himself. The film also contains flashbacks to Kenshin's past during the civil war and includes the story of how he got the first cut of his cross-shaped scar.
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Top Customer Reviews
The actors are fantastic; truly the characters come to life. Takeru Sato as Kenshin perfectly embodies the gentle goofiness of the wanderer, and then switches to the deadly cold-blooded focus of the Battosai. It's seriously like he becomes a different person. My other favorite standout is Yosuke Eguchi as Saito. He is just SO Saito! In the battle of Toba Fushimi, when he's walking around slashing people while smoking a cigarette...so very Saito. But that is not to shortchange the other actors. They were all perfectly cast.
The major arc of the storyline is the Kanryu Takeda arc, but with Aoshi and the Oniwaban replaced with Jin-ei, so those two stories are woven together. The introduction of Sanosuke is abbreviated, but still satisfying. Yahiko gets little screen time, which is just fine with me.
The problems I have with the movie are so picky they're hardly worth mentioning. Probably the most major one is that Kaoru seems more helpless than she should. Sure, she's still plucky and still fights, but she gets rescued a lot. Also, by leaving her out of the fight at Kanryu's mansion, it seems to emphasize that she's not an effective fighter. (I know she was left behind story-wise so she could be kidnapped by Jin-ei, but still.)
I also wish the fight between Kenshin and Saito could have been the full-blown fight from the beginning of the Kyoto arc, but I'm grateful that they had ANY fight scene since Saito shouldn't even be here. Plus, I understand that it was more dramatic then for Kenshin to become the Battosai at the end in his battle with Jin-ei.
I really enjoy the fight scenes, which do NOT seem to be full of CGI effects. I can't say which one was my favorite: the fight at the dojo, the fight outside Kanryu's mansion, or the final battle with Jin-ei. They've all required repeated viewings.
I've read that a sequel is in the works. I really hope it's the Kyoto arc, and that I get the Saito/Battosai fight I want so desperately. Also, PLEASE RELEASE IT IN NORTH AMERICA. I probably would have paid to see this movie about five times in the theater.
The only "but" I have is that there are almost no menu options... so no blooper real, no nada, just the movie and options for subtitles or not. The subtitles themselves are really well done, I only found two, maybe three mistakes in translation, and you could tell simply because the tense was off or something. There was nothing that really took away from the movie or made it unclear, so well done. Finally, and this is purely just a personal artistic thing. I was really looking forward to getting a DVD with that black and white awesome posed cover, and that is not the cover on the DVD. Slightly disappointing as an artist, but nothing that would make me not buy it.
The product that I received was produced in Malaysia. I don't know whether it is pirated, but besides not being licensed in the USA yet, the English sub-titles are not polished or always correct -- the subtitles look like a bit of an amateur operation.
I have inside industry sources who tell me that the official, polished and licensed in the USA version is coming very soon.
Wait for it.