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Rurouni Kenshin: Part I - Origins
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Fans of the samurai genre will be awestruck by this riveting film adaption of the classic franchise!
In the wake of a brutal civil war, the legendary and feared killer Kenshin Himura throws down his sword and vows to turn his back on bloodshed. Choosing instead to live his life as a peaceful wanderer, Kenshin soon finds that the world around him is rapidly changing-and not for the better. A sadistic drug lord, Kanryu, oppresses the people, poisoning them with opium and stealing what little they have left. When this greed-driven monster threatens the beautiful kendo instructor Kaoru, Kenshin can no longer stand idly by. Together with his street fighter comrade Sanosuke, Kenshin sets his sights on a showdown with Kanryu and his deadly henchmen. In a staggering action sequence for the ages, longtime fans will find out if Kenshin can survive his promise to face his own blade-before spilling the blood of his enemies!
- Aspect Ratio : 1.78:1
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.4 x 0.55 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : 42925642
- Director : Keishi Ohtomo
- Media Format : Animated, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 2 hours and 14 minutes
- Release date : November 1, 2016
- Actors : Takeru Satoh, Emi Takei, Munetaka Aoki, Yu Aoi
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : Japanese (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
- Studio : Giant Ape
- ASIN : B01KWLA9DO
- Writers : Kiyomi Fujii
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #32,996 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As for the movie itself, for those who like the anime and for those who like chanbara (samurai films), it's great. It's often been held up as the example of how to make a good film out of an anime or manga. This one is a mix of the first 11 episodes of the anime.
The fight scenes were incredibly well done. Not necessarily realistic, but believable, if that makes any sense. The movie's also a lot of fun. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes the anime. There are two more movies in the series, covering the Kyoto arc, also well done and worth watching.
Edited to add that I ended up checking out the DVD at my local public library, the proper Japanese language one with subtitles, and the movie itself is really, really good. If you like martial arts and old time Japan movies, you will definitely enjoy. Well known actors in colorful roles, excellent bad guys, and excellent combat scenes.
But occasionally... very occasionally... someone gets it right. And in the case of the live-action "Rurouni Kenshin Part I: Origins," they got it brilliantly right -- while the first arc of the long-running manga/anime series is condensed down to a couple of hours, the director and writers knew exactly what to incorporate and what to leave out, giving us a lean yet spiritually faithful take on the wandering ex-assassin. This should be shown in classrooms as THE WAY to adapt a long-running series.
The story takes place in the Meiji period of Japanese history (the late 19th through early 20th century), when the emperor had newly opened Japan up to the outside world, and Western ideas, culture and clothing were being incorporated into Japan's way of life. The samurai and others who once lived by their swords now have to find a new way of life, such as Saitō Hajime (Yosuke Eguchi), a former member of the Shinsengumi, who is now a police inspector.
Now a mysterious assailant is murdering police officers in Tokyo, calling himself "Hitokiri Battosai" (the name of a legendary assassin swordsman). At the same time, a young wanderer named Himura Kenshin (Takeru Satoh) comes into Tokyo, and immediately enmeshes himself with a fiery Kendo dojo owner, Kaoru (Emi Takei). It soon turns out that while Kenshin is polite and mild-mannered, he's also crazy talented with a sword and can effortlessly defeat a dozen assailants. Guess who he is.
But Kenshin's attempts to lead a peaceful, violence-free life are constantly disrupted, because the poor guy literally can't walk into a restaurant without being forced to fight someone. Not only is the bloodthirsty cop-killer -- whose actual name is Jin-e (Koji Kikkawa) -- trying to provoke Kenshin into fighting him by killing lots of people, but a mysterious young woman's presence pulls Kenshin into a conflict with a cruel opium-peddling businessman.
Strictly speaking, "Rurouni Kenshin Part I: Origins" is not a straightforward adaptation of the original manga series -- rather, it takes different story threads and reweaves them together into a new form, so that disparate characters and adventures end up as parts of a cohesive whole. It's abundantly clear that this movie was made by people who loved the original story and wanted to do it justice, but they also cared about producing a movie that worked well on its own merits.
And director Keishi Ōtomo captures everything beautifully -- he gives us glimpses of the growing pains and cultural shock that Japan is undergoing, where smartly-uniformed cops walk amongst people in centuries-old traditional garb, and the once-proud samurai are left penniless mercenaries. He also keeps the fight scenes lean, compact and acrobatically lightning-fast, with Kenshin spinning, lashing out and racing up walls to stymie his less skilled opponents.
But in keeping with the story's tone, there's also a fair amount of bloody death to show us the natural end of any sword-fight. For instance, one horrifying scene has Jin-e carving through the police station, leaving police officers impaled or bloodily struck down; elsewhere, Kenshin is motivated to action by the sight of a woman sobbing over her dead lover.
It also benefits from a magnificent cast -- Satoh is slender and pretty-faced, but has an air of weedy strength that makes it entirely plausible when he whips around with a reverse-bladed sword, kicking butt without actually killing people. And he embodies both of the character's personalities beautifully, being equally plausible as an earnest, awkward young wanderer and as a steel-sharp, grimly-determined ex-assassin. And yes, they found a semi-natural-looking shade of red for his hair.
Takei balances him nicely as Kaoru, giving her a youthful, idealistic naivete alongside her fiery determination, and Yu Aoi, Munetaka Aoki and Kikkawa all are excellent as a femme-fatale doctor, a raw rough street-fighter with a big weapon (literally) and a psychotic killer with creepy hypno-eyes. And Eguchi deserves special mention as Saito -- while the character doesn't do much just yet, he steals every scene with his steely-eyed, chain-smoking depiction of a hardened samurai-turned-cop.
Not only is "Rurouni Kenshin Part I: Origins" is a superb adaptation, but it's a thoroughly entertaining historical-action movie -- lots of swords, blood, more than a hint of romance and the occasional ruined snack. Definitely worth your time!
As a general rule, live adaptations of anime tend to be awful. Thankfully this was not the case here. In fact it is easily the best live action adaptation I have seen of an anime. Rurouni Kenshin incorporates the first story arc in a way that is new, but still faithful to the spirit of the series. It is a largely character focused movie as it should be, following Kenshin's journey of self-acceptance and determination to live a new life without bloodshed. Beautiful costuming, badass action scenes, and lively characters make this well worth the watch.
I was surprised when I rented on amazon it was an english version as I was expecting Japanese with subtitles. It is still pretty good with the voice overs, but be aware that is what you will be getting.
Top reviews from other countries
Viene en el combo tradicional bluray+dvd+digital sin embargo, al ser de más de 5 años el código dital expiró, ya me lo esperaba.
Lo que no me esperaba era que todavía viene slipcover, asi que se gana mis 5 estrellas.