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Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration, Vol. 1 Paperback – June 4, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The original Rurouni Kenshin was a very popular manga, anime, and live-action film property, and this rebooted version serves as a tie-in to the latest live-action film. Set during the early years of the Meiji Restoration (1868–1912), the story follows the adventures of scarred wandering samurai Himura Kenshin, who was once known as Hittokiri Battosai, one of the deadliest swordsmen of the pre-Restoration era. Now determined to draw his sword only to protect those in need, the samurai's path leads to Kaoru, a charming swordswoman who faces the takeover of her late father's swordsmanship school by an unscrupulous (and more than a little insane) Westernized arms maker. Aiding Kaoru and her young orphan friend, Yahiko, puts Himura square in the industrialist's sights, as the villain attacks using hired fighters to take down the legendary samurai. Packed from top to bottom with crisp, appealing art and wall-to-wall action, this series also distinguishes itself with its light tone, an element seldom found in the wandering samurai genre. Though operating on familiar ground, this series will appeal to the many fans of Watsuki's original. (June)

About the Author

Nobuhiro Watsuki earned international accolades for his first major manga series, Rurouni Kenshin, about a wandering swordsman in Meiji Era Japan. Serialized in Japan's Weekly Shonen Jump from 1994 to 1999, Rurouni Kenshin quickly became a worldwide sensation, inspiring a spin-off short story ("Yahiko no Sakabato"), an animated TV series, and several animated movies. Watsuki's latest series, Buso Renkin, also available in English from VIZ Media, began publication in Weekly Shonen Jump in June 2003.

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Product Details

  • Series: Rurouni Kenshin (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; Original ed. edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421552310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421552316
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First Off, when I got my product today, I was surprised by the thickness. So Yes, 78 Sheets (front and back cover considered 1 sheet each), making for a total of 156 pages, not the 192 on the Amazon description. So if your familiar with manga, the RK Restoration Manga is more similar in thickness to a CMX released manga than what I normally see from Viz. But than, that's understandable since this comes out on the heels of the Japanese release. But I thought I'd point this out, since I'm probably not the only one surprised :D

As for art style, my personal feelings are that the art sometimes feels "softer" than the original RK artwork, not that this is bad and not that this is true for the whole manga. In fact I like both styles fine and it doesn't affect my enjoyment either way. RK Restoration still boasts dramatic "lines" (my brain is too tired to figure out a better way to describe it xD) to depict the action and I feel that Watsuki-sensei does a terrific job of portraying action scenes on two dimensional media.

As for the story itself, I don't want to reveal too much, but I will say that we are introduced to a larger portion of the main cast earlier than in the original. If it wasn't clear, RK Restoration is not a prequel or a sequel of the original RK, but in fact a parallel version of what could have happened if certain elements were changed. But at its core it stays true to a story about a samurai finding a potential home in a post war/samurai era with people who can accept him based on his present actions and not defining him by his past (yes, this is a very simplified version of the core story, and I know not very eloquently put, so please forgive me).
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Format: Paperback
In recent years, there has been something of a revival of the Rurouni Kenshin fandom. A live action movie was created (and two sequels have since been announced), the Kyoto arc was reanimated (though many fans, myself included, were sadly disappointed in it), and Watsuki-san put his current manga project on hold so that he could return to the characters of Rurouni Kenshin and create a 'reboot' manga. That is what this is.
Restoration does not try to build on the original manga, or supplant that canon. Personally I am grateful for this; after the depressing travesty that was Reflections, I don't want anybody, even Watsuki-san, to mess with the happy ending we had in the original manga. I was content to let it end where it ended. But there was a part of me that missed seeing new adventures with the Kenshingumi. I think this reboot is perfect for filling that desire for new Ruroken while still allowing the original manga to remain on its pedestal in my heart.
Restoration is what is referred to as a parallel universe reboot. Kind of like the new Star Trek movie(s), it takes the characters and the world we are familiar with, and just shakes them up a little bit. In this version, character interactions are a little different. Some events don't take place. Some characters are introduced in different ways.
I was delighted by this new foray into the world of Ruroken; in some ways it was like reuniting with old friends after a long absence. Definitely recommended for Rurouni Kenshin fans.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This title, Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration is so named as it is a different take on the famous manga and anime character from Nobuhiro Watsuki. Years after the series originally ended, the author inked a deal for a live-action film about the titular character. To coincide with this film, Watsuki decided to finally pen new Kenshin stories.

But he faced a quandary. Where could he place the stories in the existing manga adventures? Afterword would be not really about Kenshin so much, and as a prequel would be filled with great Kenshin action, but not many of the other beloved characters such as Kaoru, Sanosuke, Yahiko, or Megumi. So what to do?

Watsuki solved this by deciding to do an "alternate" telling of the exciting manga stories. Several details are different in this rather fast-paced retelling, but the essential facts of the history and of the characters remained the same.

The author admits outright that he loves American comics, and that he is used to alternate worlds and takes on characters, so he figured why not do an alternate take on Kenshin and company.

I think the author did quite well with such a fast-paced, condensed version. The stories are exciting so that new readers ought to greatly enjoy them, current fans of the original manga will also enjoy the new spin on some of the storylines and characters of old.

The only problem I would cite is that Watsuki didn't quite do so well in fleshing out the characters and interactions in such a condensed format. I hope he has a couple of more volumes to expand on the characterization and make it work better overall.

I do like how consistent Kenshin is in his almost-pacifism. He will mess you up if you mess with him or his loved ones.
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