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Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 3, Vizbig Edition Paperback – July 15, 2008
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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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The series revolves around Kenshin-he is the protagonist and his story takes center stage. But Sanosuke is my favorite character and one of my favorite characters of all time and he gets a lot of attention in this volume. To begin with, the first chapter detailing Saito's attack on Sano is in full-color. That's a little gruesome, as Sano is stabbed and left critically injured and there's a lot of blood, but Watsuki's artwork is, as always, gorgeous. There is a second full-color chapter dealing with Kenshin's meeting with Misao, but it's full-color Sanosuke that gets me.
It's also interesting to see that the anime followed Watsuki's work in this volume so closely. The shot of Sanosuke being found by his friends is exactly the same in the anime, down to the angles. Also the scene of him being treated by Megumi, with Kaoru and Yahiko assisting her, is very close in the anime. That's how good the artwork is-it even translated perfectly to the screen. There's another great section where Sanosuke confronts Saito after he's back on his feet, and the part where Sano meets with Monk Anji and learns the Futae no Kiwami, a powerful fighting technique. There's also a touching scene where the ghost of Captain Sagara, the man Sano admired the most and from whom he took his name, visits Sanosuke.
There's another color chapter towards the end where Kenshin reaches Kyoto, and we meet Makoto Shishio for the first time in this issue. As always, the VizBig edition is just that, BIG, with lots of room for the artwork. There are "Secret Life" sections on various villains and Hajime Saito, who was a real person and is not exactly a villain in Kenshin. Watsuki refers to him as someone who is allied with Kenshin but never becomes his friend. There's a cast of characters, a full table of contents, musings by Watsuki throughout the book, and a glossary at the end. There are also sections at the end with information about the Boshin War, the surrender of the Shogun, and the end and legacy of the Shinsengumi.
If you love samurais you will love this.
quick history lesson: in Japan a reverse katana blade was actually found, that's what this is about. The Rurouni is a wandering samurai that uses a reverse-blade katana to save and help people.
If I go further in depth I may spoil things people may not want spoiled.
*WARNING* If you plan on watching the anime first and read the manga later, it follows the same story but the director made some modifications (such as adding filler and characters) and left out the other half of the series. It is better to read the story and see the action on the anime.
If you are a manga/anime fan and you haven't picked this up do yourself a favor and read it! In fact even if you aren't into these kind of books pick this up anyway because if this won't have you hooked on manga then I don't know what will..
The author, Watsuki, has a knack for combining exciting action, hilarious situations, and extremely powerful prose to create something that isn't quite action, comedy or romance but instead a wonderful blend of emotions, colorful characters and intriguing situations that make up a great story. To add to an already great recipe Kenshin also has many historical anecdotes on the Meiji period in Japan with background on the conflicts and personages which lend inspiration to the story and provide an additional depth to it.
I found myself laughing out loud at the silly antics of characters, smiling at the sweet and simple romance, and crying at the bitter sad parts. It's funny how a few simple words and pictures on a page can do that, but that's the power of manga!
All that coupled with the great value of the VizBig Edition makes this an excellent choice.
Most recent customer reviews
I have to return it, but wanted it as a Christmas present :P