Samurai X - The Motion Picture (Rurouni Kenshin)
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Now on to the important part--the confusion that has been steeped upon this release. Here's what everyone should know, but seems to ignore (at least in reviews): "Samurai X" is the American title used to replace the Japanese title, "Rurouni Kenshin," when this movie and the OVA's were released by ADV. The original series (it came first, only after the comic) is being released under its original title by Anime Works. The Kenshin OVA's (under the American titles "Samurai X: Trust" and "Samurai X: Betrayal") were made later as a prequel to the series, chronicling the early days of Battousai the Manslayer/Hitokiri. By the time the series begins, 10 years later, the main character Kenshin has given up his past role of Battousai in order to somehow make up for his evils, so he lives as a wandering swordsman (note: not a samurai by any means, ever!) who refuses to kill. The Rurouni Kenshin movie takes place around the time of the series--as in, the same supporting cast appears, and Kenshin is currently a wanderer. Not only does the movie's story occur within the context of the series, but stylistically it fits as well.
Comparing the RK movie to the OVA series, in terms of story or style, is useless. They are two completely different works based on the same series, one made to portray the dark and violent aspects of Kenshin's early life, and the other meant to act as a direct companion to the material in the series.Read more ›
Now, in Yokohama, Shigure plots the death of the British Governor. When Kenshin helps protect Takatsuki Toki (Gentatsu's sister) Shigure befriends Kenshin and eventually asks him to take care of Toki if something should happen to him. In the meantime, forces in the government intend to use Shigure as a means for achieving their own ends, creating a multi-layered scenario of betrayals that will culminate in the final battle between the two honorable opponents.
Despite (or perhaps because of) the highly romanticized depiction of samurai behavior and swordmanship, this becomes a dramatically engaging story instead of a simple tale of blood and swashbuckling. Kenshin's youthful appearance and the antics of his friends keep the film from being overwhelmingly tragic. Thus it is a well-balanced plot with many subtexts to add to its richness.
Artistically, the film is first-class.Read more ›
The Trust/Betrayal series takes a little getting used to (because it's different from the TV series), but the pair is a masterpiece - the quality of the Anime, the music, and most of all, the storyline, are all first rate. At first, when I saw the cross scar on Kenshin, I thought the Anime may be somewhat cheesy, but the Trust/Betrayal series totally dispelled that idea...
The TV series from Media Blasters isn't as deep or dark as the pair, but the storylines are tight, the action fast, and there's a great mix of lighthearted situations along with deeper tales - you'll care about the bad guys as much as the good!
Now, we get the Samurai X - TMP. The animation is in the style of the TV series, but it's as long as a movie. The story is flabby and doesn't get anywhere until the second half (not as well written as the TV series) and the animation quality tries to be more than the TV series, but doesn't quite do it. If you are an RK fan, there's nothing I can write here to convince you of anything, but I would just suggest that you RENT this one first.
So far, I have purchased ALL the RK DVDs and I intend to purchase the entire TV series on DVD. The one exception is this one - I've cancelled my order after having rented it. It truly deserves 3.5 stars - suggestion: rent it first, before you buy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got the wrong movie. I didn't realize there were so many.Published 10 months ago by Cheyenne Luna
This is my absolute #1 Favorite Anime! You have to own the entire series, arcs, and movies.Published 10 months ago by kenneth
Just got my package this morning and it was the wrong moviePublished 13 months ago by Gerald McHugh-Smith
The English dubbed voices aren't the same as the TV series but it's easy to understand none the lessPublished 22 months ago by Chris Stickney
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