Saturday, February 8, 2014

[J-Movie Review] Rurouni Kenshin (2011)


Rurouni Kenshin is based on the manga series by Nobuhiro Watsuki and follows the story of Himura Kenshin, former assassin turned wandering protector. In an effort to begin repenting for all of the lives he has taken, Kenshin takes a vow to never kill, even carrying a reverse sword that doesn't cut. When he arrives in Tokyo during the new Meiji era, he meets Kaoru, the owner of a swordsmanship school that's good name is being ruined by someone killing in the name of "Hitokiri Battōsai." Kenshin remains in Tokyo in order to protect Kaoru and the town.

That's the basic storyline, but this series and this movie is so much more. I've always been a fan of the Rurouni Kenshin series. Though I've never read the manga, I loved the anime series as a kid. (Rurouni Kenshin along with Inuyasha were my two big anime obsessions at the time.) And when I discovered that there was a live action movie, I was beyond excited. I was positively GIDDY. Now, that I've watched this, I'm even more excited about the sequels coming in 2014.

This movie was everything I expected and even more. The acting and representation of all of my fave characters from the series was excellent. The portrayal of a small part of the story was as compelling as in the anime. And the fight scenes, oh lordy, they were so bad -and exciting! I was sitting on the edge of my seat, barely breathing, during the big showdown at the end. Also, I think I've developed a major crush on the actor who plays Kenshin, Takeru Satoh. He was perfect for the role. The perfect mix of polite, boyish charm and scary ex-assassin. I also enjoyed the developing relationship between the new friends just as the movie was ending. And this is the issue with movies versus drama series. I always feel the need for more in a movie, especially when based on a much longer series. I hope one day, someone decides to produce not only a movie series based on Rurouni Kenshin, but a drama series--one at least 50 episodes long! A girl can certainly dream. Overall, this movie is a must watch for all Rurouni Kenshin fans and lovers of samurai/action movies.

One last thing, I just had to share: The ending credits song to the movie is so darn good. Take a listen below. I watched until the very end of the credits because I couldn't bear to stop the song. And now, I am listening to it on repeat! Lastly, I may have found a new favorite j-rock band. *flails!*

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