My Rurouni Kenshin Review
So I'm not the first one, Orends Range had gone ahead of me but I'll now share my expanded thoughts on the movie. First, since it's an adaptation and NOT from the original source, don't expect a frame-by-frame adaptation but all I can say is, despite that fact the movie was executed pretty well. I'm a fan of Kenshin, yes I am and he's my favorite in the whole show so I went to watch this movie though I'm not really similar to him in personality. Behind the scenes, I'd like to thank Nobohiru Watsuki for supporting the film and to Keishi Otomo for the job well done. And of course, to Takeru Sato for going from henshin to Kenshin.
Everything starts where Kenshin as Battousai. After his bloody history, he pretty much gives up his title as Battousai the slasher after killing many people even to the point of making the absurd reverse-edged sword. As a teenager, I always got WTFed at the philosophy of the reverse edged sword, so no reason that Takeru Shiba/Shinken Red would USE THAT to fight the Gedoushu. Takeru Sato of Den-O has done a good job, he's improved from his role in Kamen Rider Den-O although as I've said, I wished it were Tori Matsuzaka who did the film. I could say Takeru Sato still manages to keep the character of Kenshin alive so the disappointment of the part not carried out by Tori Matsuzaka is no big deal. I can say Takeru Sato's portrayal of Kenshin is very good! Now back to the point, after giving up being Battousai, he becomes a wander then SOMEBODY and I mean SOMEBODY assumes the role of Battousai namely...
Jin'e- what in the world is his PROBLEM? He's really one creepy dude. Boy, looks like he's just evil for the sake of being evil?! I'd say he pretty scares me with especially how he kills one people after the other JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT? How evil can he be?
So along the way, there's Kenshin making friends. Now here was another minor disappointment- I really wanted my favorite Japanese hottie Rin Takanashi to play Kaoru since Mako in Shinkenger was somewhat based on Kaoru and they kinda look alike. Instead we have Emi Takei who's pretty young but hey, she is trying her best so another disappointment labeled trivial. Don't expect Kenshin and Kaoru to get all lovey dovey because they just met. And Yahiko does appear too, pretty faithful to his Manga counterpart. For Megumi, while she was supposed to appear in the Aoshi arc, she was used here for the opium trade by Takeda's opium syndicate. During the chase, Kenshin meets Hajime Sato who LAUGHS at his reverse edged blade! I'd do the same if I were Hajime! And there's the interesting meeting of Kenshin with Sanosuke... they first met in jail because Kenshin was mistakenly arrested by the police, and now the police wants him to help get rid of the opium syndicate ran by Takeda who is after Megumi. However Megumi doesn't want to help them a bit.
My favorite scenes were first the fight between Kenshin and Hajime, then between Kenshin and Sanosuke. Oh yes, Sanosuke. So they weren't always friends, typical but that scene was FREAKING AWESOME and they were at Takeda's headquarters. However Sanosuke becomes friends with Kenshin, seeing him a respectable man. What freaked me out was also the massive poisoning thanks to OPIUM LACED WATER? Wow, Takeda sure doesn't care how many people die as long as he has money? And if he has ALL THAT MONEY, money becomes useless when you've destroyed everything. And I also pretty thought he had that incredibly HUGE Gatling Gun which he used later for the movie!!!! At that time we see the uneasy alliance of Hajime and Sanosuke with Kenshin in an uneasy truce of ideas and I just love that Gatling Gun scene. And of course, giving Takeda the beating he deserves, but for Kenshin, well I guess he's leaving the authorities to kill the criminals and not himself. He's got too much blood in his hands.
But when you think it's over, Jin'e kidnaps Kaoru and wants Kenshin to resume to his bloodthirsty ways. Now I just got reminded of that Takeru vs. Juzo final battle in Shinkenger but it's FAR MORE AWESOME. In fact, there's one strike after the other, Jin'e shows how incredibly cruel he is. After a rather interesting fight, so we see Jin'e KILL HIMSELF. Now he's saved us all the trouble- the only good thing he did. Then we see Takeda's syndicate arrested. But for crying out loud, Hajime will you PLEASE stop mentioning how stupid the reverse-edged sword philosophy is- we know it's stupid! But I've grown to accept it already so there! And Kenshin can be seen carrying a wounded Kaoru, tends to her wounds and the movie ends, apparently with a prequel of sorts soon.
My rating? 8.5/10 for its well execution even with all the non-canon elements! =)