Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie

By SentaiSeiya on May 31, 2013

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Welcome to the third SentaiSeiya Live Action Movie (SLAM) review!  I may just make a regular thing out of this!


The Rurouini Kenshin manga/anime series is a classic in the otaku world. It tells the story of Himura Kenshin, a wandering swordsman looking to make an honest life for himself in light of the wrongs he committed during the rovlutionary period in Japan.

Kenshin

In 2012, this hit series got the live action treatment in the form of a movie. The meat of the movie deals with Kenshin’s struggle to protect those around him, while staying true to his vow not to kill anybody.

Kenshin

The major conflict arises when the local drug lord, Kanryuu, attempts to take over Japan (and the world) with by using his organization’s newly-developed, super-addictive form of opium to enslave the population.
kenshin

In dealing with this opium ring, Kenshin must face the embodiment of who he was and does not want to become once more: a man who continued to walk the path of the hittokiri(manslayer).

The Ruruoni Kenshin movie does a great job at creating a  succinct cinema experience out of the vast story that exists in the Kenshin universe. This of course means that we are treated to an abridged and altered telling of the wandering samurai's origin story. Not only does the movie incorporate parts of the early Kenshin series, but it uses the back-story from the OVAs to give insight into Kenshin’s hittokiri battousai past, including how he got his trademark “X” scar on his cheek.

Kenshin
The fights scenes are fast-paced, fun and well-choreographed pieces of action that punctuate the story.  To the joy of fans, each of the main characters uses their signature styles from the source material.  Kenshin’s Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu style steals the fight scenes Kenshin is in, as Kenshin relies on his agility, speed and acrobatics to incapacitate his opponents rather than kill them.

kenshin

All in all, the movie does a good job at presenting the story and the character of Kenshin. The inonic wandering samurai is played by Takeru Satoh, who tokusatsu fans will recognize as Kamen Rider Den-O. In that show, Satoh plays a timid, two-dimensional character, who is thrust into the role of Kamen Rider Den-O and ultimately acquires several equally two-dimensional personalities; resulting in a very boring cast of characters that are all portrayed by Satoh.  In the Kenshin movie, however, he does a great job at balancing the killer and kind sides of the Kenshin coin, showcasing that his acting skills have indeed improved since his days as a Kamen Rider. His performance is of  course supplemented by the great stunt work and choreography of the people  behind the scenes

kenshin

Overall, the Kenshin movie is a SLAMming good time! It does a good job at condensing the early part of the Kenshin story in a way that pays homage to the source material, and is still fairly accessible to new viewers. Check it out, yo!


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