Tag Archives: Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (OVA)

Type: I don’t even, no.

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Synopsis: Set in a horrible future we’ll call Earth-616, our once heroic protagonist abandons his family because he felt guilty over having a happy life and, and..no. You know what, no. I’m not doing this. SCREW THIS OVA.

Pros: There’s this part were Kauro tries to get Kenshin to give her leprosy by having sex. That’s so stupid that it makes me smile.

Cons: Jesus, where do I begin? This is a big, melodramatic, pile of lackluster storytelling. Everyone looks weird and the trademark action sequences are no where to be seen. And everything looks kinda grey. This thing totally missed the mark on the original source material. Why would Kenshin leave his family over guilt if the last arc of the manga specifically dealt with Kenshin getting over his guilt. That was the entire point of the fucking story. I’m sorry if this sounds like a rant, but it really upsets me that this story is considered canon by some people. Because it’s not. This is not how Kenshin’s story ends. This is not how the franchise ends. I refuse.

Watch it!?: Burn it.

MVP: No

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No

Best Moment: The Leprosy Sex Thing.

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Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (OVA)

Type: God, do you remember when this was called “Samurai X?”

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Synopsis: Set in the not so fun time of the Bakumatsu and Meiji Restoration, a young swordsman named Himurai Kenshin joins the Imperialists as an assassin. Earning the moniker Hitokiri Battosai, or Man-Slayer, the once gentle soul tries to build a better future through steel and blood. His life changes, however, when he meets a woman named Tomoe, who affects his life so much, that his future becomes much less detailed and more gag heavy.

Pros: So, the thing about Trust & Betrayal is that everyone really, really likes it. It’s considered one of the best OVA’s in the medium’s history. Why? Well, it does what the Dark Knight did years later by taking a “realistic” approach to a largely fantastic story. Everything, from Kenshin’s design to fighting style are taken down a notch to appear more true to life. The dialogue is slower and quieter, and emotion is a lot more subtle. It basically stays true to the manga version of Kenshin’s backstory and provides the last missing piece to the anime’s story.

Cons: I’ll be honest, I don’t particularly like Trust & Betrayal. I never have. I don’t like the redesigned character models or the serious tone. If found it way too somber, slow, and totally devoid of the charm of the original anime. Granted, I will acknowledged that it is a good OVA. Even within the franshise, it makes for a nice contrast between Kenshin’s life as an assassin and the life depicted in the anime. The issue really isn’t over the quality of the OVA as much as it’s with the overall enjoyment you get from it. I didn’t enjoy it, but this is one of the very rare franchises that I actually have very strong preconceived notion and thus honest fanboy bias. So my dislike may be in the minority.

Watch it?: Objectively, yes. Subjectively, maybe.

MVP: Tomoe

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The reason for wandering

Best Moment: Revealing how Kenshing got his scar.

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Rurouni Kenshin

Type: A Personal Favorite

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Synopsis: The baddest man on the planet starts feeling guilty over his whole “man-slayer” title, and retires to a life of wandering. He starts carrying a reverse-blade sword so his mad skillz won’t utterly destroy the posers who attack him. A few years later, he shacks up with this Dojo Woman who think he killed her father. He didn’t, but you know how these things go. Together, they help defend Japan against the forces of evil, because Meiji Japan knows to respect the legend.

Pros: As stated above, I love Rurouni Kenshin. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. I love the fact that the protagonist is this super modest guy who only fights when he absolutely has to. I love that the franchise often injects real historical people and events into a story where one sword style is enough to end wars. I love that one episode where Sanosuke thought that cameras could steal souls. Even though the show stopped one arc short of the manga, I think they made the right decision. The New Kyoto Arc is the story’s high point, and Shishio is a damn charismatic antagonist. There are too many great moments to list, especially because a few are personally special to me, but trust me, this is a good show.

Cons: There’s no getting around it, Rurouni Kenshin is a shonen anime. Granted, a shonen anime where the protagonist is a full fledged adult looking for inner peace and redemption, not power, but a shonen anime nonetheless. There are several non-organic fights, and quiet a few supporting characters looking to become the strongest. Yahiko was particularly guilty of this (though his character does get better in the last arc of the manga). The filler within the anime were also not great, and the fact that the “last” season (ep. 63-95) was entirely filler makes me glad I stopped watching at ep. 62.

Watch it?: Guys, I have Reverse-Blade Sword. I think you know my answer. (4/5)

MVP: Rurouni Kenshin

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Oro

Best Episode: Ep.57-60 Shishio vs. Kenshin (So. Damn. Epic.)

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