Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan poster

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan

In the final years of the Bakumatsu era lived a legendary assassin known as Hitokiri Battousai. Feared as a merciless killer, he was unmatched throughout the country, but mysteriously disappeared at the peak of the Japanese Revolution. It has been ten peaceful years since then, but the very mention of Battousai still strikes terror into the hearts of war veterans.Unbeknownst to them, Battousai has abandoned his bloodstained lifestyle in an effort to repent for his sins, now living as Kenshin Himura, a wandering swordsman with a cheerful attitude and a strong will. Vowing never to kill again, Kenshin dedicates himself to protecting the weak. One day, he stumbles across Kaoru Kamiya at her kendo dojo, which is being threatened by an impostor claiming to be Battousai. After receiving help from Kenshin, Kaoru allows him to stay at the dojo, and so the former assassin temporarily ceases his travels.Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan tells the story of Kenshin as he strives to save those in need of saving. However, as enemies from both past and present begin to emerge, will the reformed killer be able to uphold his new ideals?[Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 277

User Count34329
Favorites Count600
Start Date10th Jan 1996
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank277
Rating Rank332
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

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Ahh, "Rurouni Kenshin", one of first really long series that I'd watched. A series that at times epitomises the best of fighting shounens while at other times perfectly demonstrates the pitfalls of adapting popular, long running shounen manga."Rurouni Kenshin" is the story of Himura Kenshin, a wandering Samurai with a dark past. One of my strongest first impressions of this series is how similar it is to "Trigun", a show I'd already watched. In particular, there are strong parallels between Kenshin and Vash, the main protagonists from their respective shows (no prizes for guessing which is from which). They're both insanely strong vagabonds who refuse to kill, and who like to hide their strength under an air of goofy incompetence. There are stylistic similarities too, like the heavy use of electric guitar in the sound track (although "Trigun" took this further). But since "Trigun" came after "Rurouni Kenshin", if there's any ripping off going on, it certainly isn't "Rurouni Kenshin" that's doing the ripping.But enough about "Trigun", lets talk about "Rurouni Kenshin" instead. "Rurouni Kenshin" is split into three parts. The first part, subtitled "Wandering Samurai", sets up the show as a promising one; "Legend of Kyoto" sees it rocketing into a terrific and stupidly addictive show... only to have it come crashing back down earth in "Tales of the Meiji". In many ways, its rise and fall is quite characteristic of long running shounens."Wandering Samurai" gives the show a good starting point, introducing a cast filled with interesting, infectiously likeable characters. I did however, find one aspect of it to be particularly irksome - its goofy humour. I know that Kenshin is trying to hide his true strength, but still, his whole act of going goggle eyed and uttering "Oro?" every couple of minutes wears thin rapidly. It gives the series a silly feel it could have done without.In addition, the action for the first few episodes are boring. They generally involve Kenshin jumping high into the air, followed by a flash of light, and then a scene showing his opponent(s) lying on the floor knocked out cold. But after a while, they improve, as more skilful opponents appear and the fights become more than just a matter of Kenshin one hit KOing cannonfodder. The mini arcs that span several episodes are especially good, as they generally have the strongest adversaries for Kenshin, and also longer and more complex plot, usually involving a couple of exciting cliff hanger moments.As the series progressed, "Rurouni Kenshin" becomes more and more like something that's not too distant from a show of the superpower fighting genre. But it seems reluctant to join this genre completely, and tries to find middle ground between over the top special moves and pseudo-logical explanations behind them, and I'm not too keen on the result. I mean, some of the explanations behind the techniques on display are bordering on absurd. For example, there's one guy who swings his sword so fast he creates a vaccum with which he can cut people without actually touching them.But anyway, by the time the "Legend of Kyoto" arc started, I've gotten used most of those minor irritations. With the start of this second part of the series, "Rurouni Kenshin" kicks into a much higher gear. Triggering it all off is a showdown between Kenshin and Hajime Saito, an old adversary from the shadows of Kenshin's dark past. Hajime Saito is one of the most badass characters ever, and that explosive encounter is one of the best choreographed fights ever, certainly the best in the series.The "Legend of Kyoto" comprises a single, long story about Kenshin being sent after Shishio, a man who is linked to Kenshin's past despite them never having met. This arc is a prime example of a fighting shounen at its very best: the story is full of twists and turns, the build up of tension before the fights are incredible, and the fights themselves are seat gripping stuff. The whole arc is ferociously addictive, and I found myself going through perhaps the highest number of episodes of anime I'd ever watched in a day (while procrastinating on the thesis I was supposed to be doing for my MSc).Perhaps it was because I watched too much in too short a period, but I found my enthusiasm starting to wane ever so slightly towards the end of "Legend of Kyoto", and its end nearly came as a relief. Part of this is probably due to the fights - they'd started to become repetitive and formulaic at that point. Fortunately, the arc ends without it becoming too much of a problem. UNfortunately, it wasn't the end of the problem, more like the beginning of the end, the beginning of the crumbling of (what was up to that point) an awesome show.And so we come to the final part of "Rurouni Kenshin", "Tales of the Meiji". For me, along with like 99% of the shows fans, this part single handedly killed the series. But "Tales of the Meiji" actually made a good start, throwing out some quietly entertaining, episodic stories that brought about a refreshing change of pace from the long, exhausting intensity of the previous arc. The main problem is with the multi-parters - they were just poor re-hashes of the last section of "Legend of Kyoto"; it's almost the opposite of "Wandering Samurai", where the longer stories outshone the single episode ones. The worst problems with these long stories are the dull stories (they're more like set ups rather than proper stories) and even duller battles. Since towards the end of "Legend of Kyoto", Kenshin has been incessantly abusing this one overpowered attack of his; one that seems to work in pretty much all situations. Good for him, but bad for viewers. It's akin to some guy playing a fighting game and spamming a single broken move over and over again while his opponent is yelling "cheap!" at him repeatedly.So why did everything go so horribly wrong? Apparently, it's because the anime followed the manga up to the end of "Legend of Kyoto" only. It's a classic case of the anime catching up with the with the manga, then, having run out of material and unwilling to let go of such a popular hit, started making up stories of its own. You can tell something is different about "Tales of the Meiji", and it's not just that it's sh\*te: most of the stories in this part of the series involve people from foreign lands; Kenshin's opponents went from a bunch of swordsmen/ninjas to a bizarre mixture of knights, feng shui masters and God knows what else. There's also a glaring inconsistency when it comes to the battles themselves. The anime started introducing increasingly imaginative special attacks for the villains in order to make the fights more difficult for Kenshin. As a result, the attempt to retain a tenuous link with reality by way of some flimsy explanations on how the attacks works is often abandoned, especially since the nature of the new attacks don't lend themselves well to explanations, even absurd ones. Everyone just start pulling off exotic attacks because they CAN, and this doesn't fit very well with how the show worked previously.With all the inconsistencies and staleness creeping in, "Tales of the Meiji" was a struggle to get through, especially the last few episodes. The final episode is confusing, as it comes out of no where, and goes nowhere as well; it's a rather random episode that just pulls out some flashbacks and highlights from the series. On a good note, it brought back memories of old skool "Rurouni Kenshin", and reminded me just why I loved it so much at one point. But apart from nostalgic value, the last episode seems kinda pointless and anti-climatic.On the art and animation side of things, the style of "Rurouni Kenshin" can be a bit goofy and overuse the super deformity style at times, but it's great when it gets serious. Kenshin's transformation into "battousai mode" is very cool, as is the character design for Saito, who comes off as cold and deadly, especially when he gets into his various combat stances.The opening and ending themes of "Rurouni Kenshin", although mostly catchy (I especially loved "It's Gonna Rain"), all feel out of place. The one exception is the ending track "Heart of Sword" which, in addition to being catchy, also energetically captures what the show is all about. The background tracks are not only easy on the ear, but also adds tremendously to the mood. The exquisite accoustic instrumentation combines surprisingly well with the electric guitar sounds, and the combinations give the OST quite a unique flavour.At its best, "Rurouni Kenshin" is a great anime. It has a memorable, colourful cast, some awesome storylines and intense battles. But ultimately, it became a victim of its own success. It's sad to see the series suffer the slow and painful fate of "death by being overly milked as a cash cow". Adaptations where anime studios stray from the source material and comes up with good original material of their own do exist (the original "Full Metal Alchemist" comes to mind), but they're few and far in between. "Rurouni Kenshin" is a much more typical case of what happens. If you've seen this series, I'm sure you'll agree that the result isn't pretty. For those who haven't seen it, I strongly advise you to just watch up to the end of "Legend of Kyoto" arc, then stop and pretend that "Tales of the Meiji" never existed. Trust me, you won't be missing much, and this way, you won't be wasting away hours of your life just to look back on "Rurouni Kenshin" with a sour aftertaste in your mouth.

you know how some series just mark an era? rurouni kenshin (or samurai x) is one of those series, in here is where many of the future plotlines for certain type of characters can be seein' (and I'm pretty sure some where born in here) from the repentant warrior that tries to redime his past by aiding others and forswearing killing, to the gold hearted warrior that is bitter against the new goverment, there is no such thing as a unidimensional character in here even those that only appear for an episode, the fights are incredible and there are some of the greatest swordfights I've watched in an anime show that doesn't include energy projectiles, taht being said, the english translation is not one of the best I've seen (but i've seen worse) when I watched it it was in spanish during the great years of translation, not a Word mispoken or lost, if you know the language try it its an amazing experience.

*Spoiler Free Review* *Rurouni Kenshin*, also known as *Samurai X*, is a 94 episode long action/drama/comedy anime, aired from January 1996 to September 1998, based in a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. Directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi, also recognized for directing the original Hunter X Hunter, the anime tells the story of a legendary assassin who, by means of power, changed Japan. **CONTEXT**The story takes place in two different times: the Meiji Restoration and the Meiji Era. <u>*Meiji Restoration*</u>\:The Meiji Restoration was a political and social revolution that took place in Japan from 1866 to 1868. These chain of events were caused by the possible threats of external influences such as America. When Japan realized the country was behind the rest of the world (economically speaking), the revolution started.The main purpose was to end the Tokugawa shogun and give the power to the Emperor.The imperialists won at the end of 1868. <u>*Meiji Era*</u>\:The Meiji era was the result of the Meiji Restoration. It started just when the revolution ended and lasted until 1912. In this time, Japan started growing as a country becoming one of the strongest. Many ideals started disappearing; a clear example is the sword. People thought that the swords were the weapons of the past and that the gunpowder was the new weapon; the new sword. **STORY**The story is completely focused on our main character and protagonist Himura Kenshin; also known as *Hitokiri Battōsai*. Kenshin is an swordsman that helped the Imperialists in the Meiji Restoration. The plot focuses on how Kenshin, and other people, deal with Himura's past. If you think that changing a person or even an idea is difficult; think about changing a complete nation. The actions that he made, the people that he met and even those he killed keep haunting him. Have you ever thought that life is easy? that you can do anything you want without having to pay for what you have done? That was what he thought; but, later on, he realized he had never been so wrong in his life. One of the most important aspects of the story is the philosophy that it implies. Ideas such as what is a sword, what is the duty of a swordsman and even the value of life. Rurouni Kenshin is able to make you ask yourself if you are living your life the way you should. The strongest ideals presented are Kenshin's and Seijuro's since they both have lived things that we would never be able to even imagine. The ideals that this anime implies are indeed something to look forward to. Even the best animes have some flaws that can really change your enjoyment. The story of Rurouni Kenshin is one of the best; the only problem with it are the filler episodes. Just after the Tokyo Arc, the anime is filled with fillers. About the 45% of the episodes are fillers; but, the anime itself is so good that it is able to bare those fillers without affecting the story.The story also has two OVAS that complement the anime: 13. Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen: That tells the story of Kenshin's past. 14. Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen: That continues the story where the anime left off. **ANIMATION** Rurouni Kenshin can be considered as an *old anime*; and the animation shows it. The animation of this specific anime can not be what most of us see nowadays. We don't normally see action scenes being just a slash attacking every enemy or real sea instead of an animated sea; but, that doesnt mean its bad. Its different and can sometimes be annoying;but, when the time is needed, the animation can look just as fluent and great as any other anime. There are some memorable fights that look too awesome to be true.Despite of those action scenes, the animation is definitely not the strong part of this anime.**SOUND** The soundtrack of this anime can help us feel as if we were in the Meiji Era. It has almost any type required for an anime: action music, happy music, depressing music and much, much more. Almost every song that is played is long enough to make you feel almost any emotion.First off we have one of the most acclaimed songs: *Departure*. It is commonly used in emotional scenes: *Last Wolf Suite* is the perfect example of how fighting music must be done. The low pase at the beginning involves you into the scene and, before you even realize it, you are already exited about what is going to happen: At last we have one of the most sad/tear-jerking songs: *Stareless*.The soundtrack of this anime can be described in just one word: Perfect. **CHARACTERS** There are many memorable characters that help on the development on the plot; but there are four that are the most important: <u>*Himura Kenshin*</u>The protagonist of the story. The name "Kenshin" has a special meaning behind it: \*Ken\* means Sword and \*Shin\* means Heart; so the name Kenshin means \*Heart of Sword\*. He is also known as \*Hitokiri Battōsai\* that means: \*The manslayer that has mastered all the battōjutsu techniques\*.As the name of the anime implies it, (Rurouni=wanderer) Kenshin is a wanderer samurai who has no family. Kenshin practices the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu style. He was an imperialist and was one of the main elements that made the revolution possible. He tries to live and be as happy as possible even though he tries not to make strong bonds with anyone. The revolution changed him in many ways; from learning to appreciate life, to not being able to sleep at night.He is different to many other protagonists since his story is not about the things that he will do; but the things he did. *“One who does not understand the weight of life does not deserve to be a swordsman.”*-Himura Kenshin. <u>*Hajime Saito*</u>Hajime Saito, also known as the *Lone Wolf of Mibu*, is a secondary character that fighted Kenshin in the revolution. He is the former captain of the third unit of the Shinsengumi and currently a special agent for the Meiji Government's Department of Internal Affairs. He adherently lives by the Shinsengumi code *Aku Soku Zan* that means: \*Slay Evil Immediately\*. He is an arrogant and strong swordsman who lives for what he thinks is good.*"A man who cannot uphold his beliefs is pathetic, dead or alive."*-Hajime Saito. <u>*Kamiya Kaoru*</u>Kaoru is your typical 17 year old girl. She is obstinate, strong willed girl who tries to solve everything by herself; even when she knows she won't be able to. Kaoru is one of the most important characters in the story since she is the first one who makes a bond with Kenshin. She is the instructor of the Kamiya Kasshin-ryū kenjutsu dojo.*"It isn't enough for the law to say we're all equal. If the peoples' hearts don't change, none of it means anything."*-Kamiya Kaoru *<u>Makoto Shishio</u>*Last but not least we have Makoto Shishio, a former imperialist that also took place in the revolution. He is a man who really cares for his country; but in a different way. He believes in Darwin's Natural Selection; he believes that only the strong ones have to live and that the weak people have to die. He wont hesitate for a moment to kill someone who opposes his way of doing things.*"No. It doesn't matter where you're born. It's because you're weak. In this world, the flesh of the weak is the food of the strong. The strong live, the weak die. No matter how hard you smile, you can't run from the truth."*-Shishio Makoto. Most of the characters are well developed. The way they think is based on what they have lived; which shows that they are round characters. **ENJOYMENT AND OVERALL** Rurouni Kenshin is exactly how an anime should be. It has everything I ask for an anime: Good story, good OSTs, good characters, good romance, good fights and last, philosophy. If you are planning to see Rurouni Kenshin, see it; you wont regret it. If you've already finished Rurouni Kenshin, you must see the OVAs; it will change the way you see Kenshin: 47. Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen 48. Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen If you've already seen Rurouni Kenshin and want something similar I reccomend: 50. Samurai Champloo Thanks for reading.

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