Ive never seen more than a handful of Rurouni Kenshin episodes, and that includes the OVAs (original video animation). What I know is that Rurouni Kenshin is, or rather, was, a great assassin during chaotic times of Japans history. The characters are fake, but the history is real. He killed so much, and went through a great deal so that after the new government was instated and things calmed down, he put away his assassin side forever to try and live peacefully.
This particular OVA is the final chapter to Kenshins story. Its a farewell of sorts, by the creators and for the viewers. I can tell you right now it may not make everyone happy. Its one of those endings that isnt happy and yet in a quiet way, it is.
Kenshin and Kaoru, after many trials and tribulations, are together. Life isnt always easy because men are constantly after Kenshin, testing his assassin skills and using Kaoru as bait. His biggest challenge is Enishi, the younger brother of Tomoe. Tomoe was the woman Kenshin loved 15 years ago since then Enishi has been on the warpath after Kenshin in order to destroy him. Adding to this problem, Kenshin is sick with a bad disease, but continues to travel far and wide in order to help those less fortunate. Its a struggle inside of himself as well as Kaoru as they both want happiness, but are at odds with the sorrow they hold; Kenshin with his past guilt and Kaoru for Kenshins pain. Watch as the tale unfolds and see who finds peace at last.
Trust me it helps to see the series. There are characters that pop up from there that someone like me thinks Ok, I sort of know them but overall, not really. If you do know the series, you get to see everyone again, though in a more serious format and many of them much older. Yahiko, Sanosuke, and Megumi a few more probably but I dont know anyone. I can say that Enishi got older, buffer, and hotter too bad hes tormented. Actually, the ending to that small section almost made me tear up. Its always sad to see a man crumble like that, letting the boy inside escape so much. Aww.
Even though I didnt know a lot of the flashbacks that you will get to see, a tribute as some call it (again, better if youve seen the series), you can still appreciate the thought and purpose behind it. I was focused more on the present, or at least the near present as much of it was Kaoru reminiscing, and did have an out loud Aww moment when Kenshin and Kaoru showed their loving side to the audience. Very sweet, even with Kenshin being in such bad condition.
Things progress slowly, but piece by piece you begin to understand things. Where Kenshin is. What has happened between him and Kaoru. How Kaoru got sick. Who that Kenji guy is (Im probably just slow on that one). When the end comes, youll probably be expecting it by that point in time. Some of you will probably be hoping for a happily ever after sort of thing, and in a certain way, it is. Even if you find you dont like it (lets just say it made me tear up which is a good thing because that means its good stuff), take a close look at Kenshins scarred cheek. At least that should make you smile.
The animation is very, very nice. I love the detail and its the kind you just cant go wrong with. Along those same lines, the music is also very good. Its powerful and quite moving in many instances. Sometimes its soft and in the background so that you barely notice it while it still manages to affect the tone and your emotions. Other times it comes to the forefront to enhance the scene even more.
The voices are all just fine. You can choose either version you like. Kenshin is female in both versions, something I never quite enjoyed, but I did what I could to put myself in a place that I could ignore it as much as possible. Id sort of hoped at least this older Kenshin might have a different voice, but to no avail. Ah well. Cant do much to change it now can I?
Though there is some fighting, there is little blood involved. I doubt your kids will understand this anime, so you might as well just keep it to the adults. Its more character oriented than anything anyway, so if they are looking for Rurouni Kenshin action, theyre not going to get it.
Even though Im probably not going to watch this very often because I dont know much about the whole picture/characters, and honestly dont feel very motivated to do so, I still give this anime 5 stars. Hey, anything that has good anime elements and can get me all teary eyed deserves 5 stars. Rurouni Kenshin fans I hope you enjoy it very much.
Rurouni Kenshin OVAs:
Samurai X: Trust
Samurai X: Betrayal
If you like Rurouni Kenshin, there is also Samurai X: The Motion Picture
Viewing Format: DVD
What did you think of this review?