Tuesday, August 7, 2001

Rurouni Kenshin OAV

Genre: Martial Arts/Jidai Geki
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: Nobuhiro Watsuki. SPE Visual Works/Studio Deen/ Fuji Television Network Inc. Furuhashi Kazuhiro. Screenshots courtesy of DVD Emporium .

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Cover Description:
Nineteenth century Japan: a land torn by warfare and rebellion where small bands of soldiers seek to overthrow the tyrannical Tokugawa Shogunate. Enter Kenshin, a young orphan whose fighting skills were honed by the great swordsman Hiko. But Kenshin's soul is embattled much like the killing fields of Japan, his hopes for a new world peace at odds with his life of blood and killing. His world is thrown into further confusion by the arrival of a mysterious woman named Tomoe. Her kindness and attention show him a kind of life he didn't know existed. Can she help the assassin become a real man? Or does she hide a secret that could destroy everything he has come to depend on? Join the battle and discover the enemy within.

(3 part OAV)

The first part of the Jinchuu (Revenge) arc revealed!>>> by firesenshi
Reading the manga and not finding that specific arc in the anime left me and other addicted fans of this anime wanting. Thank goodness upon this OAV's release!

Watching this however, you'll notice a stark difference between the TV series and this title. The art has changed dramatically even from Watsuki's original manga artwork to a more realistic style. No trademark anime eyes. Yet the art suits the mood and setting for the OAV. A setting that removes even the comedic flavor that was present in the TV series or Watsuki's manga. But don't get off by the seriousness. This OAV deals with Kenshin's past and thereby will introduce all new characters. The new leading character is Tomoe, whose face could probably remind of you someone you've seen before in another anime. The stark contrast in her personality as compared to the TV series leading lady, Kaoru Kamiya, in fact defines the mood of the OAV -- reserved, softspoken, beautiful... The very character of Kenshin in this OAV will very much intrigue you, much more his relationship with Tomoe.

There are indeed battle sequences here but they are not meant to astound audiences with special and almost rather supernatural techniques as in the TV series. They're more bloody and the assassination is detailed so as not to showcase Kenshin's skill but to open audiences to the reality of his past when he was not using a sakabatou, reversed edged sword. This is what a hitokiri is. This is who Kenshin was. And this is as real as it gets. So real that you feel the pain of the assassinations and effect on the characters. The visual imagery coincides with the story very well. Be warned though. This is the Revenge Arc. Don't expect a feel-good movie. But do expect to be fully satisifed with something as great as this especially if you want to know more about the greatest hitokiri you ever come across.

Individual Rating: Art: 10; Story & Plot: 10; Characters: 10; Sounds: 10

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