Genre: Martial Arts/Jidai Geki
Credits: 1996-1998. Nobuhiro Watsuki. Shueisha, Fuji TV.Studio Gallop
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Our saga begins over ten years after the bloody Meiji Revolution that marked the end of the rule of the Shogun and the Samurai in Japan. In Tokyo, where swords have been banned, Kaoru Kamiya bumps into a wanderer who calls himself, Kenshin Himura, while looking for the man that is tarnishing the name of her dojo. This proves to be the beginning of a long, exciting adventure for herself, a master swordsman with a reverse-blade sword and a heart of gold. Now, the adventure starts as we are thrust into an era long gone, not only of blades and duels, but where honor and reputation were still a person's most prized possessions.
Swordfight + History + Great Characters>>> by firesenshi (08.07.2001)
Clearly, anybody who has seen Rurouni Kenshin has nothing to say but praises. From the artwork to the original concept to the storyline to the characters, this is one great exciting package especially for foreigners who have been fascinated with jidai geki (samurai films genre) since Akira Kurosawa.
Bear in mind though that this is not Akira Kurosawa. The battle scenes, although spectacular in execution, may sometimes prove impossible by skeptics. I wonder how sometimes Kenshin can actually execute a type of 'vortex' or use special skills to immediately stun the enemy. It could be taken that types of 'exaggeration' may simply be used as poetic license by Watsuki most especially to exemplify Kenshin as the greatest hitokiri battousai (assassin). But simply put, if you love great swordfights rendered in effects such as fast camera pans and eye-catching stills in wonderful artwork, then this is for you. I mean, I can't rave about the battle scenes enough since every battle does require a different set of strategy! This establishes Japanese sword martial arts as one requiring skill and strategy where indeed you have to determine your opponent's moves beforehand as if in a game of chess.
Okay fine. I'll stop raving enough about that and just make a Rurouni Kenshin special. -_^ Here's another great reason to see it: Watsuki paints all this spectacular fight in a most intriguing time in real Japanese history where swords are outlawed to be carried by citizens. The irony does not stop there. In fact, the character Kenshin Himura carries a lot of ironies and a totally great background you discover one by one each episode, you can't help but be addicted! Oh, and have I started on great characters like Sanosuke Sagara yet? Wow... this anime sure has a lot of bishounen! Not only on the protagonists' side but on the antagonists' side as well! Characters each with a special background that will intrigue you. Ok, OK I'm actually not yet finished raving but this is getting long. SEE THIS! SEE THIS! Tanoshikatta!!!
Oh, one flaw -- the last season and all the filler eps. This would have been the greatest anime if they showed all of Watsuki's original work. But don't worry, there's the OAV!
Individual Rating: Art: 10; Story & Plot: 8; Characters: 10; Sounds: 10; Overall: 9
SAn accurate portrayal of Samurai's and Japanese history with an Amazing story>>> by Kenryoku Maxis (01.03.2002)
OK, I try not to put my personal likes into reviews and say I like shows just for certain things, so I won't. ^_^ I Will state that if there was any show that has all my personal likes, Kenshin is by far the one. Swords, History, and Japan all are my complete favorite things and this show is the epitome of all of them. Based a lot on true Japanese history with some of the characters actually existing, the world Kenshin is the real part of Japanese history from 1860-1890. Some of the characters that are the same include Saitoh, who was a Lieutenant of the Shinsen Gumi during their fall before the Meiji era, the group named Sekihou who advocated for the reformation that later turned into the government during the Meiji Era and the group of Ishin who fought for the leaders of the reformation as well as most of the groups from the OAV. For the best history lesson you will ever see from an anime in my opinion, look at Kenshin.
Of course, the other characters are great also. Kenshin himself goes through so much explanation and transformation that you really start to feel that he could have been a major part that lead to the creation of the real life Meiji government. The others who come to join Kenshin have different reasons but are some major good characters in themselves and the main female lead character, Kaoru is one of the best uses of a mans love interest I have seen in a show meaning she isn't much like Tuxedo Kamen from Sailor Moon or Akane from Ranma. The first thirty episodes were amazing to me but seemed alot like an introduction to the characters once I started to watch the next thirty. The second part of the show, or where Kenshin leaves to go to Kyoto to stop the Battousai who took his place from destroying the new Meiji government is filled with some of the most powerful use of characters and wonderful battle scenes I have ever seen in any show in the world. And the story from the first thirty episodes seems to come together as challengers return and new ones are introduced. Kenshin is great and by far one of the most powerful and entertaining shows I have ever seen. Kenshin's sword, the Sakabatou was such an amazing idea that I had to believe someone really had invented it sometime in the past and was borrowed to further add to Kenshin's character but no, the author really did invent the reverse blade sword that Kenshin is now famous for. This show is original in it's concepts and powerful in plot and if you like something that is true to Japanese history and accurately portrays the samurai era, Kenshin is what you need to see.
Individual Rating: Art: 9; Story & Plot: 10; Characters: 10; Sounds: 8; Overall: 10