3 Nov 2012

Rurouni Kenshin

This is an anime I never quite managed to finish. It is also one I intend to complete in the near future, because I did enjoy it. I merely did not have enough time to make progress on the episode count. Rurouni Kenshin is a show that never really received the appreciation it deserved in the west, although it does have a solid fanbase. I've never managed to get my hands on any of the manga, but I'm going to assume it has more depth than the anime.

The prequels look much better.

Although the anime has several short prequels, revolving around the exploits of the main character- Himura Kenshin- it's up to you which you decide to watch first. Either way, you will not have any trouble understanding the plot. Himura was once a powerful and deadly assassin in a war during the Meiji era in Japan. He was known as the Battosai, and everyone feared and knew his name. Despite his once dangerous nature, he reforms himself and dedicates his blade to peace. This is symbolized by Kenshin's refusal to kill anyone; backed up by using the flat side of his sword to fight opponents.

The anime begins with the ex-assassin on a new journey to establish a new reputation. Upon said quest, he happens to save a girl from a man masquerading as Battosai. After defeating the fake, the girl is revealed as Kamiya Kaoru- a young impulsive dojo owner. She offers to take him in at her school, which is in disrepair. Kenshin decides to stay, and help Kaoru create a place to learn how to fight with honor and humility. The plot develops from here, as Kaoru works to achieve her dream to find students and run an exceptional dojo; while Kenshin tries to escape his past.

As you can see, the art style in the sequel is older and different.

Himura Kenshin is a calm character. His true skill and cold battle ability is completely underestimated until he draws his sword. When not in a combat situation, his nature can only be regarded as a lovable fool. I thought he was very cool as a main character, and his personality really leads the show. Kamya Kaoru acts as the heroine, and she has some incredibly tsundere moments. Other than that, she doesn't do a bad job. During the comedy parts of the anime she can be entertaining and otherwise she usually acts as Kenshin's conscience. As the program continues, more people make the dojo their home. Almost every person in the anime has been affected adversely by the Bakumatsu war, which ravaged Japan.

There are essentially two arcs in the 60 episodes of Rurouni Kenshin. The first 30 aren't really continuous and focus on establishing character backgrounds and introducing new people to the audience. The fights are short, and each problem is usually wrapped up within a couple of episodes. After that, Rurouni Kenshin begins a final arc, where Himura's past catches up to him. In my opinion, everything before the last arc felt like filler. I would of preferred the first half shorter. Despite this, you do get to learn a lot about the main cast, with individual episodes dedicated to their struggles.

Kenshin can be adorable.

Ultimately, this anime is excellent. It's not in my top list of favorites, but it's certainly above average and isn't difficult to get into. The graphics are a little dated, but the artwork is strong and pleasing to the eye. The plot begins slowly, but put in enough time and you'll find yourself liking it more and more. This review has given me the inspiration to finish watching the last few episodes, so hopefully it encourages you guys too.

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