Rurouni Kenshin

October 2012 Rachel Selenia (Hufflepuff)

The only knowledge I had of Rurouni Kenshin before I watched this movie was that he was a former samurai who was now a wanderer. And I knew he had long reddish hair in a ponytail and a red jacket... I watched one episode of the anime many years ago but for some reason I didn't get interested in it then. This summer when I moved to Japan I suddenly found myself looking at Rurouni Kenshin movie posters whichever way I turned. There were commercials and movie promos on television. I couldn't resist watching the movie trailer. And I was hooked. This was a movie I just had to see! I ended up watching it twice in less than a week, and I would watch it at least twice more if I could afford it...

The storyline is as follows: At the end of the 19th century, there is a war between two opposing powers in Japan. Those who end up winning are those who want a new age. During the next ten years, Japan changes. It imitates the Western countries, becoming more civilized. In this new age, the wanderer Himura Kenshin travels from place to place. He used to be the most feared assassin, nicknamed Battosai, fighting for the new age. After the war he just disappeared, and he swore never to kill again. But now there's someone else murdering people in the name of Battosai, someone who can't seem to get enough blood on his hands... Kenshin is drawn into these events when he meets the girl Kamiya Kaoru who runs her late father's fencing dojo. As it turns out, the murderer on the loose is just the top of the iceberg. Will Kenshin be able to solve the situation and save the people he cares for, without having to kill again - or loosing his own life?

This movie just has it all. Including a lot of gore, which I have to admit I usually don't really like. But in this case, the rest of the movie was so good that I without difficulty could ignore that. The tone is set already at the beginning of the movie - there is a final battle in a winter forest during which we get to see the amazing skill of Kenshin (and a lot of people getting killed...). Fast forward ten years, and it's a sunny day when we meet Kenshin the next time. The rest of the movie is bright with a constant dark undertone. Or is it dark with shiny bright moments that make the whole movie seem kind of bright? I can't really decide. In any case, the story is very captivating as well as the characters - especially Kenshin. The actors are also amazing! My favourite is Sato Takeru (Kenshin) who's got these amazing facial expressions (and smile, and eyes...) besides being a very talented actor. But all of the actors are good, and they all manage to make their characters come alive on the screen. I also have to say that the movie is filmed in an interesting way.

So if you love Rurouni Kenshin, or samurai, or a good action movie, or just want to see handsome fighting men, this is a movie for you!

Genre: Action, Drama
Director: Ohtomo Keishi
Cast: Sato Takeru, Aoi Yuu, Takei Emi
Rating: R (violence)