Ryu’s Musings – Rurouni Kenshin : Limited Edition Steel Edition


Language: Japanese/English (Subs)
Publisher: Warner Home Video
Format: Blu-Ray
Type: Movie
Genre: shounen, Martial Arts


Nearly 140 years ago, in the last days of the Shoguns, there was a man known as “Battosai the Killer,” feared as the most powerful assassin. He was faster than a god, stronger than a demon, and had a leading spirit of the Meiji Restoration. In a flash he downs any number of opponents. Once he pulled out his sword, nobody survived against him. As the war ended and the new Meiji era came, Battosai vanished from the world. The only thing that remained was his legend.

10 years later, a man appeared in a world still in disarray. His name is Kenshin Himura, a wanderer who saves people with a back-blade sword that cannot kill. This is Battosai the Killer, who has taken a pledge never to kill again. In order to bring peace to the world so that his loved ones can live safely. Now Kenshin’s battle begins.

To say I’m disappointed with this movie is a huge understatement. I’ve never had a movie I’ve been longing for fail so bad that i want to cry. Everything that could be wrong with this movie is wrong.

So yeah, I’m a huge fan of the Kenshin series, i loved the manga to death. I’ve read it so often that my manga volumes fell to bits on me. The anime, while not as good as the manga it had it’s quirks that made it fun and worth while. I’m actually still hoping they redo the anime, like they did with Full Metal Alchemist!!

This movie however fails on several counts, and doesn’t have any of the usual redeeming qualities of asian movies.

Firstly, and IMO foremost, the way they handled the story is atrocious. They took elements from at least four different arcs that i could identify, and bastardised them; put them into a blender and then served it up as a movie. This style of movie making isn’t unusual and it’s pretty much the way movies are done. However i was hoping that they would either decide to actually do specific arcs of the story, or make the melding of elements make sense and gel well together.

Sadly this didn’t happen this release, so we get a mish mash of arcs with characters who don’t fit and frankly don’t resemble their originals.

Yamagata for example, i really liked him in the manga, and frankly was disappointed when he was killed. In this movie however the guy was a total jerk, and i was actually hoping someone would kill him. Tied with an asshole that is Saito, i just couldn’t wait for this movie to end.

Saito was another who in the manga was bloody awesome, the relationship between him and Kenshin is amazing. Yet in this movie the guy is a total prick who just doesn’t have any of the personality or depth of character that he does in the manga. The other characters are just as weak and changed, to the point they no longer resemble the original characters.

Takero Sato is terrible as Himura, he has no sense of personality or character. He flips between giddy and dead.

Thing is, I could get past the terrible movie if the fight scenes lived up to their usual awesomeness of typical asian movies. However the fight scenes we get are weak, there’s some fairly good martial arts, but this is a kendo movie, not IP Man. What’s more Kenshin is famous for his particular fighting style, which is never really shown off in the movie. I watch a Kenshin movie to see Kenshin’s fighting style, not to see him name it then goes all kenpo “le sigh”.

Sadly the subs are pretty bad, and frankly at times completely different from what’s being said. What’s more I’m really sick of subs referring to kendo as ‘fencing’, it’s bad and sloppy translation. We also have a false ‘limited edition’ going on, i call it false because there’s no other version of the movie. It’s this or nothing and there’s nothing ‘limited’ about it. There’s not additional things such as post cards or anything to make it limited. They just put it in a steel box, which frankly is cheaply made and thin as tissue paper, and slapped limited on it along with a steep price hike.

Overall I’d say give this one a miss. It’s not worth buying even on DVD, unless it’s in a bargain bin. Frankly i want my time back!!

Author: Ryu Sheng