When I first heard about the Rurouni Kenshin movie, I was sceptical because there aren’t many manga/anime to live action adaptations that have been good. But when I saw the third Rurouni Kenshin movie advert on YouTube I was very surprised. Usually, movies that don’t do too well wouldn’t get sequels and for a movie that’s quite niche that’s pretty good. So I decided to check out the the first movie.
Let’s cut to the chase – it’s pretty awesome and I think most of that is because it’s quite faithful to the source material. Like Jine’s cold hearted sick way of slaying people. The speed of Kenshin felt about right and I was impressed with the fight choreography. The sword play was very entertaining and is believable in the world of Kenshin. The story had to be altered a little to fit into a movie but it worked for me.
There were a few irks I had with the movie, such as Saito (one of my favourite characters) appearing so early in the movie. It’s fine to include him in the “war”, but to reveal him as a policeman so early just threw away the chance of a big reveal away. Also, Sano’s back story seems to be skipped in the interest of time (it is a 2 hour movie). He doesn’t seem to hate the Ishin-Shisi which is what actually brought him and Kenshin close. In the movie, he’s just hanging around for no reason. Also, I was looking forward to Kenshin kicking his ass whilst he had his Zanbatou.
All this said I like the movie for it’s action and feel. The story flowed well and was close to the source material. Bring on Rurouni Kenshin 2! I hope live action movies take some notes from this movie. Yes, some scenes are taken straight from the source and that works as long as you weave the story together skillfully.