Friday, 12 July 2013

Rurouni Kenshin Review



It feels a bit strange to review an anime as old as Kenshin, airing at the start of 1996 and its final episode came out near the end of 1998, its still one of the best Animes out there depending on the episode you watch.
Rurouni Kenshin is an anime that tells the story of well, Kenshin, a wandering samurai with a very shady past as an assassin who helped bring in the revolution. Kenshin wanders the land and is unable to settle down because of the guilt he has, until he meets new friends and decides to stay in one place for some time and see what happens.

The characters in this show all feel like they have a story to tell, you'll definitely have a favorite among them, its especially impressive that this show has a very adult cast for a Shounen. Instead of the typical "Idiot hero" story we usually see, Kenshin is a 28 year old war veteran who has seen too much and just wants a peaceful life. Its a refreshing change from the usual 13 year old who wants to save the world.



The animation is quite good for a show made in the 90's and does its job well, people interested in Animation though are better off looking into other shows. The music though is classic and really brings a sense of atmosphere especially during battles.

While a very impressive show, Kenshin really feels like its made of 3 very different animes which are split by which episode you're watching really.

Episodes 1-27

The first 27 episodes are the usual introduction stories to each character, the first 11 episodes are fantastic because they deal with a real arc story. Sadly after that the anime delves into decent fillers but still fillers which have no real story value at all.

Overall though its not so bad and I do recommend everyone watches the start of the anime at least to see how much it improves later on.

 Episodes 28-62

These are the best episodes of Kenshin and indeed rank up there with the best arc of any show really.


In this arc a madman by the name of Shishio tries to take over the country and its up to Kenshin and his allies to stop him.

This arc is incredible as it fits in everything you could ask for, it has some of the best fights in the show and introduces some very iconic characters as well.


Perhaps one of the arc's strongest points is how it brings up different beliefs and tests who is right and who is wrong, as well as other themes brought up by what Shishio believes as unlike the usual classic villain who cackles madly and for no reason. Shishio is a cold calculating man who truly believe he is doing the right thing.

The arc ends with a minor cliffhanger meant to introduce the final story in the manga, yet sadly it was never animated due to the fact that by episode 62 the anime had caught up to the manga and switched to filler only episodes from there.

Episodes 63-95

I hope you enjoyed the Kyoto arc cause after that, Kenshin takes a sharp downward dive in quality. I mean it gets really crappy from here on out.


After the Kyoto arc the anime had caught up with the manga, so the animation studio had to wait for the manga to go ahead for a while before it made real stories again. During this time they decided to make filler only episodes with the intention of going back to the main story eventually.

Sadly that never happens, the fillers killed the show as more than 30 episodes of filler bored the hell out of audience everywhere and led to the cancellation of the show, so after the Kyoto arc Kenshin just becomes unwatchable.

Verdict

Rurouni Kenshin is one of the best animes if you watch the right episodes, the episodes I recommend are 1-12 and 28-62 as these are excellent episodes all based on the story from the manga, the rest are mostly all fillers that are meaningless and a waste of your time. But the Kyoto arc in particular stands as a highlight of any anime.