Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan – well…that was better than I expected…

Rurouni Kenshin3

This film is based on the manga of the same name, that was popular during the 1990s. I’m sure it doesn’t need an introduction either in Japan or amongst anime/manga fans, right? This first film is adapted from the first part of the manga, the Edo arc:

10 years after the end of the Bakumatsu, the Meiji government strives to bring its vision of a modern Japan to fruition, and everyday people struggle to go on with their lives in this new world. A wandering swordsman, Himura Kenshin, comes across the idealistic Kamiya Koaru, who is trying to protect the kendo dojo that her father passed down to her…

I never expected to like this film, I must admit. There are many manga that I find difficult to imagine as a live-action piece, and this was one of them. There was just something about the many techniques that I find a little incredulous, especially in the second and third arcs. But perhaps that’s why this first arc worked: it was arguably more grounded in reality than the others – yes, the hypnotism included. That said, Satou Takeru was pretty good as the titular character. Kenshin is hard to describe: in the manga, it can be really easy to forget that he hides so much pain, loneliness and guilt behind that cheery exterior, but here, you can sense that it’s all lurking underneath. This makes the movie less light-hearted than the manga, at least in relation to Kenshin himself (Sano remains Sano though), but I think that’s fitting given the medium. Even though they had to change quite a few details in order to fit it into a limited timeframe, I quite enjoyed it, and am sincerely looking forward to the next one.

And I do want to see Kenshin happy in the end!

And I do want to see Kenshin happy in the end!

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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