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[ café reviews ]

Rurouni Kenshin logo

Rurouni Kenshin
(Samurai X)

The Movie: Ishinshishi no Requiem

[ production info ]

Copyright: Fuji Television Network Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) Inc.
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: Contains Violence, Parental Guidance Suggested
Format: Original Japanese (LD/VHS)

Screenplay: Director: Producers: Character Design: English Version Executive Producer: Translation by:

[ plot summary ]

Kenshin DVD movie jacket

During the bakumatsu time of unrest, there was a feared warrior, named Hitokiri Battousai...

Things are changing in Japan as a day trip out to Yokohama proves to a surprised Kenshin and group as they witness a group of foreigners making trouble near the docks. It doesn't make for a good impression of foreigners for the Japanese crowd, and when a young Japanese girl (Takatsuki Tokii) asks them to please be a bit more considerate, the foreign seamen make a bit of trouble for the girl. However, one of Tokii's acquaintances steps in to stop the rampaging foreigners; or at least until the police arrive at the scene. Having to make a quick retreat with the coming of the police, Kenshin and Shigure Takimi have to run off quickly. Who exactly is Shigure, and why does his name seem to ring a bell to Kenshin? Then again, why is Saito in Yokohama warning Kenshin not to get involved with Shigure?

There is a lot of unrest in Yokohama as a group of fighters attack the British Foreign compound destroying the house there. The police were unable to stop the fighters and as a result the foreigners decide to move headquarters to Tokyo, but will that help matters any?

Who exactly was Shigure and why does his name and the name Takatsuki seem to be familiar to Kenshin, bringing back memories from the Bakumatsu period?... and who was Takatsuki Gentatsu?

[ capsule review ]

Kenshin and his entourage...

This is the first (and so far only) movie for Rurouni Kenshin. The story itself starts off rather slowly with the attack on the foreigners compound, and yet, as the story develops, we find not a huge major story, but rather that the story revolves around the death of Takatsuki Gentatsu and the people who knew this person. While we do have a subplot which plans to oust Yamagata from office, it is not a major part to the story whatsoever and really only detracts from the main story between Shigure and Kenshin.

Because the central theme to the story revolved around the death of Takatsuki Gentatsu, we see his death scene many, many, many times over. In fact, we see it 7 times; each time because of the stirring of a memory, or reminder of what had happened. At first, the replaying of that scene makes sense, however, there is only so much of the same event that one can take and so it does become a bit tiresome after awhile. Of course, on the other hand, we see the scene from a different character's point of view or get more background information which adds to the scene keeping it relatively interesting, but... 7 times?!?

The music itself is quite good being very melancholic in tone; very in keeping with the memory and past event which no one seems to be able to forget. Otherwise, the actual animation quality is a mixed bag between some really good animation (ie. when Kenshin is angered at the end) and some rather basic stuff ie. the flashing of the swords and some of the battle scenes between the police and the fighters.

I think the one thing that really caught my attention with this movie though was the concentration on the different characters motives and their development throughout the movie. While some of the characters were rather two-dimensional and superificial to the actual movie (ie. cameo appearances), the main characters Kenshin and Shigure were very strongly portrayed.
- JYN, 98.08.12

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: 4 stars N/A N/A
Direction: 4 stars N/A N/A
Acting: 4 stars N/A N/A
Animation: 3 stars N/A N/A
Music: 4 stars N/A N/A
Translation: N/A N/A N/A
Overall Rating: 4 stars N/A N/A

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