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[ café reviews ]

The legendary Hitokiri Battousai...
Rurouni Kenshin logo

Rurouni Kenshin
(Samurai X)

Episode 1: Densetsu no Bikenshi Aiyueni Tatakau Otoko

[ production info ]

Copyright: Fuji Television, Sony Picture
Length: 25 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 TV LD 1 jacket

This is the first episode of a long running series based on the manga by Watsuki Nobuhiro published by Jump Comics.

A wandering rurounin, Himura Kenshin has just arrived in Tokyo when he is challenged by Kamiya Kaoru, who believes him to be the infamous Hitokiri Battousai. However, an alarm from the town tells a different story as Battousai had just shown up to create still more trouble. The rurounin saves Kaoru's life from hitokiri Battousai, and in return Kaoru offers him a place to stay at the dojo as long as he is in Tokyo. Battousai claims to have be taught by Kamiyakatsushinryu, the way of Kaoru's father's dojo. Who is this person claiming to be Hitokiri Battousai and why is he trying to destroy Kamiya dojo? Also, who exactly is (was?) Battousai?

Will the wandering ruronin help Kaoru in her fight to protect the name of her dojo? And is he capable of doing anything to help considering he seems to be quite lost and confused. Or will he end up permanently locked in the storage room after having accidentally run in on Kaoru in the bath...

[ capsule review ]

The title character: Himura Kenshin

The idealistic Kaoru.

A not-so-unusual look for Kenshin

Might this be the legendary Hitokiri Battousai?

For the first episode of a series, this has a mix of humour, story and character development which makes for a very promising beginning to this series. While the voice acting isn't 100% (hey! The voice actors are just learning their roles and trying to figure out just how they should portray their characters), and the animation quality overall is pretty typical of a TV series, the scripting itself shows promise for a fun and interesting series.

Since the anime is based on a shonen manga series, you expect that there will be a fair amount of fighting involved, but there is enough character development and plot to give this anime appeal to a wide range of people. The story also often plays more on the characters' development and their feelings rather than concentrate on the fighting. The music is quite good, especially the lone melancholic flute for Kenshin's theme, while Kaoru's theme is gentler and more hopeful. Also, the opening and closing theme songs are done by popular J-Pop artists and have been hits in the past. Needless to say, they tend to be rather catchy if you aren't careful. The animation quality is rather interesting. A mix between the expected simpler styles of a TV series mixed with some very detailed background drawings. Also, there are times when the background animation is very plain or is just fogged out. Other times though, we see some very detailed renderings of trees and peoples' facial expressions are also very aptly drawn. There is also judicious use of the ubiquitous super deformed style of drawing to be seen. However, considering Kenshin's character, we quickly get the feeling that his character will be so depicted fairly frequently. Needless to say, he has a certain "lost and confused" quality to him.
- JYN, 98-07-17

[ café rating ]

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

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