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[ a parent's guide to anime ]

[ rated pg ]

Rurouni Kenshin

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: PG

Parental Guidance Advised

Review by Michelle Mista:

During the "Bakumatsu" (end of the Tokugawa dynasty) there was a legendary warrior in Kyoto known as "Himura Battousai" or the "Hitokiri Battousai" who was a renowned assassin for the Ishinshishi group and helped to created the new era, Meiji. However, at the end of the uprising, he disappeared. Ten years later, he shows up again, this time in Tokyo, not as the Hitokiri Battousai, the legendary figure, but as Kenshin Himura, a peace-loving "rurouni" who has sworn never to kill again but to always protect those he cares about with his sword. And in Tokyo, he comes to care for a lot of people. This story begins very comically and keeps its comedy throughout the entire series, but there is always a dark undertone which is very apparent as the story goes on. There is alot of fighting and because swords are used, there is, of course, blood. Some parents may find parts of Rurouni Kenshin to be too violent to show to their younger children. However, older kids, teens, and adults will find this series great to watch, due to its hilariousness at times as well as its great characters. The battle between the killer and the peace-lover in Kenshin is a great emotional asset to this series that I think older audiences will gladly appreciate.

Additional review by A1C John Nixdorf:

As a longtime fan of anime and manga, Rurouni Kenshin (tv series) and Rurouni Kenshin / Samurai X are two of my favorite anime pieces, right up there with Nausicaa and Lain. I think that the Rurouni Kenshin TV series definitely doesn't deserve anything as harsh as an M rating. It has its scenes of violence, but preaches non-violence all the time. People are sometimes killed, but never by the heroes, who specialize in fighting without killing. There is no sexual content that I can remember, and the romances are harmless. The characters are interesting, and the show's continual method of protecting the weak and defenseless is one that could certainly be beneficial to many children nowadays. It's essentially a Japanese Saturday morning cartoon. Now, if you're the kind of person offended by bad language, stop reading. D*mn and sh*t are used quite frequently, mostly when one of the characters is punched in the stomach. To be honest, in his place I'd say the same thing. I know you would to. I mean, be reasonable. If you got punched in the stomach, or found out that your enemy's attack was more powerful then your own, you'd say d*mn or sh*t as well. It's a fact of life. Anyway, I digress. I figure this show is safe for kids 9 and up, but, as always, I think everything should be reviewed by a parent first.

Additional review by Brian Kern:

I have to disagree; I can't say that Kenshin has all that much violence to it. A full 65% of Kenshin is humor, as this series is about Kenshin the Wanderer, not Battousai the Manslayer.

There are fight scenes, but they're done mainly for dramatic emphasis and points of conflict. Think along the lines of Gundam Wing -- they used fights for the same reasons. The major difference is that the fights in Kenshin are done using swords, and sometimes blood will flow. This isn't typically an issue, as Kenshin fights with a reverse-blade sword (thus further proving his peaceful intentions), but as the series goes on, some of the enemies are exceedingly ruthless in their tactics (Saito).

Sometimes, lead characters are hurt. Sometimes they almost die. Occasionally, secondary characters *will* die, though this is usually pretty rare. Graphic, head-splitting violence isn't shown - more often, it's suggested.

I'd say this one's good for young teens, as the story is gripping, the humor's good, and there's enough there to keep them interested. :)

Additional review by Rosalyn Hunter:

In response to the rating change for Kenshin, I think that it is very threatening to small children. The fact that most of the episodes are harmless makes the violence even more surprising. I would like to draw attention particularly to the episodes at the beginning of the Kyoto arc.

Saito, an enemy who later becomes an ally, skewers Sanosuke and Kenshin and later beheads a man and kills another. Later, in the village controlled by Shishio, a boy confronts the bodies of his murdered parents hanging in the town square, a pool of blood below them. I'd give this a hard pg-13 for violence and disturbing imagery. I think it would be good for teenagers, but bad for kids.

Parent's Guide Rating:

yellow (parental guidance advised)

Some blood later in the series, a good amount of swordplay, usually non-fatal. Karou does whip Kenshin quite reguarly, though. (But hey, he probably earns it somewhere.) - B. K.

Although in a very moralistic framework, there is violence. In particular, beheadings, assasinations, murder of parents, and a baby in peril.

Nothing objectional sexually. R. H.

Editorial note: Rurouni Kenshin aired in Japan on Thursday evenings at 7:30 PM on public broadcasting.

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