Name: Rurouni Kenshin
Writer/director: Fujii Kiyomi / Otomo Keishi
Date: 2012 – 2021
Number of episodes: 5 movies
Genre: Action, Adventure, Samurai, gore, assasin
Based on book/manga?: Yes, adapted from manga serious “Rurouni Kenshin” by Watsuki Nobuhiro
Why did I press play? After bing thoroughly impressed with Setoh Takeru’s acting, I nossied around for some of his other projects and these movies were all highly rated.
List of movies in this franchise:
1. Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning, 2021
2. Rurouni Kenshin – 2012
3. Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, 2014
4. Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, 2014
5. Rurouni Kenshin: The Final, 2021
A few thoughts and observations:
- First, Satoh Takeru’s acting is insanely good – a masterful performance. It truly is some of the best acting I have seen. It’s not just as in he is a talented actor, but his total immersion into the character. Although he becomes an assassin, he is a very moving character. No matter what he is doing, there isn’t even a second where he breaks character or the posture of Kenshin: not when he sleeps, fights, runs, walks, sits – never. All his movements make sense and all lines up with being an extraordinary fighter. Such as always running, ducking down even if no one is around to avoid being hit by swords. When is in the middle of fighting of droves of opponents. He regularly stops to reconnect with the situation, and the next second keeps going. I watched his fighting senses many times. Everything about Kenshin is intriguing and you feel such empathy for him. The films conveys (even with little dialogue) what he is feeling, his values, inner thoughts.
- Kenshin’s bravery is off the charts, although it’s fiction. In, these movies it all feels so real and you think how the heck does he go into these situations with no fear or reserve. This was especially the case the two times he went to the warship in “Rurouni Kenshin” & “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno,”
- The side characters are actually interesting. Each one, including the villains and ally behavior, all makes sense, even though only little snippets of the history of each one are shared. But, it’s enough to understand their behaviour and motives.
- The bad guys are seriously creepy! But their appearances also make sense once more is revealed about them.
- Because there are five movies, you can sit back knowing you have around 10 hours of story in front of you – which is something us drama watchers appreciate.
- The fighting scenes are incredible, and dare I say, breathtaking. Kenshin fighting style is so distinct, you can always recognize him – plus the red shade of his hair helps. I honestly can’t phantom how the director pulled this off. It all so real!
- There is something deeply moving about this story. It’s and you carry the feeling of the story with you, long after the film credits.
- Just a heads up, there is a lot of gore. But for a squeamish gal like myself, I could handle. It’s done in even keel way.
Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Himura Kenshin / “Battousai” played by Satoh Takeru
Sagara Sanosuke played by Aoki Munteka
Kamiya Kaoru played by Takei Emi
Yukishiro Tomoe played by Arimura Kasumi (love interest in the first movie)
Shishio Makoto played by Fujiwara Tatsuya
Saito Hajime played by Eguchi Yosuke
Seta Sojiro played by Kamiki Ryunosuke
Okita Souji played by Murakami Nijiro
and many, many more…
Theme: People can have deep inner struggles.
What it’s good for? To become so fully engrossed in a movie, you forget to each your popcorn. On a side note, this is movie both guys and girls can appreciate – it’ a great date night choice.