After months of speculative waiting and delays, SM Cinemas has finally started showing one of the most anticipated anime-turned-live action movie as Rurouni Kenshin slashed its way in selected SM branches and screening dates. This caused a massive flock of fans and curious people lining up to see how the producers of the movie portray and turn the famous manga and anime “Samurai X” into actual people while maintain the glory and essence of the movie.
As the cinema lights turn off and the first few minutes of the movie start, people cling on their seats as the scenes portray the Meiji war with Hitokiri Battousai (“assassin”) Himura Kenshin deciding it’s time to stop being a killer. 10 years later, he becomes a wandering swordsman and meets Kamiya Kaoru who is out looking for a murder claiming to be the famous Battousai using the Kamiya Kasshin Style. Wanting to protect her family’s reputation from this lie, Kaoru finds the fake battousai and irrationally attacks him until Kenshin helps defeat the murderer. She finds out Kenshin’s true identity in the process but she let offered to let him stay at their dojo regardless of his past.
As the start of their friendship is introduced which is how the anime version has been, various twists have been made in the movie to introduce the rest of main characters. Enter Takani Megumi, the young woman who tries to run away from a group who is forcing her to create opium. This group is ran by Takeda Kanryuu, the money-minded Opium and Arms dealer who has Udoh Jin-e, the bloodthirsty hitokiri as his bodyguard and is one of the main antagonist in the anime and movie adaptation. Next is Myojin Yahiko, the restless kid who is already introduced as the student of Kaouru, Sanosuke Sagara (with his humungous Zanbatou), the brute fighter-for-hire who fights for the weak, and Saito Hajime the long-time rival of Kenshin who has now become a high ranking officer within the Police Department.
The cast: Do you think the actors did justice in their portrayal of the anime characters?
The story progresses as the different characters intertwine in a new story which is outstandingly close to the history of the character’s actual story in the anime. The two hours spent watching this movie will be well worth it as it takes back fans to their childhood memories as the live action movie depicts the anime version down to the last detail— from the majestic old Japan scene and feel, to the character’s stances and epic comedic scenes such as Kenshin’s ever famous “Oro?!” reaction and Sanosuke’s fight with another goon in the kitchen that made viewers go lol’ing!
Although one cannot help but compare the live action movie to the anime, each version has something to be proud of. First, the movie was made in a way that non-fans will be able to understand and connect to the story. There were ample scenes that showed Kenshin’s past (his Battousai side, how he got the scar and why he has pledge not to kill again) which allowed viewers to know (or recall) how the story started and where it could potentially go.
Second, we all know impossible things can be done by anime, that’s why the live action movie should be given its due crediting for going beyond “just okay”. The way they have made the characters alive made each person watching glued to the big screen as they look at the cinematography and effects the actual people do in order to portray the samurai stunts of Kenshin and the rest of the characters.
Lastly, this movie open up a lot anticipation as fans of the Rurouni Kenshin (no matter if it’s the manga, anime or live action version), it just presents an opportunity for this awesome franchise to relive its glory and come up with more series. Imagine: More of Kenshin’s enemies—Shishio Makoto or Yukishiro Enishi in “Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie Part II”; “Hitokiri Battousai: The untold story” manga volume and most importantly, the anime continuation this time showing Kenshin and Kaoru’s son! With its [growing] fan base, the possibilities are endless for this franchise and this movie which is epic in every proportion!
Samurai X Live Action Movie Trailer: