When you think of classic Manga, there are few that can wisthand the test of time. With each incarnation, chances are you tend to lose some of the original magic that made it truly special.
The trend of ‘eastern’ comic to movie adaptations have really been hit and miss with the western counterparts having more of the hits. However it is fair to say that it’s Hollywood that’s responsible for the anime adaptaion misses as well. Dragonball, arguably the most famous manga of all time, has seen several anime incarnations, video games and of course there was that truly horrible live action movie which killed it for me.
And of course, there was M. Night Shyamalan’s take on the Last Airbender. I sinply loved the series but HATED the movie. Of course to make matters worse, I happened to see it in a cinema that had crappy audio and a screen that was just too high for comfortable viewing. However, no amount of comfy seats could have saved the show for me.
Enter the Battōsai – Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) is brought to life by Warner Bros who do a great job of ‘keeping it Japanese’. No ‘Western’ actors playing the role of Kenshin and simply destroying the franchise – an Asian Peter Parker wouldn’t be the same now would it?
Without giving away too much, I really enjoyed watching the show. Bear in mind it more or less incorporates the first 20 episodes of the Anime and it’s written pretty well. And Kenshin’s ‘High Heaven’ translates very well on screen.
The fight sequences are crisply choreographed and while it does not have many comic moments, there is a particular ‘Sanosuke’ scene to watch out for.
Bottom line, if you’re an ultra-purist STAY AWAY from this and almost any other book-screen adaptation. Even LOTR wasn’t totally true to the books and that was 4hrs a movie.
But I feel that the characters do come through, even young Yahiko, and is a good watch for both fans and those who’ve never seen the anime or manga alike. For me, this is definitely one for the collection.
And to make things better, not one but, TWO sequels are set for release next summer titled, “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno” (see our review here) and “Rurouni Kenshin: The End of a Legend“. The two sequels will look to adapt the “Kyoto Arc” of the original manga from Nobuhiro Watsuki.
I, for one, can’t wait.
A sword is a weapon. The art of swordsmanship is learning how to kill. That is the truth. What Miss Kaoru says is sweet and innocent talk that only those whose hands have never been stained with the blood of men can believe. But, to tell you the truth, I much prefer Miss Kaoru’s sweet and innocent talk over the truth, indeed I do! Himura Kenshin (Rurouni Kenshin)