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Friday, July 26, 2013

Rurouni Kenshin (2012)



Country: Japan
Format: movie
Genre: live-action, action
Cast: Sato Takeru, Takei Emi, Aoi Yu, Aoki Munetaka, Eguchi Yosuke, Kikkawa Koji, Kagawa Teruyuki, Sudo Genki, Ayano Go, Tanaka Taketo, Okuda Eiji,  
Synopsis: In 1868, after the end of Bakumatsu war, former assassin Kenshin Himura is a wanderer who carries reverse-bladed sword with him to defend people without killing anyone. He saves Kamiya Kaoru from gangsters who work for opium drug lord Kanryu Takeda. Kaoru asks Kenshin to stay, but Kenshin's past starts to haunt when people are starting to recognize him.
Rating: 5/5
It is one of the best live-actions made and I am not the first nor the only one saying it. I actually have read some comments saying that it is not a great movie, but those comments have come from "Samurai X" (the name under which OVA-s and anime movie aired in North-America) watchers or from people who say "cartoon-version" about anime. I have my own opinion about those people and I hope that they either educate themselves or shut the ramen up. Sadly I have not read the whole manga yet, I have just watched first episode from anime and some chapters of manga, but it is on my definitely-to-do list.

 Sato Takeru plays the role of Rurouni Kenshin. His physical appearance is really close to to original character in manga so that when the production started he was the first one who came into mangaka Watsuki Nobuhiro's mind. He is the best remade character in the movie. His way of speak and look are almost one to one with the character in manga. I have to say that his speaking is really hot. He is the star of the movie and I try not be biased, but I would have given the extra stars because of him if I had the possibility. I am afraid that I will read the whole manga with Sato Takeru's voice ringing in my head, not that I complain or anything.
Takei Emi as Kaoru is cute, but I feel that Kaoru's character is made a bit too weak. She is supposed
to be tomboyish, but in the movie she cannot do much about things. She is dependable of others and agrees with Kenshin too fast - no big mouth arguments that they usual have. Many dislike Takei Emi for  bad acting, but I think this time the fault lies on how her character is written in the script. But I do agree that in some scenes her acting was not convincing at all. Especially when the movie starts to end it gets less convincing, as if Takei Emi got tired of acting, well, I do give her credit for great suffocating scene.
Lord Kanryu is the perfect example of what happens when the power gets into the wrong hands. "All for themselves, money and pleasure" is the way he sees people's nature and life. That's why it is unacceptable for him when Kenshin is not interested in his money. At that moment I agreed with Kenshin, but a day later I was willing to go back to my last summer part-time job that I seriously disliked. I am disappointed in myself, but the truth is that in real life you cannot live from nothing.. and I have to finish university before starting to work on my ideal position.
There is also another lady, Megumi who does everything in order to survive. If a woman is using her advantages in order to live, is it a bad thing? Despite being slutty and doing illegal things, she actually has conscience which in a way gives her the feeling of guilt and responsibility. Movie also shows characters like Sanosuke Sagara who becomes from enemy to ally and former samurai who became police officer who once fought against Kenshin.
About villains I cannot write much, because they were put together without any further development.
Jinei becomes the new Battosai and tries to kill everyone on his way. I did not understand exactly why he was so eager to kill Kenshin and if the power came from the sword or not. I so have to read the manga. I can only say that Ayano Go, who played Gein, looks smoking hot with the blond hair. I think he might be my favorite villain of all time, but in manga Gein is actually an old puppet master. In Manga Gein and Inui Banjin do not work for Kanryu. Basically, in live-action they have mixed some villains attitudes and powers and left out some important characters who hopefully we are able to see in sequels.
It is exactly what I needed after watching too much cliche romance. It is a bit too bloody, but it is so captivating and interesting. I could not take my eyes off the screen and for some time I even did not blink, because I was afraid that I will miss something important. The only sad thing about it was that I was not able to see it on the big screen - my country shows Asian movies in cinemas only when we are having some kind of film festival - maybe twice a year or so.
"Rurouni Kenshin" was a great start and gave plenty to play with in sequels - I think you all know that in 2014 TWO sequels will air! I have huge expectations from them.


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