Review: Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Movie (2012) - Friday J-Review #3





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Published on Apr 12, 2013

The live-action adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin came out in 2012, starring Takeru Satoh and Emi Takei as Himura Kenshin and Kaoru. But is it worth watching?

In my opinion, yes! In this review of the film, I'll give my reasons why! While not perfect, and while the movie can drag on a bit too long at times, they did a fairly decent job of making an Anime and Manga into an actual live-action film. However, it's aim to bring everything from the anime and manga into Rurouni Kenshin as a movie, is also it's downfall. It brings in so many characters, Himura Kenshin, Kamiya Kaoru, Sagara Sanosuke, Kanryu Takeda, Takani Megumi, Udo Jin-e, Yahiko Myojin, and Saito Hajime, and that's not even mentioning all the characters, that it fails to provide any meaningful story for most of them. The movie summarises the first roughly 35 episodes of the Rurouni Kenshin anime, and it goes without saying that to make roughly 700 minutes of show into a 150 minute movie, means that a lot of stuff needs to be cut away.

You can check out last weeks episode of Friday J-Review here:
"Review: GTO Great Teacher Onizuka 2012 (J-Drama) - Friday J-Review #2"

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While the movie is in Japanese, it does feature English subtitles, so as long as you aren't insisting on having a dubbed version (why would you? The voice acting always ends up sounding horrible!), understanding the plot shouldn't be an issue for anyone.

I think Takeru Satoh does an excellent job of portraying Himura Kenshin, much better than I had expected, and stays fairly true to the character. While I wasn't a huge fan of Emi Takei's portrayal of Kaoru, it wasn't bad.

The soundtrack features one of my all time favourite bands, One Ok Rock, with their song "The Beginning". While it's not exactly what I would have expected for something of this nature, it still rocks.
You can see the official One Ok Rock music video here:
"7th Single 『The Beginning』 (full ver.)
Released: Aug 22, 2012

"The "Real" Battousai (Sato Takeru, Live Action Movie Fight Scene)"
You can also see an awesome clip from the movie here:
"I'm uploading this scene just to highlight how good Rurouni Kenshin's live action movie is. Please excuse so much of the video being cropped-- I had to cut out the original subtitles because they are too crappy; so I cropped and provided better written/more accurate subtitles."
It's a classic scene in both the anime and manga, with the first reveal of Rurouni Kenshin being the famouse Hitokiri Batousai. The live action movie did a very good job at adapting the scene, and it's definitely one of my favorite parts of the movie.

Rurouni Kenshin was theatrically released on August 25, 2012 in Japan, grossing over $36 million in that country and over $60 million worldwide as of November 2012. It was released in DVD on December 26, 2012. The film has been licensed for distribution in over 60 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. The movie finally premiered in North America as an opening selection for the 2012 Los Angeles Eiga Fest in December 14, 2012.

For those that don't know, Rurouni Kenshin is a 2012 Japanese film adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin based on Nobuhiro Watsuki's popular manga of the same name, Directed by Keishi Ōtomo. The film focuses on fictional events that take place during the early Meiji period in Japan, telling the story of a wanderer named Himura Kenshin, formerly known as the assassin "Hitokiri Battōsai". After participating in the Bakumatsu war, Kenshin wanders the countryside of Japan offering protection and aid to those in need as atonement for the murders he once committed as an assassin.

Last, you can check out the official trailer for Rurouni Kenshin Live Action, right here:
"『RUROUNI KENSHIN』 Trailer1 (English)"


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