Recent Viewing: Kenshin (Live Action)

When I was first getting into the anime scene in high school, Kenshin was one of the more well known titles to fans at the time. We didn’t have the abundance of streaming options and a few select titles were making their way to late night TV. I enjoyed Kenshin for the most part, but was never a really big fan of the series, admittedly.

Regardless, it was good news to hear that Japan was making a live action film. Some of my friends posted images of the film shoot and slowly but surely I was getting more and more excited for the film, even though I haven’t rewatched the anime in close to ten years at this point. I recall the second season being really good, but found myself forgetting some of the events in the first season.

When I was at A-kon earlier this summer, they had a screening but I missed out due to the lines for registration and pre-registration 😦 So at this point I figured I wasn’t going to really get a chance to check it out. Then to my pleasant surprise, it was screened at this years SGMS. So how was it?

The story of Kenshin revolves around him being a top assassin during the war, but when the war is over, the age of the samurai is as well marking the start of the Meiji Era (I believe this is right, my Japanese history is a bit lacking). So Kenshin takes up a life of not killing, however, other wandering swordsman continue their search for the legendary assassin so they can have their crack at killing him.

The actors and actresses fit the characters well from what I recall, although some of the characters I didn’t remember (mostly some of the villains). Since I also haven’t seen the anime for a while, I wasn’t able to track how closely they followed the storyline (which is a completely different situation than my viewing of Gantz, which will be up next week). So The I wasn’t relegated to knit-picking the story progression to the manga or anime.

I was really thankful for that, because I enjoyed the film since I some of the characters and story seemed new to me. There were a few kinda awkward moments in the film that took it down a notch for me. Mostly there was a pretty harsh cut in the film in the latter portion that  took me out of the film. I didn’t feel like they had to do such a harsh cut, they could have added in another scene or something to help smooth out the transition, or at least some dialogue. That was mostly the only issue I felt in terms of editing. The other moments were a couple lines of dialogue and weird moments of silence, even though I could see those being winks to the anime or manga.

I would be interested to hear what Kenshin fans thought of the film. I talked to one of my friends and she thought the film was really good, so it seems for fans it is a worthwhile film. The film has done well enough that a sequel is in the works as well. I must admit I am pretty excited for this because the second season of the anime was awesome and featured one of my favorite villains in my early anime years.

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