Rurouni Kenshin Movie (Overall)
If you have not seen the Rurouni Kenshin anime, SHAME ON YOU. Rurouni Kenshin live action = WIN.
Kenshin is really the highlight of the movie, and I’m not saying that just because he’s the main character. I was skeptical about Sato Takeru’s acting chops, but it turns out that he pulls it off PERFECTLY. OMGAWD. Am I the only one that converted into a raving Sato Takeru fan!?!? First of all, he made my dreams come true by being a perfect Kenshin. His voice/way of talking = KENSHIN. His hairstyle = KENSHIN. His “oro” = KENSHIN. AHHHH!! But he also does a great job of balancing his darker, serious side with his more lighthearted side. I love it when it shows him as a BAMF one minute, and then a cute harmless guy the next minute. The movie also does a great job on Kenshin’s back story despite the limited amount of time.
Unfortunately the casting for the leading lady, Kaoru, was rather disappointing. Takei Emi tries really hard, I will give her that, but her interpretation of Kaoru falls flat. Granted, my memory is still really fuzzy, but I remember Kaoru as a much tougher and livelier character. She was definitely way more spunky! But this Kaoru is just sorta…….there. She just does not have the same essence that the original Kaoru has, nor does she have the enormous stage presence required to pull it off. Takei Emi does alright in the first half of the movie acting-wise, but she does not leave her mark as the leading lady.
“I do it to survive.”
On the other hand, I felt like Megumi, the lady doctor played by Aoi Yu, really steals the limelight from Kaoru…probably because Aoi Yu has such a stronger stage presence than Takei Emi does. Honestly I didn’t even remember Megumi’s character (that’s how bad my memory is……) so I went back to the anime for a quick reference. I think this Megumi is too young in comparison to the original Megumi, who looks older & more mature. However, Aoi Yu’s portrayal of Megumi still makes her into a very intriguing and sympathetic character. There is just something about Megumi’s desperation to survive that made me really invested in her storyline. She’s really similar to Kenshin because they are both carrying guilt and shame over their past. And even though Megumi doesn’t have Kaoru’s fighting skills (which, are hardly existent in the movie) she still has tons of GIRL POWER!
“That scar..are you proud of it?”
Seriously, if I didn’t have background knowledge in Rurouni Kenshin, I’d probably be shipping Megumi & Kenshin in the movie. O________O Which is just weird. But really, you can’t blame me. Because the Megumi-rescue scenes are EPIC and she somehow has really good chemistry with Kenshin. I mean, the scene where Kenshin is brooding over all of the suffering that Kanryu has brought upon the villagers and..MEGUMI!?!? And when Megumi goes back to Kanryu, with the resolve to kill him once and for all??? OMGGGGGGG. I also got chills when the baddie tells Megumi that Kenshin is fighting for her sake. AHH!
Ok, ok, I will get back on track. Overall the action scenes are excellent, especially the ones when Kenshin & SANO (OMG I LOVE SANO!) fight to save Megumi. I wish we could’ve gotten more of the bromance, but there was not enough time. Even so, it is freaking awesome seeing Kenshin & Sano walking together in slow-mo. Somehow I imagined Sano to be a bit taller and more handsome, but this Sano is still awesome!
Unfortunately the Kaoru rescue scene felt rather anticlimatic to me. Maybe the problem is that I was way too invested in Megumi’s rescue, so when Kaoru’s time came around……I didn’t really care. Also there is very little in the previous scenes that shows Kaoru & Kenshin’s deep bond..so when Kenshin is angry enough to kill for Kaoru, I just don’t get WHY he’s willing to do so.
Also Kaoru’s speech at the end?………………..I laughed. I mean, REALLY?!?!?! Does Kaoru REALLY have that much breath to go ON AND ON about why Kenshin shouldn’t kill the baddie? UGHHH!!!
Despite my gripes about Kaoru, this live action was a great adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin. I only wish there was more time so there could be more character development, of say…SANO!!! But overall, the movie accomplished a lot within its time restraints, with Kenshin’s back story and setting up all the characters’ friendships. I’M READY FOR A SEQUEL!!!!!!
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