It was a blast watching the live-action Rurouni Kenshin (“Samurai X”) movie in the cinemas, but then the Metro Manila Filmfest came, so all foreign films had to stop screening in the theaters. But I’d pre-ordered the DVD which was going to be released the day after Christmas, and it just arrived yesterday.
The DVD comes with a 2nd disc with the director Ōtomo Keishi, star Satoh Takeru, and a couple of other guys I’m assuming are producers doing commentary on the film. The 1st disc has the movie, plus all promotional trailers and videos (TV, etc.), interiews of each main cast member, and videos of the different movie premieres attended by the cast. The videos of the premieres were fun. Of course these had no subtitles either, so I just stare at Take-chan’s pretty face.
I’d neither seen the anime, nor read the manga. But I happened to stumble on the trailer and I thought it looked really good. Then the rumors about it screening in the Philippines began to circulate, then SM announced they were showing it in their theaters. Four days before the opening day, half the seats had already been sold for the last full show in Megamall. So I caught it on the first day. Then watched it again the day after. And then again the next day. Thus began my slow descent into madness — as of writing this, I’d already seen it seven times in the theater since it opened in the Philippines last December 5.
Himura Kenshin was the assassin known as Battosai the Killer, on a mission from his clan to help defeat the forces of the Shogun, who was trying to hold on to power against the Emperor who was, in turn, trying to bring about a unified Japan under a modern, centralized government. Kenshin embraced the distasteful work of killing, for the promise of a new age of peace and rule of law. As soon as the Boshin war was over, he gave up his sword to be a rurouni — a wanderer — going around helping people. He had no home, just a mission to find peace within himself and atone for his past sins. Ten years later, a series of murders occur, seemingly by the killer Battosai, but it is only a small part of an emerging evil in Tokyo, and pretty soon Kenshin is forced to confront his past again.
I was trying to avoid doing a list, but I’m afraid it can’t be helped. Because I’ve seen it seven times, here are seven reasons why Rurouni Kenshin is awesome.