The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Rurouni Kenshin

Title: Rurouni Kenshin
Genre: Action
Format: 28 volumes
Mangaka: Nobuhiro Watsuki
Synopsis: Himura Kenshin is a rurouni, it has been ten years since he started wandering through all of Japan, at the beginning of the Meiji Era. But on his wandering at Tokyo he is abruptly attacked by Kamiya Kaoru who claims Kenshin is the legendary Hitokiri Battosai, a ruthless man that murdered people in name of Justice and for the rise of the Meiji government over the shogunate but, after learning that her accusation is true, but that Kenshin no longer kills, that he has been living the past ten years trying to find a way to pay for his sins, even when people, dangerous people, from the past come to make of Kenshin the man he was before; Battosai, she decides that Kenshin’s past is of no importance, if he has decided to pay for his sins.

Plot: Starts off very nicely, then wanders off, comes back wanders off… and so on.
Action: It is awesome specially around the middle of the series.
Drama: Does its share of the work to keep you reading till the end.
Lenght: Might discourage many.
Art: Makes a fair amount of proggress only to get better and better.

Well, I remember having all the 28 volumes somewhere around my house for like two years, then last week I decided to dust off the dirt and start reading. At first the art was somewhat dull, plain and not obsessed with detail, by the fifth volume all of this changed and suddenly all the characters looked better and had more realistic facial expressions, which helped out a lot when you try to connect to the characters. Rurouni Kenshin lasted me a good amount of 4 days, I remember eating if not devouring the first seven volumes in the very first day, it had me hooked, even when I had already watched the anime, which followed the manga painstakingly, so far.

Behind all the neat art, there are empty flasks that get filled, little by little as the pages are turned, giving background enough to make them strong characters, that, when mixed with some development gave me what I hoped for. I couldn’t have asked for more information on the secondary characters and main characters, although some villains did needed some ground to step on. Often you’ll miss some secondary characters that have gone far, far away after serving their purpose and you’ll be left asking more of them, but even those characters are fully developed.

The only thing I have to complain about Rurouni Kenshin, is the length, with 28 volumes, it sure takes a while for Kenshin to find a way to payback for the sins he committed in the past and it gets annoying to see one new villain every other volume demanding the same: Become the Battosai you once were and face me!. Well, sure the fights were awesome, but not all of them, some were confusing since the level of detail wasn’t enough and camera angle was off or weird, and on a personal note, I hate that they have to scream every single technique. Often the manga lost track on the main plot and focused only in the action parts of the manga, which was also a reason for all those volumes.

Yet in the end Rurouni Kenshin, proved to be one nice drama; with fully developed characters, and a decent action manga; with its well choreographed fights. As a plus, it has a lot of information of Japan and the Japanese culture and history.

The Rating: 9

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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