Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno Review
“Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it.”
There are times I question the actions I take in seeking a peaceful existence. It is something I have always wanted, but it is a path that comes with much discipline and strength. The trick is keeping a true peaceful self while walking in a field of discomfort and violence. We have here a story of Kenshin Himura who was once a man walking a path being followed by a trail of blood until the day war was over and he laid down his blood thirst to become a peaceful wanderer. He found friends and to one would assume love in this new era he was truly fighting for, but as always there are those that can’t accept this peaceful life. The blood thirst is just too strong to ignore and as always the ones holding the power are not strong enough to deal with the devil they once worshiped. The manslayer’s legacy will always be disturbed until the land can be quenched, but at what cost?
This is the second movie in what seems to be an ongoing story and right now it seems like Himura and friends are finally getting the peace they deserve. Ms. Kaoru’s dojo is back up with many students, Sanosuke is still the ever loving brute helping out, lil Yahiko is becoming a better warrior and of course the lovely Megumi is living a great life as the beautiful Doctor. The world seems brighter these days, but with all this peace it tends to come with some opposition with a dark past that is resurrecting. A warrior who was believed to be dead Makoto Shishio who was betrayed by his own comrades and then burned alive to only rise from the ashes with one goal in mind. Shishio wants to make the world burn and ring in a new hell with him on the fiery throne. In his eyes, he feels the world deserves to be hell, even if that means a lot of people have to burn in the process.
The story of Kenshin Himura is a touching and deadly one to follow. It grants you a humanized understand of what Himura is truly fighting for and why he is stern about his new take on life. He walks around with a reverse blade sword to drop the killer status and the oppositions that keep trying to bring out the Battousai can be frustrating. It gets even worse when you have friends that prevent you from killing because they do not want you to step in that blood path again. So much anger and suffering to maintain a peaceful existence can drive someone insane to question why must this constant anguish continue? This is the situation when the government can’t handle this new opposition in their new world that they banned swords and samurai’s to only seek out a samurai to clean up their mess. I swear if I was in Kenshin’s shoes and seeing two police officials coming to the door I would have said, “AWWWWWW HELL NO! Nah man I am about to make dinner with my friends. Take your Bullsh*t somewhere else dammit!” Then I would have stormed off (laughs).
Bringing an Anime to Life
It is always a worry in our geek culture when we find out that an anime or video game is being brought to life via cinema. Thankfully Rurouni Kenshin does a splendid job emotionally, visually and action wise. Visually speaking it is a beautiful movie with the culture of Japan and the lively colors that set the mood for each scene. Happy tones for the peaceful times to very dark blues and grays for dark situations. If the movie were silent you will still get the message and I find that impressive. However here is a clip of one of the action sequences that I felt was amazing.
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This scene alone had me with my jaw dropped with its amazing cinematography and aggressive tone with a weird balance. I say weird balance because on one side you have the elite police officer Saitō Hajime who is brutally everything in his path and on the other is Himura Battousai just beating the crap out of his enemies. It is a weird balance between the two heroes as one that is upholding justice with deadly force. I appreciate the valor of Saitō and how he is not blinding himself to the treacherous world he lives in. It is a reasonable understanding that his brutal force is necessary.
I still enjoy the slight tone they have between Kaoru and Himura is very touching, but frustrating. In the anime we wanted their love to blossom, but of course there are some complications. However they do complete each other and Kaoru gives Himura a reason to stay on his path; until her life is in danger that is. I like Kaoru’s determination and fierce fencing style in which she uses in battle to keep people from cleaning, but maintaining her heroic tone. The focus of the story is somewhat turned to her because of her struggle to keep an eye on Himura. It is endearing.
The first movie was great paving the way to restoring our hopes in great live action anime based movies, but Kyoto Inferno just amazed me to the point of believing in sequels. There was a mixture of all things amazing and the tone had two huge villains involved, but left us with a cliffhanger that I dare not spoil. There is already a trailer showing off the third movie, but I am not sure how long they will drag this one. However using Shishio was a great choice, because he is one sinister villain and a great challenge to Himura. In that give Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno a 5 out of 5. It was amazing work and as a fan of the series I do agree that they did not put everything in the movie from the anime, but most of that information is filler. That and the fact that it is translated well as a live action movie, but they do touch base on a few other characters as in Makimachi Misao who is the cute ninja from the Oniwabanshuu group. If you have the means I would suggest acquiring this for your collection, but please leave a comment on your thoughts if you saw the movie. I would enjoy a conversation on your opinion. Stay frosty!