Today’s review is on Rurouni Kenshin volume 1 by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It is 208 pages long and is published by Shonen Jump. It is the first volume in the long running series. The cover has Kenshin and Kaoru on it. The intended reader is someone who likes historical stories, manga, and interesting characters. There is no foul language, no sex, but some voilence in this series. The story is told from third person close following different characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- 140 years ago in Kyoto, with the coming of the American ‘Black Ships’, there arose a warrior who, felling men with his bloodstained blade, gained the name Hitokiri, man slayer! His killer blade helped close the turbulant Bakumatsu era and slashed open the progessive age known as Meiji. Then he vanished, and with the flow of years, became legend.
In the 11th year of the Meiji, in the middle of Tokyo, this tale begins…
Review- This is an excellent start to a series. It introduces the reader to a world that is very different from our own. Kaoru is a young woman living alone, just trying to make ends meet when her father’s name starts to be slandered. She goes to hunt down the murderer killing in his name when she meets Kenshin who is hunting for him too. The story goes from there with more characters being introduced, the world being explained, and the plot expanding. The fight scenes are over the top but the characters are why you read this manga. They are all wonderful, you really care about Kaoru’s pain over the loss of her father and Kenshin’s shame of killing so many. I look forward to seeing where this story is going to go.
I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.
Today’s Friday Film is on Rurouni Kenshin the TV series. The series was 95 episodes long and originally aired from January 10, 1996 – September 8, 1998. The plot is basically the same as the manga but after the Kyoto Arc they do split. The three seasons of the series all have names with the first season being the Tokyo Arc, which is just setting up the world and the characters. The second season being The Kyoto Arc with an epic villain and lots of character growth. The third season is called The Christian Rebellion Arc is not the manga. The manga is very straight forward with no filler chapters but when the anime was being made the manga was still being written so sometimes there are filler episodes. Mostly the filler is for character development and humor but sometimes it can just drag on. But in spite of that it is a solid classic anime series about sword-fighting with over-the-top battles and a very fun time.
There are movies set in the Rurouni Kenshin universe. They are called Samurai X and there are four of them. Trust and Betrayal are set before the series and tell Kenshin’s backstory with Tomoe. Samurai X: The Motion Picture happens around the beginning of the anime but the timeline is not clear. Samurai X: Reflection are set after the series and was intended to be the end of Kenshin’s story but it is not considered canon because the characters act so different from the rest of the series.
You can enjoy Kenshin’s story with just the TV series and that is what we will be watching here at Mobile Public Library.
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story is a classic manga about a wandering swordsman in late 1870’s Japan. Considered one of the greatest mangas ever written it has it all: romance, sword-fights, over-the-top villains, and plot about peace and forgiveness.
In the early Meiji era, after participating in the Bakumatsu war as the assassin “Hitokiri Battōsai“, Himura Kenshin wanders the countryside of Japan offering protection and aid to those in need as atonement for the murders he once committed. When arriving in Tokyo in the 11th year of Meiji (1878), he meets a young woman named Kamiya Kaoru, who is in the middle of a fight with a murderer – who claims to be the Hitokiri Battōsai – tarnishing the name of the swordsmanship school that she teaches. Kenshin decides to help her and defeats the fake Battōsai.
The manga is 28 volumes long and is all available from Viz Media. It is just stuffed with real historical characters and started a passion for Japanese history for me. It was a fascinating time about Japan opening up to the west and what that meant to a very different culture. There is so much good stuff in this series and I loved every minute of it!