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never in theaters but.. next year in bd for 14.99 at Best buy?

I see Saito. I wonder if Shishio makes an appearance. I think one of them is Aoshi in that trailer....curious on how Ammakakka Ryu Hiro something something will look like.. lol

Kanreyu with the gatling gun is there too.. looks good.. I hope it won't have too much CG and special effects like GOEMON

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I wasn't crazy about the anime when it first aired. The trailer looks promising, but I was expecting a prettier Kenshin. NOT that I'm complaining. He looked like a freaking girl in the anime, and was even voiced by one. Looks like they're following the anime and manga to a tee as far as the storyline is concerned--lots of immediately recognizable scenes ansd characters.

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  • 5 months later...

Sorry for digging up this old thread, but I just saw this trailer yesterday. I didn't even know they were making a live action! I read some of the manga, sort of enjoyed the series, really, really liked the OVA. This is coming out a bit late isn't it? I mean the hype about Kenshin sorta died out a more than just a few years ago right?

Anyway, regardless, I think I'd like to watch it. Not really keen on the flying and running sideways, but I guess they had a lot of that in the series. Which is why I liked the OVA the best. It was dark, and the fighting was a bit more realistic,

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The trailer looks awesome!

never in theaters but.. next year in bd for 14.99 at Best buy?

I see Saito. I wonder if Shishio makes an appearance. I think one of them is Aoshi in that trailer....curious on how Ammakakka Ryu Hiro something something will look like.. lol

Kanreyu with the gatling gun is there too.. looks good.. I hope it won't have too much CG and special effects like GOEMON

Amekakeru Ryu No Hirameki

It's probably CGI'd with wirlwind effects or something.

IMO the story got kind of boring after the Shishio arc which I consider the climax of the series. And the whole son of god arc is just ridiculous IMO.

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not sure i'm qualified to do a review, having just seen it on a small screen. but short review is: go see/buy it. it's a fairly faithful adaptation of the anime and a solid, well-written, well-paced movie that stands on its own; making it accessible and dare i say entertaining even for newcomers to Kenshin. it didn't quite blow me away like the Yamato live action movie (but thankfully, it doesn't suffer from the exaggerated acting of that movie) but is infinitely better than the Blood movie.

slightly longer version:

the movie starts out like a james bond movie: big action scene at the opening showing the big battle that brought the Tokugawa era to an end, the royalist claiming victory, Battousai abandoning his sword, Jine waking up from under a pile of bodies and questioning why he was allowed to survive, then finds Battousai's sword stuck on the ground and upon grabbing the hilt, seemingly forms a mystical connection with the sword, cue intro credits.

Saito is also introduced right at the start, trying to find and confront Battousai in the battlefield. i mention this since i don't recall Saito making an appearance in the anime until the Shishio arc (my recollection is hazy though as it's been years since i last saw the anime). so i think this is one example of how the writers made some non-canon changes which i believe were good calls as it allowed them to establish key characters and their motivations and consequently made the story flow better than if they were to constantly insert the backstories inherent in serialized shows. they did use flashbacks, but did so deftly and only at the appropriate moments to draw focus on Kenshin's internal struggle. i thought this was clever since it not only allowed them to visualize Kenshin's introspection, but also let them delve into key points of Kenshin's history (eg. how he got his scar from a soon-to-be-married samurai who simply refuses to die) and at the same time showcasing the duality of Kenshin/Battousai's personality, plus the bonus of more sword fights.

they didn't spend a lot of time on how Sanosuke ended up relying on his fists rather than his big sword which IIRC was at least a couple of episodes in the anime. but again, i think it was the right call and a forgivable edit since it would've competed with the exploration of Kenshin's psyche which was the focus of the movie. in this regard, i think they did a better job than the Yamato movie in cramming so many episodes into just over 2 hours. the Yamato movie was still commendable considering it distilled an entire season, but did have a few lulls and some overly long scenes. in contrast the Kenshin movie had what i can only describe as a graceful flow, despite the annoying in-flight announcements.

there's almost no CG, which is a good thing. this, plus only limited wire-work (no fantastical flying kung-fu) made the action scenes more plausible, at least as far as having a guy defeat dozens can be deemed plausible. i think they did a good job in balancing the realism of actual swordfights and the over-the-top moves in the anime. the fight choreography was excellent, as well as the camera work which gave a good sense of Kenshin's agility and speed, while still allowing one to see and follow the swordplay, unlike in some movies where it's an unintelligible blur (i'm looking at you Bayformers).

in line with the generally serious tone of the movie, humor has been toned down, so don't expect any of the slapstick arguments between Kenshin/Kaoru and Sanosuke/Yahiko. not to say that the movie is devoid of humor, on the contrary it has enough moments that will elicit smiles, if not outright laughter, particularly from one of Sanosuke's fights where the combatants actually take a break to eat because they were so worn out.

the Kenshin actor was a good fit. though i found his pout annoying at times, he was able to convincingly portray the two faces of Kenshin/Battousai (think of the anime where his eyes change from doe-eyed to the fierce eyes of a killer). he demonstrated good fluidity worthy of a master swordsman.

by contrast, the Saito actor was less convincing in his swordplay. he accurately conveys a sense of power in his strikes befitting of the Saito character, but he swings at times clumsily and one does not get a sense of the precision of his strikes which is a hallmark of Saito. nonetheless, the actor managed a good performance of Saito's menacing demeanor, even if he was not as tall or as lean as i expected Saito to be. i got goosebumps when he put on that intense stare and assumed the gatotsu stance.

the Jine actor had much better sword skills and portrayed the expert brutality in his swordplay. despite being a bit too good looking (my previous boss is a dead-ringer with his short cropped grey hair and blue eyes, which is unusual for an asian) he manages to be creepy and threatening in the movie, helped in no small part by his excellent voice acting.

some people felt the Kaoru actress was too pretty for the role since the character is supposed to be ordinary looking. i disagree, partly because i thought Kaoru was sufficiently attractive in the anime, and partly because the actress did a good job with the drama elements of the movie. i felt though that the writers could've made her a more able character, say, knocking around a few guys before being overwhelmed by the number of thugs that invaded her dojo. shame, because the actress did have that feisty expression in her repertoire.

Megumi was unquestionably pretty and striking, but i was expecting a different kind of beauty; more towards sensuous geisha and less kokeshi doll. missed opportunity for some fanservice ;) i think this would've made a stronger distinction between Megumi and Kaoru, not because the Megumi actress wasn't pretty enough, but rather the Kaoru actress wasn't too shabby herself (in the anime they're supposed to be world's apart in terms of beauty). to her credit, the Megumi actress moved and carried herself gracefully, befitting her upbringing, and had good acting chops to boot. Megumi is actually fairly central in the movie, perhaps with even more screen time than Kaoru (or maybe i just paid more attention when she's on screen).

Kanryu was probably the best casting choice of the movie. the actor made the character the annoying, abusive, manipulative, and entertaining villain he's supposed to be. actually, the overall acting caliber in this movie is very high, including Sanosuke and Yahiko which i won't go into detail.

i'm definitely getting this on bluray. and while i would welcome a sequel covering the Shishio arc, i have some apprehension whether that would translate well into the more realistic tone that this first movie has adopted. Shishio's flaming sword would undoubtedly look cinematic, but a flying Hanya is another matter. nonetheless, i think showcasing how Kenshin and gang counter different fighting styles might make it a worthwhile endeavor.

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Caught it two weeks ago during the Japanese Film Festival they were having here in Melbourne. Both showings sold out weeks beforehand and we enjoyed it immensely. There were quite a few hilarious scenes and I'm glad they did not go overboard with the jinyu's ability. The best part is it's really friendly towards those non-fans as my japanese friend who had no prior kenshin knowledge said she had a blast.

Planning to get this on blueray and eagerly waiting sequels. Worth watching.

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Thanks for the review major. I could just imagine the characters base on your descriptions. I'm glad I pre ordered this even if it doesn't have subs. But as a Kenshin fan its a must have. Still waiting for the ova blu rays to go down in prices. My resin figure will have a blu ray next to it

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you're welcome. i'll be holding out for the bluray w/subtitles. the movie has already been licensed (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-09-02/live-action-rurouni-kenshin-film-licensed-in-60+countries) so it's inevitable that subbed discs will hit the market, perhaps just some weeks after the Japan release. HK will most likely be the first with an official english-subbed release as with previous japanese movie adaptations.

curious about your resin figure. is it GK, and what scale? please post pics.

i only have the megahouse release which is 1/8. been looking for a 1/6 or at least 1/7.

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you're welcome. i'll be holding out for the bluray w/subtitles. the movie has already been licensed (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-09-02/live-action-rurouni-kenshin-film-licensed-in-60+countries) so it's inevitable that subbed discs will hit the market, perhaps just some weeks after the Japan release. HK will most likely be the first with an official english-subbed release as with previous japanese movie adaptations. curious about your resin figure. is it GK, and what scale? please post pics. i only have the megahouse release which is 1/8. been looking for a 1/6 or at least 1/7.

Yes, thanks for the review! Looking foward to seeing it!

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I'm eager to watch it. I've read the manga series about 3x now. There's a spin off out but not quiet sure what to make of it. I also have the DVD series, movie and ova.

Gotta take a picture of the kenshin resin figure when the be arrives.

Wife actually likes the trust and betrayal with Tomoe . Surprisingly it's one of the few anime she is willing to watch.

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It actually came in today!!! Sad as it may be I negelcted the Mac7 Box set2 and went straight to the pioneer elite blu ray player. Works fine and watched it with the wife.

Going to watch it again later this week to let it sink in. But overall experience was great. They managed to create a condensed version of the series but with certain events and characters plugged into the story. If you have seen and read the series you will know exactly what I mean. It was kind of weird at first since both me and the wife saw the whole series and movie. Remember both of us don't know Japanese but I did pick up a few words here and there after watching the series with subtitles.

The beginning scene was pretty cool. A lot of fight scene from the final battle Kenshin participated in the Bakumatsu wars. I didn't recognize the Shinsengumi who approached him. He didn't look like the Saito that I remember from the Anime (Remember Saito was taller and skinnier in the anime, then my wife reminded me there aren't many tall Asians like us to perhaps play that part). It was only after I saw him in his police officer uniform talking to Kanryu that I sort of could make out who the character was (long front bangs and hair). I thought it was Okita or another one of the Shinsengumi Capt. I didn't look at the pamphlet yet and the list of characters. The actor did a great job in portraying Saito, cigarette smoking and Gotatsu stance which was only used/shown once =(. The scene were Saito is testing Kenshin was short and wished they adapted the Anime fight in the dojo.

Gein, this character I'm not sure or remember if he was in the anime. I could be wrong. But his fight scene with Kenshin in Kanryu's house reminded me of the fight scene Kenshin had with Aoshi. Too bad Gein only had one sword. Would have loved to see him do a Kaiten Kenbo. He did remind me of Hanma from the Oniwaban group due to his mask.

Yahiko character was immediately recognized by his clothing. Actually throughout the movie the key characters are recognizable by their outfits. But I don't remember Yahiko to be so dirty. LOL Wife was like, why does Yahiko look like a slum kid?

Megumi character was also done well. The movie injected how she became the sole survivor of her family/clan (different from the anime)

Sano character. The actor did a good job in bringing out his traits and habits. I did find his Zanbatou to be small. It was nice of them to incorporate the fight scene,however public it may have been. They did show Kenshin hopping on Sano's sword as he was swinging it. I was waiting for one of the Kenshin's special moves but none was done.

Kaoru character. I think she did a really good job on it. I was waiting for Yahiko to bust out on her cooking. It was sort of weird that Yahiko was already staying with her in the movie. As well all know Kenshin met him first on the bridge as Yahiko was trying to pick pocket him.

Jin-E character was perfect. He was portrayed just like in the Anime and manga. I was a little bit confused on why he was working for Kanryu and why he was trying to find Megumi at the police station. I figured Saito would have probably stepped in. But I guess it was a way for the director to give him purpose in the movie. Jin-E's main purpose was to eliminate the Imperial politicians in the movie. I did like the scene were he encountered Kaoru. If you pay close attention, it was on a bridge which I thought was very symbolic since Jin-E kidnapped Kaoru by a bridge/pass in the Anime. The kidnapping scene and fight scene with Kenshin was the highlight of the whole movie. Not only did we finally see a Kenshin move (a double battoujutsu), but the director really based it on the Manga and from what I understood he might have used the exact script in the Anime where Jin-E believes he can actually beat the Battousai in speed since his Sakabatou will be a little bit slower in unsheathing.

Aritomo Yamagata character was more of a douchebag in the movie. I don't recall him ever being like that in the Anime.

Kanryu Takeda was also played well as a psychotic character who wanted to gather all the Yojimbo to work for him. I'm not sure but isn't he the actor who played the bald dancer in "Shall We Dance"? Its an old movie but I could be wrong. I really thought the close bodyguards of Kanryu were the Oniwaban group. What's up with Kanryu's fan boys (guys with their fans). The wife found them annoying. LOL

Kenshin character was really played well and like the previous individuals have mentioned the actor was able to change his face when he turns serious. The fight scenes were more realistic with a little bit of special effects here and there. I like how the director give you a glimpse of Kenshin's past. I was excited to see the incorporated Tomoe and her fiancee. Too bad that they didn't show Tomoe's face. The fight scene with Tomoe's fiancee was identical to the OVA (with maybe a few extra swordsmen guarding the official). The director showed how Kenshin got his first scar and how he finished off Tomoe's fiancee. I don't recall the OVA ever showing Tomoe seing her fiancee's body and crying by him. I also love how they showed a scene of Katsura by the fire listening to Kenshin just like the OVA.

Overall the movie was great. I know anyone who hasn't been exposed to it would love it. Its not like any other japanese movies out there and its different from any real live movie adaptation of any anime. Most anime when converted into a movie always look fake.

By the time the movie was over my wife was like, "That's it? Are they making anymore? That wasn't the whole story!" She enjoyed it even though she didn't understand a single word.

As requested pics: My Kenshin figure has seen better days =(

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Nice review, kicker773.

Megumi is played by my idol Yu Aoi, so it should be good. Based on her alone. :D

Anyway, hope we get it distributed here in the US.

btw, do you think this Kenshin-live is better or about the same league as these two (if you'd seen 'em, that is):

post-263-0-01236800-1356822776_thumb.jpg

Edited by treatment
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I saw twilight Samurai in the big screen. It was nice. The story as a little slow but did pick up. The sword fights in Twilight was pretty authentic and there were no CG or special effects on that one. The Kenshin Live was better. I have yet to see the Hidden blade. I will try to find it and watch it this week hopefully.

I hope they make a sequel to the Kenshin movie, then again sequels are never as good as the first one, with exceptions of a few. But if they did make a sequel I would like for them to introduce Shishio and his group. Perhaps a cameo of Kenshin's master. Or create a prequel like the OVA with Tomoe story. I sure that wold be more dramatic with their relationship and how it evolved from pretend to reality. The fight scene that I would probably love to see is the alley scene were Kenshin gets attacked by a Ninja with claws.

Sister is already calling me to let her borrow it. They were fortunate enough to have a brother that introduced them to Anime. They love Rurouni Kenshin

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I saw twilight Samurai in the big screen. It was nice. The story as a little slow but did pick up. The sword fights in Twilight was pretty authentic and there were no CG or special effects on that one. The Kenshin Live was better. I have yet to see the Hidden blade. I will try to find it and watch it this week hopefully.

Yeah. They're both long and slow, but the payoffs were pretty good.

I'm actually looking more into how the presentation and acting in Kenshin-Live were in comparison/contrast to the Yamada-films, which are pretty excellent dramas. I mean, you like Kenshin-live alot in your review so I presumed it's really all good and not just another lame anime-to-live adaptation by the Japanese.

If I may and if you haven't seen them, I would suggest a further comparo with Sword of Desperation and Samurai I Loved regarding the swordfights in Kenshin-Live. These two have very good acting and stuff and the stories were even rather longer/slower, but the damn swordfights in them are really boss! Much, much more intense than both Twilight Samurai and Hidden Blade, imho.

:)

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Nice review, kicker773.

Megumi is played by my idol Yu Aoi, so it should be good. Based on her alone. :D

Anyway, hope we get it distributed here in the US.

btw, do you think this Kenshin-live is better or about the same league as these two (if you'd seen 'em, that is):

They're not the same class of film. Kenshin is an anime adaptation to live-action. It's live action, but character designs and their abilities are from anime-world. For someone who studies Japanese culture, history and Japanese sword arts, one might appreciate Hidden Blade and Twilight Samurai more. For someone who prefers anime, cosplay, otaku-life, they may prefer Kenshin live action.

Personally, I liked Hidden Blade and Twilight Samurai more (just watched Kenshin today), but that's not to say I didn't like Kenshin. It was a good adaptation from the anime (tv series), but I found that even the parts of the movie that were taken from the OVA were a bit chambara. I preferred the OVA over the TV series, but the series had it's moments.

As for the sword fights in the live-action Kenshin....well, let's just say I've seen better. You want to see some good sword work, maybe watch Mibu Gishi Den (When The Last Sword is Drawn), Ame Agaru (After the Rain) or uggghhhh.....Gohatto (Taboo). Yes, even Gohatto had some memorable sword fights. Don't let it stop you from watching the movie though. Despite my personal opinion on the shortcomings of the sword work (one more gripe, there's metal on metal grinding noise when swords are re-sheathed.....%$@! this does not *ucking happen when you re-sheath a kanata into a wooden saya!!!), the movie was still entertaining and paid huge tribute to the TV show and some bits of the OVA. I guess you can look at it like the sword fights were a good adaptation of the TV series sword fights.

I've never watched Sword of Desperation or Samurai Loved, never even heard of them until now so I'm going to see if I can get a copy and watch them. As for the Yamada films, the action sequences may not have been very intense (which is fine, because sword fights generally weren't long, drawn out affairs with a lot of sword-on-sword, metal bashing), but the movies as a whole seemed to be a more realistic depiction of life during that time.

Edited by peter
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I'll check the films recommended. I've read somewhere that kenshin was actually based of a real hitokiri. I myself prefer the ova which was more realistic and anime was more crisp. Although the aime in the Tokyo arc got a little bit better then went back to cartoon style. If anyone remembers the final fight with Shishio on the last episode was much better than the previous episodes that involved Shishio and Kenshin's interactions.

I'm not gonna lie to you now that I think about it insight have fallen asleep in twilight samurai in the middle of the film. I tink I remember seeing Taboo a few years ago.

I'm also a big A. Kurosawa fan.

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Is that so?

Well, guess I'm gonna temper my expectations a bit regarding Kenshin-Live's swordfights.

I was hoping a bit more, shall we say, nicer swordfighting stuff since the OVA's impressive rooftop fights were pretty much directly copied from the old Shinsengumi Chronicles movie. Heck! Most of the stuff in Tsuioku Hen OVA were almost about plagiarized adapted from that old movie, anyway. ;)

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Finally got the subbed version. Gonna watch it later today or tomorrow.

I agree with Peter, though, I'm not a student of the Japanese culture. I'm just an aficionado of adventure of well done action films. The Yamada films are my favorites because they bring a lot of depth and takes the Samurai down to a more believable level. I've compared it to Eastwood's The Unforgiven, where the hero is an ordinary man but just happens to be a skilled warrior. I don't advise watching all three at once though, because they're too similar in tone. For some reason I didn't like "When The Last Sword is Drawn". People always recommend it to me when they hear I like the Yamada films. I don't think it comes near those three.

But that's not to say I won't enjoy this one. My favorite manga is Blade of the Immortal, where the warriors pretty much reach superhero status. I'm hoping this will be done well.

And then there's the middle, where Kurosawa's type of films reside among the top tier.The warriors are ordinary men but the situation is a bit heightened to give it a good adventurous pace. I think in Hollywood or Western type films this is where Sergio Leone's Man with No Name or even the original Indiana Jones from the first film belong. I'm a huge Kurosawa fan also. But sometimes I feel like going in and editing in some blood splatter... lol.

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