Sunday, September 28, 2014

Rurouni Kenshin, movies 2 and 3 (spoilers)

Lots of spoilers. OTOH: I wouldn't recommend these movies to the people who haven't read the manga anyway. The whole trilogy relies very heavily on knowing more than the movies tell you. The movies are great if you have read the manga; not sure how they compare to the anime.

Saw Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends. For some reason I'd assumed that the first of these is the Kyoto arc of the manga, and the second is the revenge arc. This is not the case: they are both the Kyoto arc, and are meant to be watched together. Kyoto Inferno ends in a cliffhanger - one that's not in the manga. Kyoto Inferno is paced quite slowly; The Legend Ends is full of action.

Hmm, does that mean they are gonna do the revenge arc sometime later? I certainly hope so.

The good things: the casting. Everyone is very much in the spirit of the manga, and everyone looks just right. Except, maybe, that Aoshi is way older than he should be. The guy (Yusuke Iseya) is still very much in the spirit of the manga, though, and does his best with whatever the screenwriters have done with his character. The acting is good all over. The whole thing is visually beautiful. And the fighting, wow!

I can't remember any other movie where you have 4 heroes (well, "heroes" is a bit stretching it) fighting the villain and not the other way around. Unlike the movie villains our heroes figure out fairly quickly that it's not a good idea to take turns, and they attack the villain all at once. And they still have a fairly hard time.

The bad things: pretty much everything they did to the plot.

First of all, Aoshi. In the movie Aoshi a) has no logical reason to hate Kenshin at all, b) has been fucked in the head since the beginning of Meiji rule, which is like 10 years, and c) appears to have been insane to begin with. It is quite unclear why he just started to look for Kenshin now, and why Misao likes him (he's been insane since Misao was what, five?).

Second, the government. In order to save its face it does a number of things none of which is likely to result in any face-saving.

Third, "the ball of stupid". In the end, everyone appears to have caught some brain disease causing them to make tactically unsound decisions. It does work out for the good guys, because the bad guys are similarly afflicted.

Still, had a good time and gonna buy the DVD. So there.

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