[DesuFag] A look back, and a look ahead [Orange Farm Archive]

Time to go back five years, and work my way back, as I cover Rurouni Kenshin, both new and old.

Those that know me know that the series Rurouni Kenshin easily captures the top spot of all time favorite manga and anime.  My name may come from Rozen Maiden, and my general love for a certain verbal tic, but nothing compares to some the sheer volume of entertainment I got from this series.  It did have a great influence on me, especially in the latter part of the manga run.  Back when I first started getting into the anime world back in the fall of 2005, I was a huge Love Hina fan (I still am, because Motoko and Tsuruko are fucking awesome).  I was in the bookstore looking for new titles, and happened across Rurouni Kenshin.  I remembered back when a girl first tried to get me into manga two years prior with Kenshin, and how confused I was at the initial story from volume one.  After re-reading it, it all made sense, and I was hooked.  I bought every volume of Kenshin on release date from that point on.  Not only the manga, Kenshin posters and wallscrolls also adorn my room, and a Kenshin plushie sits next to my Suiseiseki plush.  His trademark Red/White kimono also hangs in my closet, and a replica of his sword adorns the top of the bookcase that the series resides in.

Fuck, I love you so much.

For some reason, reading Nobuhiru Watsuki’s (author of Gun Blaze West, Busou Renkin, and Embalming) virgin work about a swashbuckling ex-samurai with an oath not to kill was time I looked forward to every time a new volume came out.  For a fighting manga, the story did not have many plot holes (aside from past events, which got explained later), and the action was pretty well drawn, in my opinion.  I am not one to say art is a strong part of a series, but the art of Kenshin was a plus point.  The largest source of enjoyment from Kenshin, by far, was the cast of lovable characters.  I honestly cannot think of a character I disliked, even the villains.  Of course, there was the girlish appearing Kenshin, who kicked tons of ass, but there was also the brother figure of Sanosuke Sagara, the child genius of Yahiko, the strong, yet feminine Kaoru, and the anti-hero Saito Haijime, just to name the main characters.  Character design was VERY in depth, to say the least.  Kenshin for example, is based off of Kawakami Gensai, an assassin of the Bakumatsu era.  We don’t know how much blood he spilled, except for his lone known killing of a philosopher in broad daylight with one cut of his sword.  That’s how fucking good this guy was.  His appearance looks nothing like Kenshin, but it is his mannerisms that carry over to our hero.  Some other notable characters designs from the villains include Ed Gein, and those of you who read up on sadistic sons of bitches should know what he is famous for.

Aww shit, a major ass-beating is about to go down…

The a major plot point in the series was for Kenshin to overcome his Hitokiri Battosai mindset, which came everytime he unsheathed his sword, and took over completely on two occasions (resulting in Kenshin being a total fucking badass both times), and even when saving Japan, he constantly fights this force within himself that could cause him to go back to just being a murderer.  Everyone refers to him by Battosai, for what he did in the past, something he is trying to put behind him.  Still trying to carry out his protect the weak doctrine, he now has his famous “Thou shall not kill” promise and is showing the state of Japan that there is more to him than his Hitokiri self; he is also a gentleman, which is a whole different level of badass (speaking of badasses, Hiko Seijuro was fucking awesome, just saying).  Kenshin has TONS of character development, without the training arcs.  You get to see all the main characters progress in character, especially Sanosuke, which is always a plus in the story.  You don’t see much character development in your generic harems, but who’s watching those for that anyway?

I’m pretty sure “Battosai” is how you spell “I’m a fucking badass who can wreck your shit while killing you” in Japanese

After finishing the manga a year later (the final volume of Kenshin was released Stateside in 2006), and obtaining the Light Novel, Yahiko no Sakabato, and the various Kenshin artbooks and dictionaries, I made it a point to marathon the 95 episode anime.  The Kyoto arc is easily the best part of both the manga and the anime, with my favorite parts being the fight with Sword hunter Cho, and the battle with Aoshi.  It was a classic 90’s series, with cheap humor thrown in, but overall, it was enjoyable enough for me to buy all three seasons.  Then came the Samurai X OVAs.  Trust and Betrayal is the only one that matters, so I’ll just pretend like Reflections never existed, because if the creator shuns it, then so will I.  Trust and Betrayal was a FUCKING MASTERPIECE.  The story it told made it one of the best OVAs of all time, easily, and not just my opinion either.  It covers roughly volumes 18.5-21 of Kenshin telling his backstory.  Holy shit, was he a total badass back then, assassinating people and just fucking wrecking the Shogunate’s day.  I’ll have to rewatch it after this now.

This fight was fucking godly in the anime.

It’s not just the anime and manga.  The video games also play a part in making Kenshin the top series.  The original Playstation games were okay.  One being a fighter, and the other being an original adventure game.  It is the PS2 game Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan: Enjō! Kyōto Rinne that fucking makes the series.  The graphics are top notch, like they were straight of the series itself.  But it’s not just the models, the story and moves are also true to the original series.  However, what really makes the game shine is the Ougis.  They are fucking BEAUTIFUL.  I could go on all day about how well the Ougis are done, but I’ll just leave this video instead. Kenshin vs Aoshi

I’d tap genderbent Kenshin, would you?

But why my renewed interest in Kenshin?  Because the first Kenshin game in five years just got announced.  Coming out in spring of 2011 for the Sony Playstation Portable.  It will be a 2D fighter, and the game is called Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan Saisen.  You can bet I will have an order on Play Asia the day preorders start. Click here for Bandai page for Kenshin PSP No more posts about this game will be made until I obtain it in my hands, which now, spring can’t come soon enough for this Kenshin fan.



7 Responses to “[DesuFag] A look back, and a look ahead [Orange Farm Archive]”

  1. 1 komidol
    November 9, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    Nostalgia Post.

  2. 2 desufag
    November 9, 2010 at 7:51 AM

    Nothing wrong with that

  3. 3 komidol
    November 9, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    Nope, but I can’t really share in this one. Ruroni Kenshin wasn’t an “gateway drug” for me into anime. Back in those toonami days I was all about watching Ronin Warriors.

  4. 4 Fattierob
    November 9, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    >Back in those toonami days I was all about watching Outlaw Star

    Fixed that for you

  5. 5 desufag
    November 9, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    To be honest, I never got the chance to watch Kenshin on Cartoon Network, as I didn’t have cable growing up. The only Toonami shows I ever got to see were Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, DBZ, and Outlaw Star on the Midnight Run when my mom would take me to the hospital when she’d work 3rd shift. But Kenshin still remains the biggest gateway drug for me.

  6. November 9, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    I’m with Desu. I found Kenshin through a friend actually and got hooked. Only owned the Kyoto Arc, though. That shit with the fake Jesus was lame.

  7. November 18, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Great article!

    I also did a look back at RK and my favorite moments in the series. You can read it at: http://www.mangatherapy.com/post/1600450375/rurouni-kenshin-moments

    Yeah, the upcoming PSP game caught my interest once again. I read all 28 volumes and I think it’s one series that has stuck with me through thick and thin.

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