Ruroni Kenshin is one of the more popular manga and anime series over the past twenty years, getting a live-action movie adaptation in 2012. While the original release didn’t see much traction in the United States, FUNimation has bought up the distribution rights to the movie (and the two others that follow) and repackaged it all in a nice Blu-ray box. The first movie, Ruroni Kenshin: Origins, has a great story and is beautifully shot with action-packed sequences that fans and newbies will find entertaining.
Those who are fans of the Ruroni Kenshin series will find this live-action adaptation is pretty much a spot-on translation from what we’ve seen of the series. The characters all feel like their more familiar incarnations, while still being a little bit different to be interesting. The tone of the movie calls for a more serious Kenshin, but there are still some moments of the awkward weirdo found in the anime series.
Those who aren’t fans of the series will still find an interesting and entertaining action movie. The plot is easy enough to follow – you don’t have to be an expert to know who everyone is and what they’re doing. While watching the Blu-ray, my friend who is not familiar with the series at all found herself drawn in and is anxiously awaiting the second movie in the live-action trilogy.
Ruroni Kenshin: Origins is a great movie both for fans of the series and those who haven’t seen or read it before
The movie is beautiful and has a bunch of great action sequences. All the sequences are fast-paced, but still easy enough to follow. The fight between Kenshin and Sanosuke in the town and the fight where Kenshin and Sanoskue team up in Kanryū’s front lawn are both especially memorable for the top notch choreography and cinematography.
The biggest oddity I found in the movie was the music. Most times, the music served as a fitting and beneficial addition to the action on-screen, but occasionally it would become very loud, drowning out the dialogue. Good thing the English subtitles are turned on by default, otherwise it would be hard to hear what the actors are saying at times. The score for Kanryū can sometimes be a bit overly cartoony, but the rest is great.
If you’ve missed Ruroni Kenshin in its limited stateside theatrical run, Ruroni Kenshin: Origins is the best way to see this movie. It’s a must-watch for those who are fans of the franchise, and a great recommendation to anyone who is interested in a well-done action flick.
Expect a review of the second movie, Ruroni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno up soon, with a review of the final movie, Ruroni Kenshin: The Legend Ends in a few weeks.
So what do you think? Are you interested in seeing Ruroni Kenshin as a live-action movie? Have you already seen the movie before and are excited for the Blu-ray release? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.