Thursday, July 4, 2013

"Anyone can die. It's living that requires courage."

Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki:  

Himura Kenshin was an assassin during a time of revolution that saw the current power crushed and replaced.  The Meiji era is a time of peace and Kenshin has left his fighting days behind him.

Now a wandering swordsman, he looks to fight for those who cannot protect themselves.

I have loved this series ever since I was thirteen years old.  I watched the anime and then picked up the books when I saw them at the library.

The story in Rurouni Kenshin is interesting because it harks back to a historical period in Japan's history and introduces it through its main character, Kenshin.  Along the way we see his struggles to find a place within society as well as build a new life for himself.  It has a lot of action and the panels really come alive through the well crafted art.

It also helps that the supporting characters like Kaoru, Sanosuke, Yahiko and Megumi are great and help expand the story.  There is also a bit of romance and a lot of humor to this series, which made it certainly memorable for me.  It has a lot of heart and it has been a serious treasure for me since I was  a kid.

A warning though to readers, there is a lot of violence depicted in the pages of Rurouni Kenshin so if you're a little squeamish or you dislike violence then this is not the manga for you.  I recommend this manga for older teens around the age of 17. 

Novels are not the only things being adapted to film but also manga.  Rurouni Kenshin was recently made into a film and two sequels have already been announced.

The only problem? There has not been any news on licensing the DVD for a North American release.  Not to say that we haven't had various chances to see it since there have been screenings of the film at various film and cultural festivals.  I tried to make the one in my city but couldn't so my one chance to see this film kind of went up in smoke.  I hope one day there will be a DVD license for Canada so that I can buy this and take it home.

I have posted the trailer below and it's incredible.  Seriously, press play and you will be blown away.  The casting is fantastic and the look of the movie is something I hoped for when this film was still a foggy idea in someone's mind.  I'm also happy that the film is Japanese made.  I have a feeling that if America tried to adapt this film, it would turn out like their failed attempt at adapting Akira.

If you live outside of North America and want to know if the DVD has been released in your country, this blog on tumblr will have the answers you seek.  They do great work there and work hard to keep their information up-to-date but of course nothing is ever completely error free.

Title quote source:
Watsuki, N. (2009). Rurouni Kenshin. San Francisco, CA: VIZ Media LLC

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