Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-Hen | Inquirer Entertainment

Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-Hen

By: - Reporter
/ 04:40 PM August 09, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – He’s back! The smooth-looking, soft spoken master swordsman Kenshin Himura is back on the big screen in Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-Hen (Kyoto Inferno), the first of a two-part finale of the franchise based on the hit Japanese comic, or manga.

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Actors Takero Satoh (Kenshin Himura), Emi Takei (Kaoro Kamiya) and Munetaka Aoki (Sanosuke Sagara) have returned to reprise their roles.

The Manga and Anime fans first saw the trio in the 2012 movie Rurouni Kenshin: The Movie. This time they return to do a story with a darker tone.

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In the first film, the deadly imperialist assassin Hitokiri Battosai laid down his sword in the Battle of Toba-Fushima and swore never to kill again. He started his journey carrying a sakabato, a reverse edge sword that could only knockdown an opponent but cannot inflict a fatal wound. In his journey, he met his friends Kaoro, Sanosuke, Yahiko Myojin (Kaito Oyagi).

In this next movie, Kyoto Inferno, Kenshin struggles to fulfill his oath not to kill again after Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara) and his Juppongatana (10 swords) surfaced threatening to overthrow the government.

The performance of the characters was spot on but fans who have seen the 2012 movie know how well the actors own the characters they play. In Kyoto Inferno, Tatsuya Fujiwara effectively transformed himself from Shuya Nanahara who flinched when he killed his psychotic teacher in Battle Royale to Shishio, a heartless dictator who laughed menacingly when he hanged the companions of Hajime Saito at the start of the film.

If the fight scenes in the first film were top notch, fight scenes here were perfection – if ever there’s such a thing. Here, we can also see the other characters in action like Kaoro, Yahiko, Misao and the rest of the Onibawanshou group and Soujiro Seta.

Audiences will also see Japanese-Filipino actress Maryjun Takahashi as Shishio’s lover Yumi.

However, there are some scenes that deviated from the original Manga series especially the part about Aoshi Shinomori whose appearance was like a lost piece in an otherwise perfect movie.

As for the girls, our favorite “firefly scene” in the animation was omitted in this movie. But do not fret because there are other parts that will still make you swoon.

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Knowing that there will be a second installment, audiences will know what to expect.

Kenshin’s fiercest battle will unfold in “The Legend Falls.”

The fast-action film by Warner Bros. Japan begins its regular run in the country on August 20 while The Legend Falls will open on September 24.

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TAGS: Entertainment, movie, Movie Review, Rurouni Kenshin
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