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Rurouni Kenshin (Movie): Personal Review

Updated on January 18, 2014


What is a samurai?

The word "samurai" was originally taken from the archaic Japanese verb "samurai," which means "to serve."

Therefore, a samurai was a servant of a lord. It appeared that samurai warriors were contented to follow their masters to achieve their cause and they usually use their skills and competencies to the missions that were assigned to them. And they also obeyed the set of rules, which were called as bushidō. The term "bushidō" referred to the way of the warrior.

Although the samurai appeared to be military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.

The samurai warriors have already captured the world's imagination. Their endless tales often contained many lessons and code of conduct. And the "Rurouni Kenshin" film is all about the adventures and misadventures of a reformed samurai named Kenshin Himura.

When I found out that this 2012 Japanese film adaptation of the cartoon that I have been watching before, I thought this was amazing film. It was because it was not difficult for me to imagine what was the past of Kenshin Himura would be.

Who inspired the creation of the lead character?

Although Kenshin Himura was only a Japanese fictional character during the Meiji period, Nobuhiro Watsuki found the story of a Kawakami Gensai, who was a manslayer executed by Meiji government. Mr. Watsuki, who is the creator of Rurouni Kenshin series, decided to make a title character based on Mr. Gensai after learning that the manslayer kept his duty to his departed friends.

Who inspired Kenshin's skills?

Mr. Watsuki derived most of Kenshin's fighting skills from Matsubayashi Henyasai, who was a genuine swordsman and skilled in acrobatic techniques during Tokugawa period.

Kenshin's fighting style

Kenshin was known for his Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū (Flying Heaven Govern Sword-Style). It was an ancient kenjutsu (Art of the Sword) style that was improved to allow a single samurai to defeat numerous foes single-handedly.


The film concentrated on the life of a wanderer named Kenshin, who served a famous assassin that participated in Bakumatsu war. When the war was over, he started to wander the countryside of Japan and reached out to those people in need as amendment for his past deeds. When he was a wandering samurai, he met and helped Kaoru Kamiya, who was instructor of a kendo school. Their relationship continued to unfold but Kenshin was still bothered by his violent past. He still fight with his reverse-blade sword when he tried to save Takani Megumi and Kaoru Kamiya from the ruthless businessman and his men. What happen next is for you to find out.


Character's Name
Name of Actor/Female Actor
Himura Kenshin
Takeru Satoh
a former assassin turned wanderer
Kamiya Kaoru
Emi Takei
the owner of a Kendo school
Sagara Sanosuke
Munetaka Aoki
a street fighter, who later became a friend of Kenshin
Takani Megumi
Yu Aoi
one of Kanryū's forced makers of a substance
Yahiko Myojin
Taketo Tanaka
a stuent of Kaoru's dojo
Saitō Hajime
Yosuke Eguchi
a former member of the Shinsengumi/police officer
Takeda Kanryū
Teruyuki Kagawa
a ruthless businessman
Udō Jin-e
Koji Kikkawa
one of Kanryū's men
Gou Ayano
one of Kanryū's men
Inui Banjin
Genki Sudo
one of Kanryū's men
List of the Characters In Rurouni Kenshin film

Few Trivia About The Film

* The film was first live-action based on a manga created by Nobuhiro Watsuki.

* There are rumors, which suggested that a live action adaptation of the manga before it was announced.

* Takeru Satoh, who played the role Kenshin, got the looks and stature of the proper manga character. He thought fascinating acting is needed to play for the popular role.

* The fictional character Saitō Hajime shared a name with real samurai warrior of the late Edo period. But the artist Watsuki changed the character to a different level than the real historical figure because Saitō got a greater role in the story compared to other characters.

Pros: Incredible fighting scenes. Good story. Good soundtrack.

Cons: I like the fighting scene in the anime compared to the film

The Bottom Line: If you want to know more details about the adventure of a samurai warrior, then Rurouni Kenshin is the right film for you.

What's Good About It?

Incredible fighting scenes: Kenshin and other characters had a lot of fighting scenes. I like the fighting scene between Kenshin and Sanosuke, which was incredible. Although the wandering samurai showed that he was not interested with money and violence, he still managed to fight with the street fighter. In the film, the fighting stunts are defensive so it did not appear to be violent.

Good story: The story behind the characters could teach you the importance of acceptance, amendment and starting a new life. Kenshin regretted his life as an assassin and renewed his life by saving and protecting other people.

Additional Details: It is a good story because there are a lot of mysteries behind the characters especially Kenshin that unfold in the scenes:

*The X scar mark in Kenshin cheek: one line was made by a samurai that he killed and the other one from the wife of the person he killed.

* First encounter of Kenshin with Sanosuke, Jinei, and Saitou.

* Kenshin and Saitou met in the prison in the film while they met in the Kamiya dojo in the anime

* I realized the one of the Kanryū's men, who wore the mask, had a lot of scars on the face.

Good soundtrack: The theme songs of Rurouni Kenshin sound really good. I like the song entitled "The Beginning" by One Ok Rock. It also has an acoustic version, which I like it better than the original version.

What About the Bad Stuff?

Fighting scenes: I like the fighting scene in the anime compared to the film. When I watch the film, the fighting was good but I like the anime version, which seems anything is possible. It was nice to see that the actor do the stunts but I like the lighting speed of the anime character.

The characters look different in the film compared to anime. I thought Kenshin's hair and kimono will be bright red. Although the actor Yosuke Eguchi had good looks, I also expect that his character Saitō Hajime will be lean and fit like the anime character.

Final Recommendation:

If you are the Rurouni Kenshin fan, then this 2012 Japanese film adaptation of the cartoon is just for you. If you are not, you should not miss this film. It is because you could understand the story on how Kenshin met other characters even though you are not familiar of the whole episodes of the cartoon series.

If you are a truly anime fan or a person who loves film adaptation of mangas, certainly you should not hesitate to watch Rurouni Kenshin 2012 fin. I could not wait to watch for the sequel, which was renamed "The Samurai Warrior" (Guerrero Samurái).


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