Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rurouni Kenshin - TV Series Volume Three|
Actors: Mari Devon, Richard Cansino, Dorothy Elias-Fahn, Lex Lang, Wendee Lee
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
After the epic of Kyoto, Kenshin and his group settle back into their usual cycle of adventures. Old friends like Yutaro and Misao make appearances, as do villians like Shogo Amakusa, a rogue warrior who fights with the s... more »
Not what was meant to be...
Matthew Cook | Darlington, SC USA | 08/16/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Jumping from the second season's brilliant Kyoto arc to the filler episodes of season 3 will likely seem a bit jarring to most viewers: near the end of the Kyoto arc you see Kenshin standing over the grave of someone from his past that he claims to have slain with his own sword, effectively setting up what was supposed to happen next; however, the third season completely ignores this and moves on to an increasingly inane group of stories.
The reason for this is that the next story arc in the manga was still being written at that point, so these filler episodes were created during the waiting process and became an entire season. Unfortunately, the Jinchuu (or Revenge) arc that was supposed to be season 3 never came to fruition as the episodes in this box set received such poor ratings that the show was pulled. This is especially sad considering numerous online testimonials point to the Jinchuu arc being the best of them all-- no small feat considering its predecessor.
This review is not supposed to be a lament of what could have been. As it stands, this is what we got with regards to the regular anime ending for Kenshin-- disregarding the OVAs that attempt to summarize the Jinchuu arc-- and this is what must be reviewed.
Considered completely out of context of the show, this set might be considered alright. In fact, I found some enjoyment out of quite a few of the episodes. For instance, despite being a bit plodding, the Christian rebellion storyline (the first of four major ones) is pretty enjoyable at the better moments. The two that follow aren't bad, but they aren't great either. To be honest, the only storyline in the group that I found to be utterly garbage was the last one, which involves Feng Shui-- also known as the Geomancer storyline. This group of episodes is so out of character for the entire series that it can hardly be watched without feeling a bit of disgust.
While I found a little enjoyment in it, should you come into this season expecting another Kyoto-like execution, you'll be severely disappointed. This stuff was never written by the original author of the manga and feels very much out of place at times, especially during the last two storylines. Furthermore, the ending leaves very much to be desired: it feels like a big letdown after the buildup over the entire series, which is all I'll say regarding it in this review.
So, basically, it comes down to this: if you are a completionist, go ahead and get this one (as you will anyway :p), but keep in mind that it nowhere near lives up to the rest of the series. Beyond that, if you are able to suspend your disbelief pretty well, you can possibly find some enjoyment from this season as I did. Otherwise, it's probably best to stay away and consider the anime complete at the end of the Kyoto arc.
If you want the complete story as it was supposed to happen, then read the manga-- I believe books 19-28. In lieu of that, you can watch the three Samurai X OVAs: Trust, Betrayal, and Reflection. The first two summarize the portion of the manga that deals with Kenshin's Battosai days, while the latter includes some of the Jinchuu arc as part of an overall flashback on the series from Kaoru's view. Note, however, that the OVAs are brief in their treatment of the final storyline, and they also trade the goofball tone of the series for a very serious and almost depressing atmosphere."