Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Samurai X - OVA Collection|
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Trust — The four-episode Samurai X: Trust original animation video captures the mixture of swordplay and poetry that makes Japanese warrior culture so intriguing to viewers on both sides of the Pacific. The OAV series serve... more »
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Beautiful and Stunning
ElvenArcher | 08/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, this OVA series is very different than the TV series. It's much more serious, bloody, poetic, and the art is very different. Don't expect to see any of Kenshin's silliness and "oro!" remarks here. Don't worry--you still have the voice actors from the TV series in Japanese.
Since there have already been plot reviews, I'm not going to go over that again. In my opinion, I found the plot for all 3 OVAs to be brilliant.
In Trust and Betrayal, you get to find out more about Kenshin's past as a Hitokiri and how he got his cross-chaped scar. These 2 OVAs were my favorite. The music was breathtaking and wonderful, as was the animation, although I preferred the TV series' style. There's also a lot of symbolism going on--the crosses in the graveyard and Kenshin's scar, the white plum, etc. The sheer beauty of these OVAs can also be seen in several scenes such as the part in Trust where Kenshin is attacked by an assassin as Tomoe is walking down the street. That whole sequence with the "bloody rain" is silently powerful and very memorable. The ending of Betrayal was very moving as well as Kenshin is out helping in battles while the wonderful music score is playing in the background.
Reflection takes the viewer 15 years after the TV series. All the characters have obviously aged, especially Kenshin. This OVA consists of many flashbacks to the events in the TV series. For those of you who haven't seen the TV series, some of these flashbacks may not make too much sense. If you're familiar with the happy, funny Kenshin from the manga or TV series, you'll be surprised at this. The characters, although they have matured, seem to have undergone extreme personality reconditioning. For some viewers, it might be horrible to see the characters like this. Kenshin is all depressed and guilty, and he's also rather selfish in a way. While doing the generous act of helping the world, Kenshin is simultaneously selfishly leaving Kaoru to wait for him to return home. Sanosuke, who is supposed to always be with Kenshin, lets Kenshin leave on the ship alone in his weak state. The real Sano wouldn't do that. With that aside, Reflection is a very moving conclusion to Samurai X that brought me to tears several times. The scene where Sano tosses the fish to Kenshin was an especially memorable scene that shows just how much Kenshin has aged from being a strong swordsman to his present state. The saddest part was the end, of course. The way that it was set up, plus the amazing music, help make it even more powerful.
Now that I'm done rambling about why I like the OVAs, I'll point out a couple of things I didn't like:
-The English dub wasn't too good. PLEASE watch it in Japanese with subtitles!
-There's a couple scenes where "real life" shots were put in. (Real water, real trees, real fire, etc) They were a little awkward and made me chuckle.
-Kenshin doesn't really use breathtaking sword techniques. You just see him slashing a lot.
-The extras and special features weren't all that special
And I'll sum up the good parts:
-One of the BEST musical scores I have heard in my life--ranging from exciting percussion rythmns to sad, moving, and beautiful pieces. (There are 2 scores to this--one for Trust and Betrayal, and another for Reflection)
-Beautiful--art, story, the way it was told.
Yeah, that's about it. I think that any Kenshin fan should give these OVAs a try after watching the TV series. If you can't seem to keep your attention in movies or anime, you might want to skip this one. It's not one of those edge-of-your-seat presentations. This movie really makes you think. Oh, and younger people shouldn't see this. Trust is a little gory, the OVAs in general might be too hard to understand, and all the poetic beauty and symbolism might be overlooked."
A serious perspective for Rurouni Kenshin fans.
In Search Of... | Somerset, NJ United States | 02/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This OVA set focuses on the serious and melancholic side to the Rurouni Kenshin universe. It's a wonderful compliment to the more light-hearted TV series. After seeing the TV series, I highly recommend watching this OVA.
The TV series masterfully balances humor and drama while leaving the fans with a feeling of happiness. The OVA on the other hand, focuses on the internal struggle of Kenshin Himura as he learns the way of the Hiten Mitsurugi style and becomes the feared Hitokiri Battousai. It certainly shows the viciousness of Kenshin in the graphic violence in the anime. It definitely has a mature theme. The action sequences were much more fierce and unforgiving as the acts of the manslayer were depicted. I was shocked at some of the gruesome deaths of the people.
There was also a constant atmosphere of sadness throughout the anime. The music was beautiful with a very sad overtone. I was surprised at how moving the story was as the history of his distinctive cross-shaped scar was revealed. His heart could not cope with the trials and tribulations as he continually tried to attone for his past actions.
This OVA is a masterpiece and I highly recommend it. However, I must admit that I was left with a very somber feeling after finishing it. I was very touched with the characters and storytelling, especially with the flashbacks. Even if you have not seen the TV series, I highly recommend this boxed set. However, I would not recommend this for younger kids as the nature of the violence and melancholic tone may not hold their attention.
A good presentation for a good product.
Rob O | AR United States | 08/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of people have written reviews about this OVA series in general, but no one's really addressed this specific packaging of it: specifically, it's a three-disc set with the original four-episode series, "Trust" and "Betrayal" (Tsukioku hen, I think, was the Japanese title) on two discs, and the third disc with the new OVA episodes, "Reflection" ("Seisou Hen").
The discs themselves include a fair amount of extras: there could be more, but then again they could have opted for none.
Personally, I like having the discs arranged in this format. Back in 2000 I bought the original videotapes when they came out. I bought "Trust" at least two or three months (or more) before "Betrayal" and perhaps because of that I've felt that it's best to watch the two halves separately and give the contents some time to "digest" if you will. If you haven't seen it before, trust me, watch the first one one night and the next one the following night. Then watch them both back-to-back the third, and you'll see that these really feel better when they have some breathing space. Of course, that's my opinion.
"Reflection" is a difficult matter. The first series is a good stand-alone, even if you're not familiar with the Kenshin series or otherwise have no interest in it (I know a lot of people who can't *stand* the show because of the cuteness factor, but love the OVA). "Reflection" is kind of dependant on one's knowledge of not only the show, but the manga to some extent as well (at least, if you're not aware that the third story arc of the manga is the "Jinchuu" arc and that Enishii comes back, it might be a little mystifying). It's not an "independant" film, it's more of a completion to the Kenshin franchise. However, that's not to steer you away from it, actually, I think it's a fantastic story, and having been into Kenshin for about four years now, it brings it all full circle quite well. But if you have little or no familiarity with the Kenshin series in general, a little research into the characters and events of the series would probably help out a lot.
If you don't have ANY Samurai X stuff (and I'm ignoring "The Motion Picture") my advice is that this is an excellent way to start. Essentially, you get everything, and having read a little on the "Trust" and "Betrayal" Director's Cut, you're not missing out on anything versus other packages. For me, it was a good way to replace my old VHS tapes, but for new fans, it's a good way to get everything in one package without having to spend too much money."
More Serious than the Series
Dest | USA | 01/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rurouni Kenshin, the TV series, is a somewhat light-hearted tale about an ex-assassin resigned to never kill again. I was honestly not a huge fan of the series, but i would rate this OVA as one of the great pieces of animation ever. It takes place during the Meiji revolution- the time when Kenshin was an assassin-a killer. Samurai X is significantly more somber than the television series. The animation is more detailed and realistic; the musical score is more refined; the story is more contemplative. This is a deep OVA that will leave you feeling for the characters. It mixes an outstanding plot with cool writing and poetic voilence. There is really no clear cut line of right and wrong, everyone has his/her own motivations. Resolve, regret, courage, love, doubt, determination, sacrafice, honor, purpose, anguish... this is a great story filled will all these, and more."