Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Samurai X - Reflection - Director's Cut |
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Anime & Manga, Animation
Rurouni Kenshin is a wanderer, a lost soul, cursed to seek atonement for his life in the bloody trade of the samurai, known throughout all Japan as the Hitokiri Battousai (sword-bearing master assassin). The peacetime aft... more »
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"The last of life, for which the first was made"
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 05/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 'Samurai X' OVA's stand separate from the body of the Rurouni Kenshin series in that the subject is the events preceding and following the television stories. While the contain a commonality in characters and are the go further in the direction of presenting more of the motivations that lie behind master assassin Kenshin Himura's decisions and provide us with closure on the story of a life full of regret and the quest for atonement.All of the OVA's, 'Reflections' included, lack the comic relief of the TV series. In that sense they are an acknowledgement of Kenshin's contribution, and the ongoing price he would have to pay for being a murderer. In 'Reflections,' Kenshin seeks the ability to be at peace again. And Kaoru, the loyal wife of his later years wants desperately to be as important a part of his life as his first love, Tomoe, who sacrificed her life at his hands so that he could go on to fight the Shogun.The pressures of their lives drive them apart on more time, as Kenshin travels to China to help the living. But the real story is the retelling of their relationship and it's themes in carefully interwoven flashbacks. The threads of destiny and duty wind tighter and tighter as the drama, reminiscent of Greek tragedy as well as Noh plays, comes to its bittersweet conclusion.It is almost unfortunate that 'The Cross-shaped Wound' (the last episode of the previous OVA volume) reached such a high standard of artistry. 'Reflections' is wonderful, beautifully written, illustrated and scored, but it lacks the utter magic of its predecessor. I can't fault it though, it is the difference between excellent and perfection, and I am delighted to have experienced both in the same series.Part of the stories charm is the maturing of not just Kenshin and Kaoru, but many of the supporting cast. Yahiko Myojin, a loyal friend, is a story unto himself, and several villains also make surprising developments. All of this gives the story a compelling multi-dimensionality that is infinitely satifying.Because Rurouni Kenshin is a historical romance surrounding real events, as well as a story with deep samurai roots, it appeals to a broad audience. In a sense, it stands at the apex of the use of anime as classical Japanese drama. Thus, it is worth seeking out for many reasons, illuminating and uplifting as well as entertaining. Above all, it will become an unforgettable memory."
Reflecting on "Reflection"
reedekullervo | Edina, MN United States | 04/17/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most disturbing images in the new Kenshin OVA Reflection, is to see Kenshin failing in the grip of some sort of disease. This illness however, is a reflection of two distinct things: in the story presented here, Kenshin is not afflicted with some earthly disease such as leprosy or turberculosis. Megumi tells Kaoru that Kenshin is only a man, and that all of the fighting he has done will eventually take its toll. Kenshin also talks about having given up his sword and suffering in a different way to continue atoning for his past - and that is what I believe causes his illness. The lesions are an outer reflection of his inner turmoil and guilt, feelings that his once strong body can no longer supress. Kaoru doesn't contract it because it's communicable, but rather because her soul is so bound up in Kenshin's that she shares all of his pain, spiritual as well as physical. She willing shares his burden out of her great love for him.The story of Reflection takes a beloved character and reflects a flawed understanding of just who Kenshin was and what his story was about. His essential nature has always been that of a deeply scarred man attempting to atone for his past. He has always suffered and felt guilt for the killing he has done, yet he is also the wanderer who has cared for many people. A man who never abandoned his principles such that his very example has helped other unhappy and guilty souls find peace and purpose (i.e. Megumi, Sano, Saitou, Aoshi, even some of Shishio's Juppengatana). To believe that this man would, after all his been through - even after making his peace with Enishi - STILL be wandering around Japan, abandoning Kaoru and their son, is just unbelievable. The whole point of the story as I understand it is that Kenshin finally finds a home with Karoru at the Kamiya dojo since it was a place where he was accepted for both his past and present selves. He has found peace by defeating (or accepting) his past demons in the form of Shishio, and ultimately Enishi. Not only did Kenshin find rest from his wandering, but also a chance at happiness. The corruption of Kenshin's body is simply a reflection of how corrupt the story of Reflection ultimately is.It's hard as a Kenshin fan to accept that this is the latest, and presumeably last, installment in Kenshin's story. I believe that while there are some minor good things - such as seeing Kenji (his fight with Yahiko was the highpoint of the story) and finally getting to see Enishi's arc (if only briefly) were minor pleasures in what is ultimately a bittersweet ending. I believe that the original name, Year of Frost, was well very chosen. This is the melancholy version of how Kenshin's story might have turned out if things had been different. I personally prefer the story where Kenshin not only finds peace and forgiveness for himself, but happiness too."
Bittersweet & sad ending to a wonderful series....
Cristine | Seattle, WA United States | 07/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Reflection' is a fitting title to the last chapter of the life of our favorite wandering swordsman, Kenshin Himura.Ruroni Kenshin is my FAVORITE anime/manga of all and while this OVA is one of the saddest movie I've seen, anime or live-action, I feel it's an appropriate ending to the series.Gorgeously animated, it's identical in style and spirit to the first OVAs Trust & Betrayal. While the first OVAs had dark and somber colors, 'Reflection' is full of bright and vivid colors that's mesmerizing to watch. Unlike the TV show & first OVAs, this story (goes beyond the manga) is told from Kaoru's point of view, from when she first meets Kenshin to their life together 15-18 years later. You get to see Yahiko, Sano, Megumi, even Hiko once again and meet Kenji, Kenshin & Kaoru's son (the manga only shows him as a toddler). You will see reenactments of familiar battles in the TV show, but the animation here is far superior, the battle in the moonlight with Jinei and the Jinchuu battle with Enishi are just AWESOME!The instrumental sountrack is haunting and beautiful, composed by Taku Iwasaki who also did Trust & Betrayal. Buy this if you are true Kenshin fan and have an open heart and mind."
This is not how it's supposed to be.
J. Lim | 02/24/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you like the first OVA, you may well like this OVA. However! If you are a fan of the TV show, I can't in good conscience recommend it. The problem with this OVA is that it deviates from the manga, in a bad way. The first OVA was faithful to the manga, although overall I think it was darker and more realistic. THIS OVA, however, rewrites important points in the plot of the earlier parts of the manga (which were animated in the TV series) so that it can be more depressing and make Kenshin ... sad! Also, the end of Kenshin's battle with Enishi is completely, completely different from how it happened in the manga. In a bad way! This OVA depicts what would happen if Kenshin hadn't undergone any character development in the Kyoto plot arc, and still had the same attitude as in the pirate arc at the end of season one. And it's nothing good. If you like the first OVA but do not like the TV series, go ahead and buy it. If you can't stand to miss something with "Kenshin" in the title, go ahead, but prepare to be really depressed, and if you are familiar with the manga version of the Enishi plot arc, really annoyed with the OVA-making people. And if you like Kenshin and thus do not want to see him suffer like this, trust me, this does not happen in the manga, and it isn't compatible with events depicted in the TV series (which is truer to the manga); take solace in that."