"Ever since I first saw Rurouni Kenshin in fansubs 3-4 years ago, it has been my favorite anime series of all time, and to me, the Kyoto Arc is surely its pinnacle. I'm more interested in characterization than action, so I tend to dislike very combat-oriented animes, but the series of battles that resolves the Kyoto Arc is not only excellent action, but has such human interest behind it that it never fails to satisfy, even for a "chick flick" lover like me.And that's what fills this tape, with episodes 48-52.
48 finishes Sanosuke's battle with Anji (begun in 47 on the previous tape). We learn of the tragic past that turned Anji into the vengeful "Myouou," and those memories are what brings the fight to resolution.
49 is Saitou vs. Usui ("Battle of the Creepy Guys" as I like to say ^_~;) and does a great job of showcasing both of them.
50 and 51 are Kenshin's promised rematch with Shinomori Aoshi. Another reviewer complained of this fight being talky, and they have a point, but I actually like that about it; this fight with all that talk effectively brings Aoshi's character the resolution that's been pending since episode 11, and pushes Kenshin to his limits as well.
The end of 51 and all of 52 are devoted to the battle at Aoiya: Yahiko vs. Henya, Kaoru and Misao vs. Kamatari, and the Aoiya Oniwabanshu vs. Iwanbou. Yahiko, Misao, and Kamatari especially have wonderful moments in here. (I do want to point out a pun in the original Japanese; two words for "scythe" and "gay" are both pronounced "kama", so the realization about Kamatari was "So it's not a kama-onna (scythe girl), it's a kama-otoko (gay man)." I've seen fansubbers try to keep the pun with horrid results, so I respect Anime Works just bowing out of it.)
The tape ends with Kenshin headed toward his battle with Soujiro, and with the appearance at Aoiya of the Juppon Gatana's "secret weapon"---quite a cliffhanger!
This tape also begins the "It's Gonna Rain!" end theme, which I think is RK's best.Being used to some pretty lackluster fansubs, the picture quality of Anime Works' version, to me, was beautiful and refreshing, and despite some conspicuous "guest artist" episodes (notably 50), RK's art is always strong---notice especially the wonderfully varied lighting effects. The subtitling was good overall; the timing was perfect, but being an obsessed fan who knows a tiny smattering of Japanese, I did catch a few translation nits. For example, at the start of this tape (reiterating the end of ep 47), Sano tells Anji "It's too late to pray for me," when he actually said "it's still early", and the credits give Anji's surname as "Yukuyama" when it's actually "Yuukyuuzan", but after the first episode, I relaxed into it, and I don't think there are any translation problems to get worked up about.All in all, I think Anime Works did a good job, and although I wouldn't suggest this tape as someone's first taste of RK, being that it's right in the middle of the show's largest, most complex story, this one has my hearty recommendation!"
One Vengence Arc is Completed
M. E. Amoo | Silver Spring, MD United States | 11/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this long awaited set of episodes, Sano completes his fight with Anji, and Saito fights Usui, but the real drama comes from a suprise "vengence" fight between Kenshin and Aoshi. Aoshi swore to kill Kenshin (or be killed) way back in episode fifteen, and finally gets his chance to avenge the slaughtered members of his group. Kenshin, however, is restrained by a promise to bring Aoshi back to Misau. When Aoshi launches a "no holds barred" attack--can Kenshin defeat him without reverting back to Battousi the Man Slayer? Meanwhile, just to keep you on your toes, three members of the Juppengata turn up with 150 armed soldiers to take out Kauro, Yahito, and Misau... and grandpa cannot help them because of his previous fight with Aoshi! Will Kenshin's master arrive to save the day... or is all lost? This series of episodes is packed with suprises! It's a must!!!! (...)"
The promised fight must occur...and it shall occur now...
Trevor S. Howard | Buffalo, NY | 08/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"the first episode on this disc is the ending of Anji and Sanosuke's battle, Sanosuke shows that he has learned something from hanging around with Kenshin for so longthe second is Saito vs Usui, we get to see Saito's newest and most lethal variation of Gatotsu, the Zero shiki Gatotsuthe next two are Aoshi vs Kenshin, this is probubly the third best fight, though its mainly alot of talking, its got its good pointsthe last one is good, even though it was edited(do NOT watch it dubbed in english) and its more humorous than a serious fight....untill a guy named Fuji shows up....all in all its good, and is necessary to know whats gonig on next...get the next two dvds (innocence and experience, and fire requium) so you don't miss anything for a second..."
Aoshi v.s Kenshin Resumed... ! Very kewl DVD!
D. Eze | 10/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is by far a great DVD in the Kenshin Collection. After the fight with the Monk... Kenshin is running down Shisho's little thing to confront Aoshi. Aoshi and Kenshin fight a long waited fight ever since epsiode 15 when Aoshi swore to hunt kenshin down until he is dead. Aoshi bent on revenage is as good fighter as ever but Kenshin after beening trained the final skills and the ultimate attack is stronger too.. and 3 members of the 10 swords... I should say 4... but the 4 th dosen't attack until the next DVD... attack the Ayioa.. where the Gezzer and the others are.."
Tons of Battles!!
D. Eze | NJ United States | 11/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The continuation of Sano's fight with Anji isn't over. Just as we thought the big guy was KO'd, he's back and ready more than ever. However, this isn't the only fight in this DVD. We get to see Kaoru and Yahiko fight against the rest of Shishio's group. Kenshin fights against Aoshi in a bookroom and Saito fights against Usui, the blind guy. This DVD contains 5 episodes filled with great fights. You won't want to miss it!"