In every war there will come a single battle like no other. It is a battle with no rules, where unlikely allies fight side by side until none have the strength to stand. The stage has been lit with fire and hate as the fin... more »al players gather. Kenshin Himura, Sanosuke Sagara, Hajime Saito, Aoshi Shinomori, and Makoto Shishio remain. Between these five men, the future of the Meiji Era will be decided. Kenshin has come a long way since beginning the walk to Kyoto. However, if closure is not found to the tragic tale of the Battousai, he will never return home to Tokyo. The final battle has begun!« less
"Rurouni Kenshin's Kyoto Arc, my favorite story arc of my favorite anime series ever, comes to a close in this tape, and believe me, it's a satisfying ending, despite the fact that in my opinion, the final battle with Shishio is really not the best.This tape includes episodes 58-62.
58-60 complete the final battle with Shishio, begun in episode 57 (on the previous tape, Innocence and Experience). As I said, this fight is *not* my favorite. Both physically and mentally/philosophically, neither side will budge. It's altogether proper for Kenshin's powers of heart and persuasion not to sway Shishio himself, but since that's my favorite thing about RK's fight scenes, for me, this one lacks the emotional power of the previous fight with Soujiro. On the level of physical combat is where the problem is worst, however. Despite my love for RK and the Kyoto Arc in particular, I was half-tempted to give this tape four stars because about the first hour of it is just Kenshin and co. hammering ineffectually at a seemingly invincible foe; everyone uses all their flashy special techniques (almost all of them anyway), none of it really gets us anywhere, and some of Shishio's parries are frankly ludicrous. I lose patience with it all by the end of 58, but 59 was more of the same. Episode 60 at last gets to the meat of the fight, and this part really is quite good. Yumi steals the show, and this battle's resolution is unforgettable.
61 and 62 are the Kyoto Arc Epilogue, and when I said I was half-tempted to give this tape four stars, in the end I had to give it five because these denoument episodes are excellent. In 61 we find out the fates of Shishio and his followers, and in 62, Kenshin and his friends all reflect on their experience and return home. A very special goodbye in Kyoto and a very special welcome home in Tokyo complete this absolutely satisfying conclusion.These days I hear a lot of talk about "the true ending" of RK. Some may say it's the last volume of TV episodes (End Song), some say the new "Reflection" OVAs, some say it's only to be found in the manga. I understand those viewpoints, but for me, Fire Requiem is the true ending. I know that there were more episodes/OVAs/etc. and more great moments after this (which I don't want to turn you off from buying!), but to me, the tale that begins in the Trust and Betrayal OVAs is here beautifully brought all the way around to resolution.Of course you have to see everything prior to this tape to fully appreciate these episodes, but if you see RK up to and including Fire Requiem, I give you my word, you'll be glad you did!"
The Legend of Kyoto epic comes to a fiery conclusion
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 01/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season Two and the epic "Legend of Kyoto" story arc comes to an end on "Rurouni Kenshin: Fire Requiem," the fourteenth collection of episodes of the Japanese anime, as Kenshin Himura fights for the future of the Meiji era against Sishio: Episode 58, "The Age Chooses Shishio?: Kenshin's Greatest Crisis," finds Kenshin down and out, with Saitoh and Sano in not much better shape to face Makoto Shisio. But they go up against him nonetheless to stop Shisio's quest to rule Japan. Episode 59, "Not Out of Luck!: The Revival of a Fighting Spirit" finds that only Aoshi Shinomori, already weakened by his fight with Kenshin, is left to stand against Shisio. Meanwhile, Kenshin's thoughts on the edge of death turn to Ms. Kuro. Episode 60, "The Man Who is Chosen for Victory: Shishio Verus Kenshin, Finale" tells you from the start that all the death matches between Kenshin and Shishio are finally going to come to an end. Despite all of his evil deeds, Shishio saves the worst for last before meeting a most fitting fate. At this point in the series Beethoven's 13th Piano Sonata ("Midnight Blue") is introduced as a recurring music theme that is used to good effect throughout the rest of the season. Once again the villain has an Achilles heel that saves the day for our hero, but at least this time there was a physiological twist that had to do with how Shisio was so badly burned.Episode 61, "The Juppongatana who Remain: A Choice for Life" begins the two-part epilogue to the Kyoto storyline as Kenshin and the others are finally reunited and take time to heal before considering where their paths must go next. Episode 62, "Kyoto, the Engraved Memory: Begin with a Wish" finds Kenshin and his friends finally returning home to Kuro's dojo, but not before Kenshin makes a visit to a very special place. The characters might be back together again, but given everything that has happened they are changed, and we should see some interesting developments off of this in the third season of "Rurouni Kenshin" (to wit, Kenshin and Kuro might finally talk to each other about their feelings).
Extras on this DVD include the usual Liner Notes and a good sent of ad-libbed Outtakes, but this time there is also an Attack List that translates each of the attacks of Kenshin, Anji, Sanosuke, Saito, Misao, Aoshi, Shishio, Chou, Henya, Hannya, Raijuta, Jinei, Kamatari, Okina, Usui, and Yahiko. So now you can appreciate the difference between the Ryu-tsui-sen (Dragon Hammer Flash) and the Ryu-shou-sen (Dragon Fight Flash), and, of course, the Sou-ryu-sen (Twin Dragon Flash). There are also messages from the various characters that make for a nice touch at the end of Season Two."
Finally.....the fight is on
J. Lammy | Corona, CA | 01/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, I am going to try to give the reader the most insights I can without spoiling the surprises of this DVD.So far, the Legends of Kyoto series is the best. Well, it was great up until the end. Kenshin's fight with Shishio had to be the most drawn out fight ever. I love the anime series, but sometimes I just want to say "Finish already." I cannot beleive they used 3 episodes for the Kenshin vs. Shishio, Saito vs. Shishio, Sano vs. Shishio, and Aoshi vs. Shishio. Sure that sounds like a lot, but those fights lasted for not more than 5 minutes each. I was rather bored with most of the dialog because they are just reviewing what happened. If you've seen Samurai X: The Movie, you would understand what I am talking about on how they repeat scenes over and over again.Anyway, enough about my gripes. Other than those minor faults, I am happy with my purchase. It was nice for them to do a wrap-up episode to inform us of what happened to the surviving members of Shishio's crew, and it was pretty cool to know that Kenshin's master may be in future episodes. As cocky as he is, Hiko III is a rather entertaining character to watch."
The End of Kyoto
nu-chan | Detroit, MI USA | 01/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD Fire Requium is the last in the Kyoto series, and definately one of the best. The last five episodes, are truly remarkable, and not because of the climactic final showdown between Kenshin and Shishio. These last episodes deal with some of the deepest themes in the series, such as: Does winning a fight make the victor the one who was right in the end? and Do the the strong exist to protect the weak, or to use them as food? After the battle is over, it is then that the characters make the most important discoveries about themselves and each other. That is the real heart of it all. But, I have to admit, I totally loved the fight scenes too!"
A Rurouni's Finest Hour
Brendan L. Agnew | Nowheresville, OK, USA | 11/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Kyoto Arc is my personal favorite of all the Rurouni Kenshin storylines, be they manga or anime. It really goes deeper into Kenshin's past, his character, and the people who care for him than any other season in the series.Fire Requiem is where it all goes down. Not only does Kenshin have to face his replacement and nemesis, Makoto Shishio, but he must defeat him without reverting to the Hitokiri Battousai, the killer mentality that nearly stole his humanity during the Bakumatsu period. He is aided by allies and enemies alike, all drawm together against a common foe, and the final blows are certainly something to remember.Many consider this the end of the Ruouni Kenshin saga in any way shape or form. They are wrong, but this is a great end to a wonderful storyline, and the translation from manga to anime form couldn't have been better.The DVD package is made all the sweeter by a few gems in the extras (the cast REALLY had fun with the outtakes) and, of course, the spectacular Heart of Sword as the ending episode theme. No Kenshin collection should be without it."