Samurai X Movie (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: -
What They Say
For a decade, he’s tried to bury his past… Now his past returns to bury him!
A decade ago, the deadliest assassin of the Meiji Revolution swore that he had killed for the last time. Peace doesn’t last, however, and as the flames of revolution rise once again, Kenshin must take up his blunted sword to protect the innocent. Will he save the Meiji government that so many died to establish, and his newfound friends, from their own mistakes? Or will he fall victim to his bloody past, slain by demons of his own creation?
Samurai X: The motion picture receives an Australian PAL release and while dodging some of the controversy of the US release, reversible cover is standard, it stirs up some of the same problems.
Primarily viewers jumping from OAV to movie without seeing the series and complaining about ‘wussy’ Kenshin not killing, made worse by the fact that Madman Entertainment (pretty much the lone anime distributor in Australia) has no plans to release the TV series over here in the foreseeable future.
In many ways the movie does serve as an okay introduction to the basics of the series, Kenshin attempting to atone for the blood he spilt in his past while not spilling any more, even if it does skip over all the character background. Not quite as beautiful as the OAV, the animation is still quite good.
Though a movie, both English and Japanese tracks are just stock stereo sound. While both are technically sound, I can not in good faith recommend the horrid English dub that ruins the tone of the film, especially the final fight scene.
The motion picture uses an animated main menu, as opposed to the static Samurai X Trust/Betrayal menus. Personally I despise the use of the Samurai X name or dub, and wasn’t to happy to hear dub Kenshin grunting in combat on the main menu. In an Easter egg like touch, you can access the local authoring credit for the disc by clicking on the Kenshin silhouette in Samurai X on the main menu. Nice one Madman Interactive ^_^
The scene selection has the nice touch of character faces for chapter spots, it also sees some use as you can only skip backwards is via this screen, the remotes locked out. Extras consist of the quite good Samruai X Trust/Betrayal trailer and the dubbed version of the passable Movie trailer.
The Samurai X cover has pensive, ready to strike Kenshin. The Rurouni Kenshin side has a decidedly pink toned yelling Kenshin running towards the viewer, sword drawn. It also looks rather bare, lacking all the author and production notes, license info and the MA 15+ classification symbol. Unlike the Trust/Betrayal cover, the Kenshin side just has Rurouni Kenshin on it’s lonesome, without telling us it’s the Movie. The case is the usual Madman choice of a transparent Brackley (think three button Armary) which has the side effect of showing off the ‘inside’ of the reversible cover when the case is open.
The movie begins with a flashback to Kenshin’s Battosai days, with Kenshin defeating a skilled swordsman, before jumping ahead fourteen years. On a day trip to Yokohama, Kenshin and friends witness Aizu Clan leader Takimi Shigure in action. As the main characters become more closely involved with Shigure, it becomes clear that he is planning a rebellion against the Meiji government. Things go pear shaped however, when traitors within consort to betray this new rebellion from the start and Shigure recognizes Kenshin’s technique as that used by the killer of his best friend Gentatsu fourteen years ago….
Apart from the sometimes repetitive re-playing of the flashback from the start of the film (from Kenshin’s point of view, from Shigure’s, from Shigure’s when concentrating on Kenshin’s moves….) this is pretty good movie. The quality isn’t quite as good as the beautiful OAV, but as one of just three Kenshin releases in Australia, it’s still a worthy purchase.
English Dolby 2.0 track,Japanese language Dolby 2.0 track,English subtitles,Original trailer,Samurai X Trust/Betrayal trailer,Local DVD credit
JNL-7001 DVD Player, Commodore 1802 PAL Color Monitor
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
MSRP: 29.95 AU
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Rurouni Kenshin (aka Samurai X)