Rurouni Kenshin Vol. #06: Flames of Revolution (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, May 01, 2001
This is the last disc before the Kyoto arc, and this disc leaves me drooling in anticipation.
Two mini-arcs on this disc. The first arc is the last manga-based arc before Kyoto, which deals with Sanosuke discovering a long-lost friend from the Sekihoutai making a reappearance in his life. This person, Katsuhiro Tsunan (going by the pseudonym "Tsukioka Tsunan"), has been spending the past ten years vowing revenge for the Sekihoutai, much like Sano when he first appeared. However, he's been building bombs since the dissolution of the Sekihoutai, and he's ready to blow up every major Imperialist government building he can. Sanosuke, torn between his past life as a Sekihoutai member and his present one as Kenshin's friend, finally decides to join Katsu after taking revenge on the general who destroyed the Sekihoutai in the first place. Now it's up to Kenshin to stop his friend from taking more innocent lives in the name of justice, no matter how true the justice may be.
The second arc, spanning three episodes, deals with Kenshin, Sano, and Yahiko signing up as guards for a cruise ship when pirates attack--and they discover, too late, that Kaoru had also signed up. The pirates, led by the noble Shura (the daughter of the previous leader), assault the ship and, in the end, take Kenshin as hostage (after a drugged Kenshin defeats the thought-to-be-undefeatable Shura). It turns out that the pirates are ready to rebel against her, and want to break into the opium business. Kenshin has to help Shura against the pirates without his sword and without his friends...will he be able to pull it off? (Okay, it's not WILL he be able to, it's HOW he'll do it.)
(Note: Primary listening track is Japanese.)
The good: Crystal clear Japanese track--no errors on it this time around. For the most part, the primary and main arc-based characters in the English dub do a good job with their parts, BUT...
The bad: There's still a few problems with the English acting, with a couple of awkward pauses trying to fit with the mouth movements. And I still think saying "slay him" is a bit strange sounding, even if I haven't mentioned it before. Some of the secondary actors are awful, but luckily the largest offender gets cut down after his line. ^_^
The ugly: Why does a character who communicate in nothing but grunts need a dub actor? ^_^;
The good: Clean transfer! No noticeable artifacting, no rainbowing from what I can tell. This is a prime example of an excellent transfer.
The bad: I had my word about the overlays in reviews of previous discs, and I'll stick with it here. Please, the alternate angle function is there for a reason. ^_^;
The ugly: The layer change pause is noticeable this time around, smack dab in the middle of an episode. Maybe consider putting them in between episodes, or between Part A and Part B?
The good: Cover's looking good, looking good. A picture of Captain Sagara and Kenshin behind Sanosuke and Katsu, who are back to back. The insert has the volume title ("The Flames of Revolution") running across the top, like the last volume.
The bad: Oddly enough, the insert only contains listings for four episodes. There are still romanization inconsistencies between the back cover and the subtitles ("Shuura" on the cover, "Shura" in the subs, for example).
The ugly: "Earthain" is still misspelled. Hope they change that by next disc. And speaking of disc, the disc itself is labeled "Flames of the Revolution," which...well, it's got a different meaning than "The Flames of Revolution." ^_^;
The good: Same menus as last disc--quick, practical, reliable.
The bad: Same menus as last disc--lack of frills, though the music is nice. I hope they change the menus next disc. Maybe add some animation or something. ^_^;
The ugly: They misspelled MKR as "Rayerth" again. ^_^;
The good: Whee! Outtakes! Art gallery! Easter egg with the Kyoto trailer inside it!
The bad: Only one liner note, but that's justified by the fact that there wasn't much that needed to be translated in these episodes.
The ugly: I'm wondering about where Character Profiles went. There're a few recurring roles that could probably be covered (Tae, Tsubame, etc.). I guess there'll be a few of them come next disc, since more major players are about to enter. Maybe, when there aren't too many cultural notes to translate, MB can do a list of move translations. I'm sure there're people out there wondering what "Ryu Tsui Sen" means, since it's a popular move.
Overall: The transfer is clean and well done--but I'd strongly suggest a copy editor to clear up the inconsistencies between packaging and content, as well as general proofreading.
Dell Dimension XPS/350 w/RealMagic Hollywood Plus decoder, TBS Montego and Sennheiser HD470 headphones
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A/B
Video Rating: A-/A
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B-/B
Extras Rating: A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Media Blasters
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Rurouni Kenshin (aka Samurai X)