Rurouni Kenshin Vol. #06: Flames of Revolution - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Rurouni Kenshin (aka Samurai X)

Rurouni Kenshin Vol. #06: Flames of Revolution

By Chris Beveridge     May 01, 2001
Release Date: May 01, 2001


Rurouni Kenshin Vol. #06: Flames of Revolution
© Media Blasters


What They Say
During his stay in Tokyo, Kenshin Himura has made many life-long friends, but none are closer to him than Sanosuke Sagara, a former member of the Sekihoutai. However, for every man there are duties and ideals which run deeper than any friendship, no matter how strong. When a fellow survivor from the Sekihoutai hatches a plan to avenge their slain comrades, Sanosuke is drawn back into his past. Kenshin has relentlessly defeated all those who have stood in the way of peace before, but this time his opponent is a comrade fighting for personal ideals and the memory of those he loved. Best friends turn to bitter enemies as Kenshin and Sanosuke face off on a moonlit battlefield. Episodes 23-27.

The Review!
The Flames of the Revolution brings two small arcs into play, bringing the lighter side of Kenshin into the darker and fan favorite section of the series, the Kyoto arc. But to dismiss what comes before is to dismiss the present life of Kenshin.

Audio:
We listened to the Japanese track for our primary review and had quite the good experience with it. The music comes across really great with some nice separation on the left and right speakers. Dialogue throughout the episodes was solid with some directionality here and there and no dropouts or distortions. The English track was spot checked afterwards and sounded pretty solid with no hollow sound attached to it.

Video:
The opening sequences here are definitely improved over the last volume, which is nice to see. The show itself continues to look pretty good. The usual suspects are here for the minor issues of rainbows through many of the characters (and making some of the swords look like they belong to the Rainbow Brite brigade) and some line noise during some of the camera panning sequences. The dark blue night skies fare a bit better than some other series, but there's still some noticeable artifacting going on there.

Packaging:
The front cover provides a nice mixture of images of the main characters dealt with the early part of the show. The color style used for it works well with the somber material. The back cover provides some original artwork (which would have made a nice cover for this volume too) as well as some animation shots. The episode summaries are broken down for the two arcs included in here which is a neat way of doing it. The insert provided lists the chapter stops for the first four episodes (episode five must not be worthy) and the disc is silkscreened with a piece of the cover art.

Menus:
The menus are pretty straightforward with the episodes available right from the main menu and the various selections below it. Navigation was problem free and access times were pretty decent.

Extras:
The extras included this time around are pretty nice though fairly minimal after the last couple of volumes. The dub outtakes section has a couple of nice laughs for the two minutes worth that are here (maybe the actors had less problems this time around?) and the image gallery has three nice pictures, including the one mentioned on the back cover earlier. The liner notes, something I always look forward to, only has one entry this time.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the five episodes on this disc, things work out nicely to bring everything to a fairly decent conclusion in the two arcs that are hear. The first arc deals with Sanosuke and his past in the Sekihoutai coming back to haunt him.

Sano finds himself torn with his past as an assistant in the Sekihoutai. Ten years ago when the group was tricked and turned on by the army, only Sano and his other young friend Tsukioka. Tsukioka has apparently spent the last ten years honing his anger and betrayal and has built up a massive inventory of bombs and weapons with which to destroy all of the Imperialist governments buildings in a hope to fan the flames of revolution among the common citizens and the samurai.

Tsukioka claims he hasn't done anything yet, but suspicion falls upon him when another group of people is further destroying the Sekihoutai name by committing robberies and killing those who get in their way. Sano takes a strong interest in this and ends up having to make a choice between returning to his past and giving up how good his life has become or turning his back on his friend who had saved his life previously. Sano has a couple of very good episodes here.

The second arc gives Kenshin a chance to hit the high seas! After Kenshin, Yahiko and Sano are berated for basically doing nothing all day but relaxing in the sun and eating by Kaoru, the three men decide to head out into the street and take cover. They come across a man that's recruiting mercenaries to spend 10 days at sea to fight pirates when the ship gets attacked, as all of its sister ships have been attacked.

Sounds like the perfect place to be away from Kaoru and make some good money!

When finally out at sea, things don't go too good as Yahiko and Sano let their stomachs loose upon the sea and they find out that Kaoru's there as well trying to earn some extra money to make them a really good meal with. This reunion proves to be pretty amusing, and it gives the whole group something to focus on.

The episodes then focus on the pirates that are attacking the ships, which is led by the mysterious Shura who appears to be undefeatable. She holds this record until she meets up against Kenshin and he manages to defeat her even after being shot with a poison dart. Shura decides to cut their losses (which are actually victories since they managed to raid the ship) and head off to their secure island. One of the henchman grabs Kaoru, but Kenshin offers himself in exchange.

This leads to a series of encounters on the island between Kenshin and Shura, whose now fighting off a coup among her henchmen. It's a fairly predictable set of episodes with several things feeling reminicent of episodes we'd seen recently in this series. Through it all, we just get reinforced as to just what kind of person Kenshin really is and what he stands for.

Kenshin's now at the point where the episodes, while interesting, aren't at the point where you'd expect to be after 27 episodes. Thankfully new things are around the corner for longer stories and more intricate storytelling, but if I hadn't known that from the start, I don't know that I'd still be buying at times.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Dub Outtakes,Art Gallery,Liner Notes

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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