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Rurouni Kenshin Movie
~ Ishin Shishi e no Requiem ~

"The sky should be bright and blue no matter how high" - Hitokiri Gentatsu


I was wondering why such a famous manga-anime like Rurouni Kenshin only has 1 movie? >_<. And hoping to see another RK movies now is in vain. Betsuni, I think the one and olnly RK movie is not pretty bad. Ishin Shishi e no Requiem's premiere in Japan is on December 20, 1997. I didn't watch it at the cinema, but still it's a cool movie. The story is new, not taken from the manga nor the anime, there are some new attractive characters (Shigure to Gentatsu wa Kawai yo ne! ^_^). As what I would say, your fanatism wouldn't be complete if you haven't watched the Movie ^^.

Hitokiri BattousaiKyoto, The Bakumatsu
Back to the age when Kenshin was Hitokiri Battousai in the Ishin Shishi, he was in a secret meeting with Katsura Kogorou, Saigou Takamori and Sakamoto Ryouma as the intermediary. It was then famous as the making of the Sacchou Doumei, the alliance of Satsuma and Choushuu han. Suddenly the Aizu troop led by Hitokiri Gentatsu broke in and tried to kill those 3 most valuable loyalists. But Kenshin knew it beforehand and then they both dealt in a very furious battle. Finally Kenshin killed hitokiri Gentatsu in the bamboo forest, hitokiri Gentatsu fell lifeless to the ground herewith the falling bamboo leaves.

Hitokiri GentatsuYokohama, Meiji Era
And back to the peaceful age of Meiji, Kenshin and friends had a journey to Yokohama by train, Sano was so excited and... hungry as always ^^. In such a coincidence, they saw group of barbarians (meaning western foreigners ^^) making chaos in the harbor. There they met Shigure Takimi who saved a sweet girl named Toki Takatsugi from those crazed sailors. When the barbarians' pal saw it, they want to shoot Shigure but Kenshin was too good to miss it, he jumped to the boat and BUMP!!! the sailor fell unconsciousness. But then a police troop came in, so Kenshin ran with Shigure, Kaoru and Yahiko ran with Toki, meanwhile Sano who felt irritated since Kenshin didn't give him a chance to join the fight, kicked some of those sailor's asses and ran innocently (a real man who loves to brawl, ne?!). On the early evening, Kenshin and friends returned back to Tokyo, but Kenshin stil had a thought of his past as he heard that Toki-dono was a girl from Aizu, the same han with hitokiri Gentatsu, a man he killed during the Bakumatsu.

Tokyo, Meiji Era
Toki and Kenshin No one ever thought that their accidental meet will grow more serious. One of those days, when Kaoru was sweeping the garden, Toki came looking for Kenshin but Kenshin is out, buying tofu (my fave!). She asked him to talk with Shigure since Shigure's acting peculiar lately and she was worrying him so much. He told Kenshin that Shigure is the best comrade of her late brother, Gentatsu. Kenshin was shocked, this girl's oniisan died on his hand few years ago and now she came to ask for his help. Shigure was actually have the same motive as another Kenshin's opponents, to ruin down the current government of Japan. With another of his Aizu comrade, Kajiki Sadashiro, he planned to kill the foreign minister so then he could shake the Meiji government and set a new one as Gentatsu wished for. Kajiki was actually a traitor, he worked for Tamono Eibin, a police officer who wants to take the place of Yamagata Aritomo, the leader of Japan's Ground Forces. Shigure made a similar troop with Byakkoutai, a troop of Aizu teenagers under 17 who died tragically in the Boshin War (another famous classic Japanese heroic story). Yahiko joined with Shigure's troop inspired by his father's death as a member of Shogitai, but Shigure left him silently since he didn't want Kenshin to lose his young pal.

Shigure TakimiOn the D-day, Shigure's troop attacked the parade of foreign minister, but Kenshin had already knew about it and he came to stop Shigure. The lone wolf, Hajime Saitou, also take part (my... this guy is undeniable). Kenshin did stop Shigure but he and his remained members won't retreat that easily. On the top of that, Kenshin felt responsible for Shigure's act, he had promised not to make any bloody rain again and so did what hitokiri Gentatsu wanted. Then he personally asked Yamagata to let him take care of Shigure by himself. I noticed that the battle of Kenshin and Shigure is one of Kenshin's coolest battles. Shigure is one of tree almighty Kanuma warriors, he mastered the Saiki Kanuma Ryuu which used both the sword (katana, wakizashi) and the sheath (saya). Shigure is a very charming dude indeed, too bad he had to die as the bastard son, Tamono, told his men to shoot everyone. He died to save Toki, Kenshin was outraged by it and he almost tore Tamono into pieces, but thank god Kenshin still remember his vow. In the end, Kenshingumi bid farewell to Toki who will bury Shigure's ashes near her late brother's grave.

This movie is great, the story is pretty amusing, the battle is cool and Shigure wa suteki na! ^_^. I believe that many of you must've watched this, if you haven't... then go quick to hobby store and buy. YOU WON'T REGRET, I guarantee!


Makoto's endnote
: There is a freaky part in this movie. The Bakumatsu scene when Hitokiri Gentatsu fought with Hitokiri Battousai is being replayed couple times (about 6 times if I was not mistaken). I actually like that scene but when it comes on and on, I become bored. Maybe it's just a trick to prolong the story without making new scenes ^ ^.


 

Acknowledgments:

  1. The Jafu, Anime Rental and Store for all of the Rurouni Kenshin CDs.
  2. The Hobby Store and my bigbro, Pipim, for the Movie poster.
  3. ADV for making the English Subtitled Version.
  4. Ultima Nation vol 9, 2000 for the Ishin Shishi e no Requiem review.

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