It has actually been awhile since I’ve done an anime season review so I hope you are all excited for this. Today I will be reviewing season one of Rurouni Kenshin or (I guess sometimes called) Samuari X. It took me a surprisingly long time to get through this season of 27 episodes but we’ll get to that later.
Rurouni Kenshin focuses on a man by the name of Kenshin in the Meiji period of japan. In this show the Imperialist have taken over and united Japan claiming that they are creating a country where every man is created and judged as equal. However to adopt this regime the fought a bitter war and have now declared swords for citizens illegal.
For Kenshin’s part he actually fought as an assassin for the Imperialists during the war and isn’t exactly proud of how the Imperialist ended up gaining power. During his time as an assassin he was known as Hitokiri Battosai and was feared by everyone for his skill with the sword.
He vows now to repent for the lives he has taken by never taking another life again and by using his reverse blade sword to protect the weak in Japan. He wanders about doing his job until one day he meets Kaoru. After helping her to clear her family’s dojo’s name she offers him a place to stay and thus their adventures together begin.
Through their time together in the first season they are able to meet other people who will eventually become members of their little ragtag team. Each of them has their reasons for wanting to fight but basically they want to be able to protect the people who can’t protect themselves.
Reaction to Show
Honestly I watched the first three episodes and dropped the show for about 3 months. Sorry Kenshin fans but the beginning of this show was totally boring for me. People are such fans though I eventually picked back up and was able to get through the rest of the first season in three days.
I’ll admit that things picked up considerably once Sano shows up. After he enters the picture things start becoming much more interesting and the storyline gets better I feel like. They start encountering more situations that aren’t necessarily one-shot episodes. They actually take time to develop and resolve over a course of a few episodes.
An example would be when Sano’s friend dies of opium overdose when he unknowingly takes it believing it to be something meant to promote good health and Sano becomes determined to find out who is selling opium in his neighborhood and lying about.
If you have seen season one you have to admit that there isn’t a lot of story arcs for this season and honestly I miss having some good arcs! This season is mostly about establishing the dream team aka Kenshin, Sano, Kaoru, Yahiko, and sometimes Megumi and establishing Kenshin as the superior fighter amongst everyone.
That’s actually another thing that I find lacking in this season. Don’t expect a lot of epic fight scenes because they aren’t really there. Kenshin doesn’t really encounter anyone who’s even relatively close to his level fight wise so you basically watch him take guys out in one shot over and over again.
Every once in a while there is somebody who is able to withstand two or three of his hits and everyone is impressed that their still living but it’s clear that Kenshin can kick their ass. It’s very rare for Kenshin to actually take a hit in this season.
The 90’s version takes me back, that’s for sure. Some people find it hard to watch older anime because of the differences in anime style but I have to say I kind of like it. It’s cool to see how anime style has progressed. The music of this show isn’t my absolute favorite but it’s not terrible either. It’s mostly just not memorable. I do like the anime though! The style that Inuyasha is drawn in actually reminds me a lot of Kenshin. I wonder if the creator of Inuyasha was a Kenshin fan?
I didn’t realize how much I liked having a concrete villain in a show until this season but I really do! It’s lonely without an evil villain to balance out all of Kenshin’s goodness. The villain that comes closest would be Aoshi I guess, I mean he vows to comeback to fight Kenshin and was able to put up something of a fight so I am hopeful.
I wasn’t blown away by season 1. That’s just the facts. With that said I will be watching season 2 before I make any complete judgments on this show. As the show progressed I began to see a lot more potential and also the characters began to grow on me a lot more. So far Sano and Yahiko are my favorites but the other characters are pretty cool too. Kenshin has his moments with me but he has this habit of going all Yoda on you while he’s speaking and that can get annoying.
I’m willing to look at season 1 as the foundation to hopefully a much more compelling second season and so on. My fingers are crossed that season 2 will really crank out some compelling storylines and give this show a bit more direction for me. I mean it’s hinted at that the Imperialists may not be all that their cracked up to be and that there’s some corruption but is anything going to be done about that? Or am in for another season of random bad guys dropping by the village only to get their asses handed to them by Kenshin?
I think this show has more to offer than what I’m seeing in season one! Has anyone ever watched this show before? How did you feel about season one? Let me know in the comment section below.