So wrong, and yet, OH SO RIGHT.
The point was not to be canon-accurate, but to have one coherent plotline with an avengers-assemble multilinear subplot. This of course led to many, many changes to canon history and character backgrounds, greatest of which is that Kanryuu has such a big place in this movie, Jin-e has been given another character’s role, and that Kenshin fights a film-only henchman. Saitou, also, was played well by a great actor but was not SCRIPTED well. ^^;;
But this is the awesome thing: you forget all of that.
Because this movie makes you feel most wonderfully that these people could have really, actually, lived in a certain time and place in Japan’s history, could have breathed and walked the earth. Therefore the movie is presented like most typical Japanese turn-of-the-century-based movies, and not like an anime movie with living people.
The Kenshin-gumi, and especially Kenshin, as played by these actors, are so spot-on. This is most definitely true of Takeru Sato’s work for this. We totally feel what we have always imagined Kenshin to be if he were living and breathing. He totally nailed it that Kenshin is NOT bipolar. Rather, these are all the many facets of one simple, kind-hearted young man with a terrible talent who had seen too much death, who is tired of life much too early, who just wants a peaceful ordinary existence. He totally, totally nailed that. Give the man an award. That was hard!
I’ve read here and there that the Kaoru was only so-so. I disagree. She nailed that, especially that point that Kaoru is a girl that occasionally does need saving, but will never be a damsel-in-distress. It’s just that the story was more about Megumi so it was not shown too well. The Megumi was really good, also getting the point that the flirty side is just one aspect of a young woman who had been through too many things.
The Yahiko was really great, but did not have enough storyline to show his stuff. The Sano, that guy was so spot-on and so much win!
Because of this, for all its faults, I want to see it again. The reasons given above are the reasons why even the most die-hard, most hardcore, most geeky RK fan could not possibly hate on this movie (and I’m as diehard, hardcore, and geeky as they can get). As long as you don’t expect full canon, Takeru Sato alone is completely worth the price of admission.
– With a reception this good, there will be at least one more movie. And this one may already have Aoshi, Misao, Shishio, and Soujirou.
– Tomoe has already been strongly hinted at. Her half of the scar wasn’t addressed yet and it might be, in that next movie.
– The RK Cinema Ban manga is NOT an indicator of the contents of the movie, not at all. It’s its own, erm, totally weird thing.