WARNING: Contains some spoilers.
“Set in the early Meiji period, an assassin from the Bakumatsu war returns not as a hitokiri but as the rurouni Kenshin, with his vow not to kill and instead, protect those in need to atone for the murders he committed in the past. But the peace in the new age is threatened with the appearance of his successor, Shishio Makoto. Will Kenshin be able to fulfill his vow while protecting his friends and loved ones with just a reverse-blade sword? The burden of saving the whole nation weighs him down as he faces a much more powerful enemy apart from Shishio, and that is the ghost of hitokiri battousai that still dwells within him. “
The live-action film adaptation of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s renowned manga called Rurouni Kenshin has so far caused a stir among the fans all over the globe. The first movie set a strong foundation for the sequels that were (and will be) released this year. The frenzy surrounding the two new installments proved to be fairly justifiable as both movies raked in millions of dollar in gross income in Japan alone. Kyoto Inferno has also become a certified blockbuster hit when it was released in the Philippines last August 20. And it is no surprising if the third movie receives a much warmer response than before especially that thousands of moviegoers have already been flocking the cinemas since it was released this September.
So how did The Legend Ends conclude? That is the main concern of everyone who was left hanging in midair when Kyoto Inferno ended. And what Director Otomo and the rest of the cast gave the audience was something befitting of the story of the legendary battousai—a truly remarkable masterpiece that breathed life to the fictional characters and enabled the viewers to explore the world of Himura Kenshin.
It is true that some parts of the original story were altered, and it was also extremely regrettable that some scenes that I was looking forward to see were not even included in the film. But the climax of the movie was so breathtaking that not a single soul inside the cinema dared to move. Takeru Satoh and the rest of the actors portrayed their roles perfectly and all the stunts were executed flawlessly. The cinematography and choreography of the swordplay were nothing but pure brilliance. Though some bits of the script were changed, the director was still able to convey the whole meaning of the story about Himura Kenshin’s vow to protect the people with his sakabato as well as his significant connection with the rest of the characters. It’s truly unfortunate that most Juppongatana members were not given longer screen time but like I stated before, the main battle between Kenshin and Shishio Makoto fueled the void. And oh, did I forget to mention how Shishio’s sinister laughter and Soujiro’s deranged act sent goosebumps to my body? Those scenes are totally a must-see. The overall gripping and action-packed scenes were blended with just the right amount of comedy and romance, providing the audience with 100% satisfaction.
Words are probably not effective enough to describe the ingenuity of this movie adaptation. Never in the previous years had I imagined that the infamous hitokiri would come to life through the portrayal of Takeru Satoh. Even those who are not originally fans of the manga and anime have shown great interest in the movies, and they have nothing but praise to offer as well. And now, I must say that I am extremely grateful to all the cast, director and production staff behind the creation of this live action film that is, by far, the best movie adaptation I have seen throughout the years. And with all the flashbacks about Himura Kenshin’s scar that were shown in the movie, I am fervently hoping that a prequel will be announced soon.
To read my summary of The Legend Ends, click here.