I’m so excited; because this is handsdown the best shounen ever. That’s shounen, not seinen. For a drawn out fighting series that can be a little repetitive (lol, a little…), Rurouni Kenshin is like,… *angels singing, trumpet fanfare, I see the light, etc etc* I really don’t like shounen; it’s much too repetitive and it tends to be a bit shallow and dumb. Of course, shoujo is also like that, generally… I really have no patience for repetitive shounen or shallow shoujo. But I’m a girl, so I end up reading shoujo more. Eheh. I stereotyped myself. So when it comes to shuonen, I really don’t have the patience to follow more than my chosen 2. Of course there’s Inuyasha… why do I like Inuyasha? I don’t know. It’s not profound at all. It’s repetitive. It’s funny, but not original. I DONT KNOW WHY I LIKE IT SO MUCH. Gah.
On the other hand, I can actually TELL you why I like Rurouni Kenshin so much. That should be a hint that it really is good.
It started with the anime. I loved the first two seasons dearly. Yes, dearly. They are quirky and lovely and deep and great. The third season, things get a bit dodgy. Complete deviation of the plot, rampant fillers, and deterioration of animation quality just to give you an idea. That’s because (can you guess?) they stopped following the plot of the manga. This is really tragic, because while, don’t get me wrong, I love the manga; I think most shounen is better suited for animation since there’s so much action. Unfortunately, shounen anime based on manga has a ritual of catching up to the manga, running out of material, making worthless fillers, losing ratings and fans etc. Every time. EVERY TIME, I tell you.
So my cure to the disappointment the anime left me with: Read the books! And so I did, all 28 of them.
*Cries* So good~ (fan)
So where are these amazing reasons why this manga is so good, already?
1) The series doesn’t drag on needlessly and there aren’t many useless throwaway characeters that shounen is so fond of. Yes, in the beginning when you’re just becoming acquainted with the characters there ARE some worthless stupids, but overall there are remarkably few (in the manga, that is).
2) The story can be divided into only 2 major arcs; without dumb fillers in between them. The mini-arcs at the beginning are to introduce you to the characters, and the characters to each other; they don’t count
3) The Shishio arc has some stupid villains; but Shishio and Soujirou and Anji definitely make up for them.
4) The Enishi/Revenge arc also has some stupid villains in it; but Enishi and Tomoe and the reflection chapters make up for THEM
5) The characters. Okay so there’s Kenshin; you HAVE to love him (I like him with his Hitokiri ponytail especially) but you have Sanosuke, who is also quite cool. Yahiko is fine, Kaoru is fine – neither of them are annoying. Kaoru could use a more developed personality, but I like her. Then you have Saito. God I love him. He never fails to be perfectly indifferent and hilarious. Plus Aoshi and Misao; and you also have some good villains in Shishio and Enishi… Soujirou was well-done as was Yumi, also part of Shishio-gumi.
This is when he’s really young, with his hitokiri ponytail and before he got the scars.
6) It’s profound. PROFOUND. Yes it is. I can contemplate Kenshin happily for hours. Beneath the surface of shounen fighting is a web of morals and ethics.
7) It’s a good history lesson on the meiji era. If it wasn’t for Kenshin I would be completely, utterly clueless about the Bakumatsu and Meiji. I’m serious. I learned as much from Kenshin as I would from a textbook.
Well, this biased review has really gone on more than long enough. I think I’ve burned off most of the rush I got after finishing Kenshin. I’m sad that it’s over; but I think it was well-paced and that it ended in a good place. Maybe I’ll be able to concentrate on my homework now.
Ah wait; I have to add about the Rurouni Kenshin OVAs. I never watched them. I didn’t want to before I read the manga; I was afraid they would ruin everything because I heard they were sad and different from the TV series. But now that I’ve read the manga; I really want to see more of Kenshin animated. So you may find a Kenshin OVA post from me sometime.
OVA art compared with manga art. Volumes 19-21 might have to be my favorites. I really wanted the Enishi arc to be animated, but I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with the flashback from the Enishi arc.
Aside from that; it’s been awhile since I wrote a post. I decided I don’t like keeping up with anime that are still airing on this blog, it’s too much trouble. But I might post something to update Eden of the East and Phantom if I feel like it. Also coming soon should be another post on the Twelve Kingdoms; I’ve only got 6 episodes/1 story arc left. I’m also almost finished reading all of Jane Austen; might do that too. Yawn. Okay; that’s all.