December 18, 2007

The anti-climactic end of Hitokiri Battousai

rurouni kenshin ova seisouhenTitle: Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen
Episodes: 2
Studio: Studio Deen
Genre: Seinen

Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) is the first samurai-themed anime that I've watched and loved. I watched the whole series more than five times so when I learned that an ending was made, I wanted to watch it as soon as I could. I was excited and I kept imagining what kind of fight Kenshin would perish in and who will kill him. As a fan of Saito, I kept hoping that the former Shinsengumi captain will bring Kenshin's end.

I finally had a copy of the OVA - Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen, seisouhen loosely translates to reflection. So I watched and eagerly waited for that final duel that will end Kenshin's life. I waited without blinking. Waited until I had to change to disc 2. Waited some more. Then the credits finally rolled. Flabbergasted, I rewound the whole OVA inside my head but found no ultimate fight. Instead, I realized that Kenshin, the greatest swordsman in all of Japan, died in the hands of.... SPOILERS FROM HERE ON!!!

...some uncurable disease. Yep. I was really disappointed.

How did that happen? Well after the storyline of the series, Kenshin got married to Kaoru but still thought that he didn't deserve the right to be happy with all the crimes that he committed as a hitokiri. So he goes off to aid in the First Sino-Japanese War - not as part of the troops, but as part of the medical team...something like that. Before he goes off, he contracts some sort of disease and Kaoru makes Kenshin give it to her by means of sexual intercourse. So they both have that disease, Kenji (their son) is with Hiko training, Yahiko is training too and Sano is a fugitive. That pretty much describes the whole setting.

Anyway, Kenshin becomes to weak to go home so Sano finds him and helps him go back to Kaoru. Skip the drama, Kenshin and Kaoru die in the arms of each other, under sakura trees. I was expecting a really cool fight, more awesome that Kenshin's fights with Saito, Shishio, Shogo and Enishi. But noooo. Kenshin had to die because he was too weak to fight off this weird disease.

In hindsight, and now that I'm a bit more level-headed when it comes to these things, I guess that Seisouhen's purpose was to remind people that Kenshin is still human. That no matter how invincible he may seem, he still succumbs to one of the weaknesses of being human: diseases. I guess it also shows that even if he already has a family, his inner demons are still strong and he still thinks that he carries the burden of his past. He couldn't let go of his sins and it drove him away from his home and life. Really human, right?

I'll end this entry with a bit of information about Seisouhen: Rurouni Kenshin: Seisouhen wasn't done by RK's creator, Watsuki Nobuhiro. He just checked the script and said that Kenshin deserved a happy ending with all that he's been through.
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