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Rurôni Kenshin: Densetsu no saigo-hen (2014)

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Shishio has set sail in his ironclad ship to bring down the Meiji government and return Japan to chaos, carrying Kaoru with him. In order to stop him in time, Kenshin trains with his old master to learn his final technique.

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Title: Rurôni Kenshin: Densetsu no saigo-hen (2014)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Takeru Satô ...
...
...
...
Okina / Nenji Kashiwazaki
Ryûnosuke Kamiki ...
...
Seijuro Hiko
Yûsuke Iseya ...
Yôsuke Eguchi ...
Munetaka Aoki ...
Tao Tsuchiya ...
Misao Makimachi
Lisa Ulliel
Yukiyoshi Ozawa ...
Hirobumi Ito
Maya Fukuzawa
Maryjun Takahashi ...
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Storyline

Shishio has set sail in his ironclad ship to bring down the Meiji government and return Japan to chaos, carrying Kaoru with him. In order to stop him in time, Kenshin trains with his old master to learn his final technique.

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13 September 2014 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Seijuro Hiko: Cherry blossoms in Spring. Stars cover the sky in Summer. Full moon shines in Autumn and in Winter, the snow covers the ground... All these things make sake taste good. If it tastes bad, it's because there is something wrong with you
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Connections

Follows Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Heartache
Written by Taka
Performed by One Ok Rock
Courtesy of A-Sketch
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User Reviews

 
For non-readers of the original manga, the fight scenes would probably impress; for fans, prepare for a new version of the story
10 October 2014 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

I'll say this first – die-hard fans of the manga series would probably not like the movie very much.

Well, book fans rarely go gaga over movie adaptations, deeming it inferior to the original due to the lack of detail most of the time. That said, it is lacking detail, and there is changing the storyline until it feels like a different story but with the same characters and a vague resemblance to the original plot.

I might be exaggerating, but for a self-confessed Rurouni Kenshin fan, it sure felt that way for a good part of two hours.

Picking up where Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno left off, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends launches itself straight into the plot. With Shishio Makoto (Tatsuya Fujiwara) advancing to Tokyo and threatening to take over the country, the weakened Himura Kenshin (Satou Takeru) must dig deep and find out how to defeat him, and fast. And in a stroke of good luck, who else to find him washed up from the sea but his teacher, Hiko Seijurou (Masaharu Fukuyama).

Despite the deviation from the original manga, the plot does retain some part that require the audience to have read the manga to fully enjoy. For example, the self-sacrifice required behind the ultimate technique of the "Flying Heaven Honorable Sword Style", and the backstory behind Sagara Sanosuke and "Ten Swords" member, Anji. This lack of information does not take away anything from the plot, but it does seem lacking in some sort without these intricacies.

Like the first and second Rurouni Kenshin movie, what the Legend Ends uses to sell itself to non-readers of the manga is probably the sword fighting sequences in the movie. To get to that, however, the audience must sit through 1.5 hours of dialogue with almost next to nil actual fighting scenes. This could be to make up for the lack of character development in Kyoto Inferno, where it was sacrificed for the action sequences. From the dialogue and non-fighting parts, we learn about Kenshin's past, before he was picked up by his teacher, the callousness of the Meiji government, and in general, a lot more evil laughing from Shishio. That is fine for people who want to learn more about the characters and their motivations. But for action fans, I suppose it would be boring. On the other hand, what was not explained was the backstory behind Sojiro's childhood, and how he became with cold, smiling right hand man of Shishio. That would have taken up more time, but it was the most memorable backstory in the manga, in my opinion.

And finally, after the huge buildup to the main fight – Shishio vs. Kenshin – the fight disappoints. Perhaps it is due to the need to rush through things, due to the time taken up by story and character development. Perhaps we were desensitized by the other fighting scenes. Or perhaps it is the four versus one (blasphemy!) to wear Shishio down. But Kenshin's supposed victory over Shishio did not seem conclusive.

As a whole, the film accessible to all audiences, fans or non-fans of the manga alike. No prior reading is required, although watching Kyoto Inferno before this movie would be recommended. Also, with the Shishio arc in the manga spanning across multiple volumes, the Rurouni Kenshin movies do a decent job in condensing the story to make it suitable for theatres, so kudos for that.


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