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Review Ruroni Kenshin Oav (Samurai X)

Everyone has a past. Most often these pasts contain some dark secret or misdeed that we don't like and wish to forget. This Oav is one such dark past that shapes the life of one of the most beloved of anime characters, Himura Kenshin.

If you have watched the television series you know that Kenshin is as a jovial pacifist who just happens to be a master swordsman with a cross-shaped scar on his cheek. Quite the contradiction. Now we get to see just how this all happened. The Samurai X Oav details Kenshin's live during the time of the Meiji revolution and how became the person he is in the television series.

The story begins with a little boy named shinta who while traveling was attacked by bandits. Luckily he is saved by a master swordsman called Sejiro Hiko who renames him Kenshin and takes him up as an apprentice. A few years go by and Kenshin finds out that there is a rebellion against the government going on. He decides to join the rebellion but his master says no. Eventually Seijiro Hiko caves in but still says that Kenshin will ruin his live by joining the rebellion.

So Kenshin decides to fight for the Choshu Clan under Katsura (based off of a historical figure). And boy does he fight. The fight scenes in the Oav take a different character than the television or most anime as they are very quick and very bloody. One such fight comes when Kenshin attack a politician who works for the Shogun. Kenshin wins the fight easily but gets a small scar on his cheek from a bodyguard that refuses to heal (and never does, you him with the scar in the television series). It is said that the reason it refuses to heal is because the bodyguard is still angry at Kenshin even after death.

Kenshin is rather unconcerned about killing the bodyguard or any of the other people he has killed in the line of duty (and that happens to be a lot of people). It is said, however, that he is hiding his feelings from himself and one day those feelings may destroy him. Then he meets a woman named Tomoe, a mysterious woman connected to his past deeds that will change his life forever.

While most Oavs that are attached to a television series are simply unexplainable if you haven't seen the TV series in question this Oav can stand alone. So can either look at it as the back story to a character or as a story about violence, love and remorse depending on whether you have anything else of Ruroni Kenshin. One thing though, the dialogue in the story is littered with poetry and hidden meanings, so it pays to bring your thinking cap when watching this. Either way it is a great story.

The art quality in the Ruroni Kenshin Oav is very good as befits an Oav. The scenery at first very well drawn but seldom gives big panoramic establishing shots. This changes as later in the Oav the action goes into a lull and for a while the background art takes center stage. It is some of the best anime art I have seen and I have trouble telling what technique the animators used.

Overall The Samurai X Oav (The commercial title of the Ruroni Kenshin Oav) is some of the best anime out there. I give this title a 5 out of 5, a perfect score.

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