When the world is turns its back on and you still gather the strength to hold on to your morals in defending the innocent makes you a person with great honor. That will to stand for your beliefs is rare because some will just cave into their desire for vengeance and hatred. Shishio is a warrior betrayed by his own government for doing what they hired him to do and now he is bringing his own hell to the masses until his justice is quenched. This is the last movie in the trilogy where Kenshin Himura is being pushed to break his vow of peaceful life and we are left with one question. Will he maintain his promise never to kill?
Himura is literally washed up on shore, but luckily he is picked up by an old vagabond passing by who is his old master. There is something depressing seeing your old pupil faced up defeated with a reverse blade sword that would break your heart. I mean you are a samurai trying to live a life of no killing and yet you are surrounded by the ideals of killers standing in your way. Either way his master might be the only one that can help me reach his goals against this demonic force and its minions. This brings us to the whereabouts to young kaoru where last we seen her being tossed off the ship where Shishio and Kenshin last fought. Thankfully Yahiko and Sanoske find her laid up in the hospital recovering. Things take a turn for the worse when Shishio and company threaten the government in making Kenshin Himura an enemy of the state because he should be punished for his crimes during the Bakumatsu era.
You have to admit that Shishio has a good point in his convictions against Kenshin Himura the former Battousai the man-slayer. If you want to look at it on both sides you could say that Shishio has a right to bring the government to their knees, but once you take down the innocent it becomes a problem. It was enough to bend the officials to his will in putting an execution proclamation on Himura’s head. This becomes a race against time where Shishio has his own time limit and Kenshin has to convince the officials that he can defeat this menace and bring true peace to them all. In that I think some form of penance is needed so that their honor can be redeemed.
How was the Action though?
It was own point, I mean if you read the manga’s and watched the anime you already know how intense the fights can be. The style Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū is a single swordsman style that helps one fight many at once. It translates to Flying Heaven Govern Sword-Style that empowers your speed, agility and power with each strike. It is an adaptable style for long range and short range opponents. As we have seen kenshin can adapt to his opponents very well and capitalizes on their weakness once it is shown. The clip below will give you a closer look at Kenshin’s signature moves.
There were many great battles in this movie, especially with Shinomori Aoshi who as we know from the previous movie defected and is trying to take the man-slayer title from Himura. Well dammit he can have it since Kenshin no longer lays claim to the name and no longer wants any part of it. Even in the final battle with all combatants fighting against the deadly Shishio had me stunned, because of his merciless brutality.
I have to say that this story took a more sensitive tone and actually showed a deeper connection with everyone involved. There was a lot of growth between the friends of Himura, but I still wanted to see something more happening between Kaoru and Kenshin. I am sure there is a lot of fan fiction out there where they end up together, but what is up with Sanoske? Even in the last film his character seemed like annoying filler that they decided to leave him alone instead of improving him. I mean granted he is very brash in the anime, but he is overly stupid at times in the live action. He is a brute, but he was smart in his own way.
Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends receives 4.5 out of 5. There is a strong story and amazing action taking place, but the key here is respecting a person’s ambitions for defending the innocent. It is not fair to call those that can’t defend themselves weak, because their spirit gives you strength your own convictions for the good fight. This is a great abridged live action trilogy that should be in any fans collection. I call this abridged because there is a lot more to the story in the anime that they didn’t touch base on that I thought would of been great addition. For example the young kid trying to be a samurai, but manipulated by other so called samurai’s trying to build their own army off of his money.
I recommend checking out all three films if you have the means, but I hope you enjoyed this review and please share your favorite moments on the live action film as well as the anime series. Please add your e-mail address in the box to your right to stay up to date with us here at Kuma Kreations Entertainment. Stay frosty!