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Samurai X: The Motion Picture

Kenshin and company continue their adventures in this two hour movie revolving around the past and a man's thirst for revenge.

The Video:
Those who've seen the animation in the television series will feel at home here. While nothing spectacular, it's still well done.

The Audio:
For some reason, the audio came off as a bit uneven. Action scenes were nice and loud, but spoken audio with certain characters was almost impossible to hear, forcing me to up the volume just to lower it again when the action started up. The soundtrack sounded like the standard fare from the series.

ADV opted to use their own voice actors for this feature, so fans of the Media Blasters dub may turn their heads. Kenshin and Karou sound alright, but Sanoske's VA is very different and Yahiko sounds like he's aged a few years. The new characters gave solid performances, but it's still hard to get over some of the changes.

It'd be unfair for me to rate the sub, since I don't have enough exposure to the Japanese voice actors in the series to do so.

The DVD:
The cover sports Kenshin in the foreground with a serious glare and one of the primary characters in the background screaming. A shot of Kenshin and Karou graces the back, with information typical of an anime DVD release. The Samurai X logo may burn a hole in the eyes of the die-hard fans, but luckilly ADV provided a reverse cover with the original logo. This side's got Kenshin charging forward, sword drawn, and looks much cooler in my opinion. Inside is the usual insert replicating the cover (Samurai X side) with chapter listings and the like.

The only extras on the DVD itself are the trailers for the movie and the first OVA.

The Plot:
(Spoils the first 20 minutes and hits vagely at the central plot.)
The film starts off back in Kenshin's days as a manslayer, as he takes down a skilled fighter who launched an attack against his clan. Fast forward to the present, where we catch up with Kenshin and the gang as they talk about the many changes the country of Japan is experiencing due to influences from other countries. They come across a woman who finds herself caught in a bad situation, as a sailor attempts to take advantage of her. Before Kenshin can react, another swordsman takes to the scene, taking care of the threat effortlessly. While the sailor's buddies attempt a counterattack, they're stopped cold by Kenshin and Sanoske. From here, Kenshin and the swordsman appear to get along, and the woman begins to take kindly to the Kenshin group. This of course begins to suck everyone into a harsh series of events, as an overthrow of the Japanese government is attempted, leaving Kenshin and the others to quell it.

Being a big fan of the TV series, I took quickly to everything this movie had to offer. As mentioned earlier, we get another glimpse into Kenshin's past as the Hitokiri Battousai, and even though it's only a minute or so, it's still interesting to see such a contrast between then and the Kenshin we know now. The movie itself plays out like an extended episode, and while initially filled with the comedic style of the television series, becomes much more serious towards the end. There are also many cameos from familiar faces in the series that I thought were pretty cool and would likely appeal to other fans.

So what could deter one from this feature? Well, for one, that flashback that starts off the movie gets repeated multiple times. While subsequent viewings offer different perspectives on the incident, even I thought they played it one too many times. The fact that the movie plays out like an episode may also be disappointing to some, as the price tag may be a bit steep for something so ordinary.

Fans of the television series should definantly give this a look, as it's basically more of the same. While it's a shame that we don't get the same VA's that did the series, you'll still get that same "vibe." Fans of the Samurai X OVA be forewarned: While initially this may resemble what you've seen, much time has passed and Kenshin is not the man the OVA left you off with. Those new to Kenshin should skip this release and watch the TV series first, as you'll likely be very confused watching this alone.

Grade: 7 of 10 (3 1/2 Stars)

Additional Notes:
1.) Let it be known that many characters that appear will be unfamiliar to those that haven't seen through at least the Kyoto Arc of the series (about episode sixty-two), so it may be best to wait a bit if you're just starting with the current run on the Cartoon Network.

Added: April 10th 2003
Reviewer: JJc14
Hits: 5427


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  Samurai X: The Motion Picture
Posted by anthonyfiddy2 on 2014-06-09 03:37:44
My Score:

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  Samurai X: The Motion Picture
Posted by death99955 on 2005-06-21 15:16:42
My Score:

i like it because it is kenshin and i love the manga

  Samurai X: The Motion Picture
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-03-12 11:20:26
My Score:


  Samurai X: The Motion Picture
Posted by Anonymous on 2003-10-22 08:48:04
My Score:

I agree that the dubbed voices are off. I saw this movie before the series and was turned off by how unatureal some of the dialoge was. But if you can get the DVD just select Japanese with English Subtiles. It makes the movie much more enjoyble.

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