Action Over Plot: A Rurouni Kenshin / Samurai X Review


Samurai X fans unite! Rurouni Kenshin, the live film adaptation of the Samurai X anime and manga series, is now showing on all SM Cinemas nationwide. At SM Megamall, it’s showing from December 5 to December 8, 2012.

I already bought my ticket online way before the showing dates because I was excited about this one. Although I must admit, I haven’t been following the anime or the manga very much, but the several episodes of it that I have watched are already epic enough for me to be excited about its live movie adaptation. Check out its trailer:

*Don’t worry, no spoilers here :)*

Directed by Keishi Ōtomo, Rurouni Kenshin, just like its anime and manga version, tells us the story of a feared assassin known as the Battosai, notorious for his almost superhuman  skills as a swordsman and killer during the battle of Toba-Fushima in 1868. Ten years after the battle and into the new age, the Battosai returns as a wandering swordsman carrying the name Kenshin Himura. He wields a reverse-edged sword (the sharp, cutting part is on the side facing the wielder) as a sign of his commitment to not to kill anymore to make up for the many lives he has killed before. The fun part begins when a greedy businessman selling opium named Kanryu messes with Kenshin and his new-found friends to expand his business by selling Spiderweb – a stronger variety of opium.

Epic fight in 3…2…1…

When the movie started showing, I felt relieved when subtitles started showing on the screen. The movie is subbed and not dubbed, which is a good thing because the dubbers would have probably messed up the Japanese and original feel of the movie.  I have always preferred Japanese shows to be subbed rather than dubbed. The voice of the actor portraying the character is one major element for me in making a movie feel relatable and believable.

The members of the cast were all good choices. Each of them is convincing in being the live counterparts of the anime characters. They not only resemble the anime versions, they are able to portray their personalities well too! Takeru Sato seemed to be the best choice to play the role of Kenshin. He resembles him, he is able to execute the fight scenes well, and most of all he makes the girls from the audience gasp and giggle with every change of his facial expression. I have watched the movie with a LOT of fan girls and I can hear lots of “aaahhhs” and “ooohhhs” and “aaayyyys” everytime Takeru is on screen  – which is pretty much the whole movie.

Kenshin’s scars are from a man he killed during the war (1st slash), and the wife he was about to marry (2nd slash

Munetaka Aoki was Sanosuke Sagara in the movie. Much of the comic relief came from him, which is good especially when the scene becomes too bloody already and you have to reminded that “hey , this is just a movie”. Emi Takeiwho was Kaoru Kamiya in the movie, was also very convincing with her acting. I can’t help but notice though her uncanny resemblance with Kathryn Bernardo.

Emi Takei
Kathryn Bernardo

And yeah, I forgot to mention, the movie is PG 13 so expect a lot of violence and gore and killing and slashing and blood spraying from people’s necks…and I loved it! The plot is very predictable I must say, as early in the movie you can already tell what’s going to happen (and I was right). But the action and the swordplay is so amazing that I didn’t mind the predictability of the story. Good thing they had a lot of fights in the movie as this is what will keep you glued on to the screen. Awesome fight scenes, amazing swordsmanship, and remarkable stunts. In spite of the predictability of the plot, this movie is worth every penny!

If you’re going to watch this in the coming days, I suggest you buy your tickets online as the lines are surely going to be very long when you get there. I bought mine using my ePlus card and good for me, I didn’t have to join the long line to get my ticket. Visit to purchase your tickets online.

What anime or manga do you wish to have a live-film adaptation?

Image credits go to the Rurouni Kenshin (Live Action Facebook page and Kathryn Bernardos’ Facebook Page:



  1. I am also EXCITED for this movie :"> gahh! SamuraiX fan here! I waited a year and it is finally on cinemas on Phil this December <3 I've already read reviews about this and they said that the movie has a good adaptation. Anyways, it's funny that you compared Emi to Katheryn haha I agree that there is some resemblance

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