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» Cover

» Company
ADV Films
» Running Time
55 minutes
» Genre
Action, Drama, Romance
» Type
OAV
» Final Score
10
» User Rating
No user votes yet.

Samurai X: Betrayal

» written by Dark Wind [Discuss]

Synopsis
It’s nineteenth century Japan. The Tokugawa Shogunate is on the brink of collapse. Rebel clans of warriors from all over the country vie for power in a struggle to see who’s view on what Japan shall become will reign supreme. Enter Kenshin Himura, a young assassin, who, under the tutelage of master swordsman Seijuro Hiko, has become embroiled in the conflict, fighting for the rebel clans to bring about a new peace-loving country. He enters the fight at the tender age of his mid-teens, bringing inside of him his own conflict: is fighting to bring about peace really just about killing people and ending people’s happiness in the end? Thus a woman comes into Kenshin’s life to help answer that very question.

Review
After the crazy, fast paced action of the first 2 episodes that were in Samurai X: Trust, coupled with the tragic romance and historical backgrounds, I was expecting more of the same in these final 2 episodes. Not exactly. These 2 episodes explore Tomoe’s and Kenshin’s love for each other very very deeply, and as tragic as their love ends up being, we are unaware of such things for the majority of the disc. Since I picked up the hints that were dropped along the way, I knew that Tomoe was a spy for the Tokugawa Shogunate, making the love seem a bit pointless, thus making the first episode on this disc not to be quite so good. But then  you realize that Tomoe did indeed fall in love with Kenshin eventually and was in a trap she herself had created. And that is what ultimately makes this show excellent.

Tomoe, having lost her fiancee to this assassin is out now to exact revenge by being his lover but secretly keeping tabs on Kenshin and also to  weaken his fighting spirit with her ‘love.’ Problem is, while she is in the process of doing this to help the Tokugawa and for her own vengeance, she falls in love with Kenshin. What is she to do now? Exact revenge or try and get outside of the trap she has created for Kenshin, maybe costing her own life, but is it worth her life, for Kenshin’s sake? Oh, and I haven’t even gotten started  on the important connections this makes to the TV series and the final OVA, Samurai X: Reflection either, or the excellent fight scenes in the latter half of the second (and final) episode. Truly some of the best stuff I’ve seen, despite some predictability.

The Breakdown
I believe that anyone who considers themselves an anime fan to have to watch this prequel OVA series known as Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal. It contains within itself an excellent story of the love of two characters set against one of the most gruesome times in Japanese history.

 

» The Pros
One anime that truly has hit me with it's romance, its logistics make sense, with Kenshin and Tomoe's love not feeling ludicrous or unrelatable, it's a very down to earth love that could happen to anybody during a war-torn era. Love the subtle connections to the TV series and Reflection, and the beautifully choreographed fight scenes are worth all the pay off. It doesn't get better than this.

» The Cons
The love is a bit predictable, you get the feeling you know exactly what's going to happen a mile away. Not much of these 2 episodes has real-world politics in it like the last disc, so that's not much of a problem for those who aren't up on their Japanese history.

» Animation
10
Reviewed in Samurai X: Trust.

» Sound
9
Reviewed in Samurai X: Trust.

» Story
10
Beautiful, tragic, uplifting, and gory can all describe the excellence that is this DVD.

» Recommend
10
A must buy. Just be sure to pick up the excellent Trust DVD first, which has the first 2 episodes on it.

 

» Other Information
Language: English/Japanese with Subtitles

Extras:
Character Bios and Screenwriter Notes

Package:
Like the first cover, this one is also very poor. It has, once again, a huge black background with a smaller inset background of blue, then even closer in is the image of Kenshin looking one way and Tomoe the other, finally with the moniker of Samurai X written on there. The reversible cover, is once again, the way to go, with a beautiful picture of Kenshin's cross-shaped scar bleeding as he's holding a bleeding Tomoe, with the proper title of Rurouni Kenshin in the foreground.

 

 

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