Back when it was announced that there was a Rurouni Kenshin “remake”, I was absolutely ecstatic and expected something more along the lines of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood where it was a complete reboot that finishes the manga completely (Jinchu arc animated = <3 =D). Turns out that it was just a set of OVAs that retold the Kyoto arc through the perspective of Misao Makimachi.
Alas, if you go into it with it being a “remake” in mind, you’ll be sorely disappointed by how inferior it is in comparison to its TV counterpart. Fortunately, I went into with the fact that it’s supplementary material in mind and a treat for the fans (both of which it essentially is), and I found myself thoroughly enjoying what it had to offer.
The animation by Studio Deen (who animated the last portion of the TV series and OVAs) was absolutely gorgeous. I noticed that the character designs are a mix of the TV series’ blend of shounen/shoujo designs and the realistic designs from the Tsuiokuhen OVAs, most notably with Kenshin and Kaoru. The mishmash surprisingly looks good.
It would have been nice to see the gorgeous animation in combination with the high-speed and intense fights of the original TV series counterpart, though.
As implied above, the fights from the TV version of Kyoto were heavily abridged to fit the time constraint. For example, I don’t recall Kenshin’s sakabato shattering THAT fast during his battle with Soujirou Seta in the TV version. It’s very disappointing since the updated animation would have made them look impressive.
Hwoever, thanks to its status as an OVA, the fights are allowed to show much more blood in the vein of the Tsuiokuhen OVAs. The original anime had blood too, but not so much that it showed splatters of it.
An obvious bad point to this OVA is that they thought it would be awesome to shoehorn a sex scene into it. One word: UNNECESSARY.
Another obvious bad point was the lack of Sanosuke. It needed more SaGARa.
I must confess. Misao was my anime crush back when this anime aired on Toonami. xD
Seta’s smile is as creepy as ever.
By far one of my favorite scenes in the OVA.
Ah, just as I remembered it.
Saito hajime isn’t the same without Hirotaka Suzuoki’s vboice. 🙁
Least favorite scene: Broken Misao. T_T