Rurouni Kenshin: Shin Kyoto-Hen (OVA) Part I: Cage of Flames

A legendary swordsman returns...

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.

The legendary swordsman returns

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.

Tons of blood


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.

Unneeded and not tasteful at all

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

Sanosuke SaGARa

Anoth­er obvi­ous bad point was the lack of Sanosuke. It need­ed more SaGARa.

ninja moe is too strong

Way too strong

I must con­fess. Misao was my ani­me crush back when this ani­me aired on Toon­a­mi. xD

Creepy child

Seta’s smile is as creepy as ever.

oh lawdy

By far one of my favorite scenes in the OVA.


Ah, just as I remem­bered it.

Moon, why am I so badass?

Saito hajime isn’t the same with­out Hiro­ta­ka Suzuok­i’s vboice. 🙁 

Poor Misao

Least favorite scene: Bro­ken Misao. T_T

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