The story of Rurouni Kenshin can principally be break up into three arcs. The primary arc—with Kenshin assembly Kaoru, Sano, and the remainder of his new associates—is about Kenshin discovering that, regardless of his bloody historical past, he nonetheless has the possibility for a contented, regular life. The second arc, Shishio’s insurrection, is about Kenshin coping with the unintended penalties of abandoning his place within the revolution when he did.
Nevertheless, the ultimate arc, as seen on this movie, is in regards to the private toll of Kenshin’s actions through the revolution. Whereas Kenshin could also be thought-about a hero to those that fought alongside him, the straightforward truth is that he prompted plenty of harm and ache because the Battousai—and never simply to the targets he so mercilessly lower down. Simply because he has stopped killing and now needs nothing greater than a peaceable life with these he loves, that does not imply his sins are merely washed away.
The Ultimate is centered across the theme of “human judgment” (in distinction to that of “divine judgment”). Whereas god could select to punish or forgive Kenshin’s sins when he dies, that’s of no concern to the victims of his crimes. They’ve judged him responsible and they’re coming for his or her revenge—to make him undergo as they’ve. The foremost amongst them is the movie’s major antagonist, Enishi.
Enishi is a incredible villain—and one fairly in contrast to those Kenshin has confronted thus far. Not solely is he youthful, quicker, and stronger, however smarter and better-trained as effectively. But, he is not some megalomaniacal baddie, neither is he searching for the glory of slaying Kenshin he can gloat about being one of the best. (In truth, he does not care who kills Kenshin so long as he is lifeless ultimately.) Nor does he have some type of grand ideology and complicated plan to take over the nation.
All Enishi desires is for Kenshin to really feel the identical ache he has—to have the issues he loves taken away one after the other—realizing that there’s nothing he can do to cease it. Furthermore, he desires Kenshin to know why that is taking place and who’s doing it to him, and that he deserves it for all of the ache he has prompted.
Thus the query of the film turns into: “How do you beat an individual centered solely on destroying every thing good in your life—an individual superior to you in each manner and with nothing to lose?”
General, The Ultimate is a comparatively unfastened adaptation of the supply materials. Whereas it has the identical antagonist, themes, and fundamental story construction, it’s largely its personal story—which might be for one of the best. Within the unique Rurouni Kenshin manga, this arc took 10 full volumes to cowl. (The earlier arc, which received two movies devoted to it, took 11.) Making an attempt to cram all this right into a single movie would have been a idiot’s errand, even with the prolonged flashback sequence being separated into its personal movie later this yr.
After all, whereas it’s undoubtedly a greater movie for all its cuts and rewrites, that does not imply that features of the story do not take a significant hit. The villains, apart from Enishi himself, lose practically all of their character growth—with some being changed fully.
The primary heroes’ characterization additionally suffers from having their roles modified and downplayed. No doubt, the one who will get the shortest finish of the stick is Yahiko. He now not has any noticeable character arc or impact on the story. Then again, whereas Sano serves because the story’s punching bag, the sheer quantity of injury he takes with out happening makes him really feel like essentially the most badass character within the movie.
Curiously, it’s the facet characters from previous movies that actually get an opportunity to shine, specifically Misao, Seta, and Aoishi. Even “Sword Hunter” Cho returns for a large supporting function on this movie.
With regards to the music, it is on par with the previous movies within the collection—as much as and together with a brand new J-Rock theme music by ONE OK ROCK. Nevertheless, one of the best use of music within the movie is the overall lack of it within the ultimate battle between Kenshin and Enishi, which codes the battle as a tragedy as a substitute of a triumph.
Visually, the movie is fantastic. The fights are masterpieces of choreographed fight with little-to-no CG to be discovered. The wire-fu is utilized in simply the correct amount to make our heroes and villains appear superhuman however not cartoonish. In case you take pleasure in sensible results, you are going to love the care and a spotlight that went into them on this movie.
All in all, this film is greatest for individuals who have not learn the manga. It is on no account a foul movie, however the cuts and rewrites wanted to suit the story into its 2-hour and 18-minute runtime make it practically unrecognizable to individuals who have been hoping to see the manga dropped at life. After all, if you happen to’re fantastic with seeing Enishi’s story in a brand new manner, this film is a ton of enjoyable. And if nothing else, I can promise you that the combat scenes do not disappoint.