Starring: Rurouni Kenshin
Genre: Anime
Studio: Media Blasters   Release date:   Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Summary: Set during the second half of the 19th century--a time of enormous change in Japanese society--Rurouni Kenshin begins when a wandering swordsman saves the life of a young woman on the streets of Tokyo. The wanderer's name is Kenshin and his blade is sharpened only on the back edge, meaning that he can use it to disable, but not kill, his enemies. The woman, Kaoru, invites Kenshin to stay at her father's kendo dojo, and he comes to her aid when she is attacked by a disgraced student. During the battle it emerges that Kenshin is Battousai the Manslayer, a vicious assassin who terrorized Japan in the turbulent years before the beginning of the Meiji Era. Now he is looking for redemption, but the forces arrayed against him will make it very difficult for him to escape his past. This first installment contains the first four episodes of a long and complex series, and the plot doesn't really begin to gather steam until episode 4. There's plenty of entertaining scene-setting in the other episodes, which introduce the main characters and give a glimpse of Kenshin's troubled past. The series strikes a nice balance between adventure and cute comedy, but its real strength is its convincing evocation of a fascinating historical period. A refreshing change from the more common science fiction and fantasy titles, Rurouni Kenshin is a thrilling adventure that only gets better as the plot develops. Suitable for ages 12 and up. --Simon Leake

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