The END DAY: Rurouni Kenshin

Another year, another END DAY.

I initially dropped Kenshin back in the 20s. It was loaded with filler adventures I couldn’t bring myself to care about. Kenshin goes to the circus. Kenshin rides a train. It seemed that Kenshin quit his role as Battousai the Manslayer to become the Japanese Spot.

Somehow my brother convinced me skip ahead to Season 2, also known as the Kyoto Arc, also known as the Fucking Amazing Arc. The FAA marked the first time I missed an academic deadline because I was caught up watching anime. It wouldn’t be the last.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly Kenshin squandered the goodwill of the Kyoto Arc. Season 3, the final season, ran from episodes 63–95. It was one crappy arc after another until I dropped it at episode 91. This is shocking for two reasons. First, I hate dropping anime. Dropping an anime at 95.8% completion speaks volumes about how shitty it got. It would be like dropping a three episode OVA with four minutes to go. Second, I lasted several more episodes into Naruto Filler. That’s bad.

My understanding of the downfall of Kenshin is as follows: creative control of the anime was wrested away from the manga creator, who was paid vast sums of money to keep his mouth shut. I could be totally wrong about this since I’m lazy and don’t care about industry gossip. It doesn’t matter. The last season sucked regardless of who sold out to make it happen.

A new Kenshin OVA is coming out. It better not suck.

19 Replies to “The END DAY: Rurouni Kenshin”

  1. Everything after the FAA in the anime is completely anime original (and BS for the most part). I lasted maybe 15 episodes after the Kyoto arc before I started skimming through the rest of the seasons.

    They never adapt the rest of the manga (the Jinchu arc, etc), which is actually pretty good. I don’t think they cover Tsuiokuhen in the anime either, and the anime itself is loaded with filler even before the FAA. And that new OVA just covers the Kyoto arc again.

    In other words, yea, higher-ups are really milking the series. :/

  2. The worst part is that if you actually want to see what should have been the third season (albeit in super condensed flashback form), you have to sit through the Reflection ova, which completely butchered all the characters personalities, especially Kenshin, who apparently had leprosy and was more emo than Cloud Strife.

    While it has to be said that I’ve never watched Bleach, Naruto, One Piece or any of those shows with legendary bad filler; to me, the treasure-hunting dog story from S3 is the single most terrible episode of anime I have ever seen. I honestly have no words to accurately describe it…

    So yeah, S2 and the Trust & Betrayal/Tsuiokuhen ova are the only parts worth watching. Hopefully the new Kenshin project will turn well, whatever it is.

  3. I really don’t get why everybody says xxx sucks and was only made to earn money… if it sucks, how does it still earn money? Some things I will never get (Microsoft is one, reality TV shows is another).

  4. I must sadly admit that I stopped watching Kenshin BEFORE the FAA. When I’m stateside again, I’ll have to look into starting it over again and at least getting to that point. Now, this is an awkward comparison to make, but something bothers me about Kenshin in terms of the relationship between its filler and its serious arcs. You see, I hate to admit it but I watched a lot of Gintama and for me, the ridiculous day to day episodes in which no actual plot is conveyed, or even hinted at, are some of the most hilarious. I was even willing to accept the episode in which they intentionally refused to make the screen transition from the opening scene where the “camera” is outside their home (the Yorozuya building) and they keep it there for 10 minutes or more while literally having the characters blather on about how this is their way of saving money on the budget since they ran out early at the end of the winter season. I should have been pulling my hair out, screaming at the filler, or if I were intelligent, fast forwarding through that part of the episode. All that tolerance for the inane and yet I simply yawned and grew tired of Kenshin without much of a thought, doing so at the time just prior to the beginning of it’s most popular and impressive arc. Inconceivable! Or maybe I’m comparing apples to oranges, as Kenshin was never designed to be a comedy, but Gintama is able to transition from absolutely ludicrous to semi-serious with ease. Maybe these two shows can never really be compared to begin with. It’s just that there are certain elements within each that remind me of the other.

    • So you made the same mistake as me, which isn’t a mistake so much as excellent judgment. The early filler in Kenshin was the mistake.

      I’ve heard great things about Gintama, but I’ve been putting it off precisely because I’ve heard it’s less serious than your typical shounen anime. One of these days I’ll cave in.

      • Well if you do cave, it’s my suggestion that you do NOT approach it as a pure Shounen anime. It’s most certainly a comedy first, so that’s the expectation you would want to go into it with in order to gain the most enjoyment, but much like the Prius I must admit that I drive, it is a hybrid that is capable of relying on a different energy source to fuel it’s progression. What is this nonsense that I am spewing? Well, if you approach the show as a comedy, you will take it less seriously and not be waiting for a rise in tension or any high-energy state. And when those things do come, they’ll be more valuable as an experience.

        I would hate to sit through a show like Gintama, tapping my feet for something of substance or drama. Because I would be tapping my feet for a long time. I don’t believe you should set yourself up to do the same.

  5. this is one anime that i didn’t want to watch (except the 4ep ova) cause of…i think someone showed me a filler ep or something. now i kinda want to watch FAA. does anybody know which ep it starts from?

    • Looks like the FAA is episodes 28-62. There are a bunch of earlier episodes I’d recommend watching for background. Judging by Wikipedia’s Kenshin episode guide, those would be episodes 1-11.

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