Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (TV Mini-Series 1999)

TV Mini-Series   |  Not Rated   |    |  Animation, Action, Adventure


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Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999) Poster

In the era of Japan's Meiji Restoration, an assassin regains his humanity.


8.6/10
11,874

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  • Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999)
  • Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999)
  • Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999)
  • Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999)
  • Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999)
  • Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999)

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24 November 2002 | NestorForjan
10
| A wonderful miniseries that deserves more exposure
Forget the famous Rurouni Kenshin TV series. This has nothing to do with it. Well, yes, it's supposed to be a prequel, but the tone, mood and depth of it makes it a completely different story. It's a lyric and very adult tale about love, death, politics and betrayal that deserved, not only a theatrical release, but also massive exposure.

Production values are extraordinary and it's packed with more expressive resources than all western animation ever. Look specially for one of the best representations of smell in the history of filmmaking.

But the best part is the story. Layer over layer of meaning and symbolism create a tight, dark and deep tale. Nothing is said, nothing is shown that doesn't bear deep significance, be it a cryptic sentence, a shot of a child's toy or a slash through the face.

And then there's the fights. When "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" opened everybody talked about how the fights revealed character. Well, Rurouni Kenshin does the same thing much better, and it doesn't need 10 minutes each time. The fights are short and brutal, swords actually cut the flesh, but there's so much being told each time.

One of the most beautiful things here is what's left off screen. Rurouni Kenshin is a historical epic, but history isn't shown directly to the viewer, it isn't spelled out for you. We focus on the characters. They go through history, sometimes they even change it, but we are not shown the politics and the fights for power. We stay with Kenshin, an assassin, a mere pawn in those fights. We see the killing and then we hear the vague echoes of what it causes. The story is moved forward, but we have to build it back together with the information we receive through Kenshin's eyes. Yes, this is what critics mean when they talk about a `demanding' film.

Rurouni Kenshin is a work of art. Well worth your time and money. It comes in two one-hour volumes (two chapters each), but the best way to experience it is seeing them all back to back, as a two hour feature film. Two thumbs up and go get it.

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