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Media Blasters presents
Rurouni Kenshin—Wandering Samurai #6: The Flames of Revolution (1997)

"This place is very dangerous, that it is."
- Kenshin (Mayo Suzukaze)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: July 19, 2002

Stars: Mayo Suzukaze, Miki Fujitani, Yuji Ueda
Other Stars: Akio Otsuka, Mika Doi
Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (animated violence)
Run Time: 02h:05m:00s
Release Date: December 19, 2000
UPC: 631595200522
Genre: anime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AB+B+ C-

DVD Review

The Flames of Revolution is an interesting turn for Rurouni Kenshin, in which subtle, but important, changes in his relationships with his friends take centerstage, and two important stories build the foundations for the future of the series. As the disc begins, Kenshin and friends are living life as usual, though Sanosuke is still his usual self, charging up immense tabs at the local tavern, and then charming waitresses to get out of it. He promises one waitress a print of a famous, handsome swordsman. When he goes to get it, though, he sees a drawing in the shop of his old captain, Sagara, back from when he was in the Sekihoutai, the military organization that was betrayed by the imperialist government. Viewers will recall, this is originally why Sanosuke wanted to kill Kenshin, thinking him to be an imperialist supporter, but then they became friends. This drawing of Sagara intrigues Sanosuke, and he decides to find out who made it.He discovers it is an old friend, the only other survivor of the betrayal. He is glad to share memories with another Sekihoutai, but he eventually learns the disturbing truth that his friend has spent his money from making art on amassing an arsenal of bombs. Sanosuke wonders if re-creating the Sekihoutai and trying to destroy Meiji government buildings is the future he's looking for, and he decides it is. Problems arise, though, when Sanosuke discovers a despicable crime organization using the Sekihoutai name as a cover for their activities. He reunites with his old friend to combat this fake group, but in the process, wants to make the Sekihoutai (the real one) his future. Will Kenshin be so accepting of this decision?Later, Kenshin and his friends find themselves without money. As usual, Miss Kaoru is the only one bringing in cash, and she sternly chides the rest for simply hanging around, waiting to eat. So, Kenshin decides to go look for work. Eventually, they come across a shipping company paying top dollar (or in this case, yen) for anyone who will help their ships defend against deadly pirates. These aren't just any pirates, though; they're led by Shuura, the most imfamous of all pirates. They attack while Kenshin and his friends are at sea, and they turn out to be a little more than they can handle. Kenshin winds up their prisoner, where he uncovers their larger plans, but is unable to do anything about it. Both of these story arcs begin to solidify a dramatic trend to Rurouni Kenshin that might not be permanent, but certainly effects the relationships between the characters. It's a new approach to the storytelling style we've seen so far, and it works very well.Whenever a series dips its toes into 'filler' material (self-contained, little stories that add nothing to the central ideas of the show), as Kenshin has in the past, it's always a small risk, because getting back out of that can often be tricky and, in the long run, potentially backfire. Here, though, I must admire the filmmakers' talent for handling both serious, plot-forwarding issues along with the simple, more day-to-day stories. It results in a very funny, but also powerful and emotional show that embraces its setting and subject matter quite well.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: For the first time that I've noticed, Kenshin is now using a dual-layer disc and a noticeably improved transfer. Many of the analog problems are gone, and despite some grain and compression artifacts, the animation is much more colorful and vibrant. There's more fine detail and certainly more sharpness to the image than in previous volumes.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The stereo audio is quite nice, functioning well with lots of action and activity. There's plenty of stereo effects and good frequency range, allowing the track to breathe and function well with high-end effects and low-end impacts. This is a small, but welcome, improvement over past volumes. On a side note, the English dub is generally of the same quality, but the dialogue is easily one of the worst, most unenthusiastic, emotionless dubs I've ever heard.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:33m:12s

Extra Extras:
  1. Outtakes
  2. Art gallery
Extras Review: There is a translation guide on the disc (in this case, only one Japanese term), and a short reel of outtakes from dubbing track mistakes (which actually aren't that funny, really; just normal mistakes made in the course of doing dubs). There is some textless art from the covers along with the normal menus and presentation for the series.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Another solid disc from the Kenshin series, this volume offers a slightly more powerful experience from some of the lighter episodes and, like the rest of the show, is a must-see for fans.

 


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