First lets clarify the title this is Rurouni Kenshin: Shin Kyoto-Hen Zenpen it is a remake of the Kyoto arch and Kenshin’s battle with Shishio. Like the OVAs, the pacing in this series is quite packed. Every second is used in putting every important detail in the story. I haven’t read the manga, and I vaguely remembered the series and that one stretches far more than this one. I can’t personally say that the parts that were remove here compared in the series are all part of the manga. But nevertheless, that story is easy to follow and each scene connected seamlessly. I have to say Rurouni Kenshin: Shin Kyoto-Hen Zenpen really was a pleasant surprise after hearing it was a remake you figure it was probably just going to be a recap cutting out some of the the filler from the tv series that wasnt in the manga but that isnt the case.
There is absolutly no resued footage from the tv series it is all new animation which I have to say far surpasses that of it’s predacessor tho seeing how it’s been what over 10 years since the original tv series you would figure as much but the new breath taking animation alone isnt what gives this a worth watch/buy there is more to it than a pretty exterior. Rather than just following the same events/fights and battles leading up to the Shisho confrontation it offers new perspectives from Misao and other companions of Kenshin it’s like looking from the outside in giving new narrative but dont worry Kenshin is very much still main attraction and the plot result is still the same just with added story and a new take on the fights. For those who have only seen this franchise, it may confuse you on this. But thinking of watching this would not come to you mind knowing, since I would believe everyone would had at least know Batoussai or Kenshin Himura by now, at least by name. That you might want to watch or know the beginning of the series to understand. Yet, the franchise is well-known that knowing the basics might led you to enjoy it alone.
The third main character in this so-called Kyoto Arc is the young teenage girl Misao. Misao chases after Himura in a forest, demanding to see Aoshi, her mentor in the martial arts and a man for whom she has perhaps more than merely a “professional” interest in. Another thing that I liked is that even though the show is meant to be done in Misao’s perspective, they don’t make it super obvious by focusing only on her. The focus is there, but it isn’t excessive. It was nice to watch as someone who loved the original show and wanted maybe a bit more, but I’d say it isn’t the most impressive thing in the world. But what about the fights? The Kyoto arc was an amazing ride full of exciting battles and strong characters classing all over the place. Do the swordfights make it worth it?
Sadly, no. However, everything from aesthetics and sound were refitted to this era. Although that isn’t a big thing entirely. I also like that some of the soundtracks in the series were used here. Overall, there isn’t anything much to say about this. It’s a short film that retells Shishio’s plot on taking over Japan, and its Kenshin and the gang’s job to stop it. What is unique about it, at least for me, is the difference between the TV series and this one. I never knew Kenshin’s master would appear this early in the arc. But is this a faithful adaptation of the manga is left for the avid manga fan to confirm.