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Trust and Betrayal - OAV Series At Its Best

Darren Pangan   December 4, 2006

Nobuhiro Watsuki’s Rurouni Kenshin was a sure hit. But what’s even more amazing are it’s OAVs (Original Anime Videos), especially the first one. Rurouni Kenshin’s first OAV, Tsuiokuhen, which was translated and the title was changed to Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal, has got to be the best OAV series that I’ve seen. I bought a video of this a few years ago (I don’t remember exactly when) as recommended by a classmate in college. Although Rurouni Kenshin is popular in our area, not many people have seen the OAVs.

Kenshin and Tomoe Although the Rurouni Kenshin is a mix of comedy, action and drama, Tsuiokuhen doesn’t have the humor that the series have. This OAV series is seriously heavy drama that can really get you carried away. I feel depressed everytime I watch the video. There’s also action but it doesn’t take the center stage. But these fighting scenes are really, really good because the animation and movements are detailed. Most of the fight scenesa are brutal with lots of violence and blood spill. I don’t know if that’s a good thing but graphically, it looked really good and well made. This series is made up of four episodes. In the English version, they called them “Acts”:

Act 1: The Man of the Slashing Sword
Act 2: The Lost Cat
Act 3: The Previous Night at the Mountain Home
Act 4: The Cross-Shaped Wound

Kenshin HimuraThe story is based on a part of the Jinchuu Arc found in the manga. There were a few differences but the whole essence is unchanged. It tells the story of Kenshin Himura when he was younger, ambitious, and agressive. When he was still a little boy. Back then his name was Shinta. During the war, the people he considered as family were brutally murdered but he somehow survived. A master swordsman, Seijuro Hiko found him, took care of him and trained him to become a swordsman. Eventually, he joined a rebel clan and became a popular assassin known as the Hitokiri Battousai. One mystery character in the TV series appeared here too. Her name’s Tomoe and she became Kenshin’s wife.

Everything about this video is heavily emotional including the language and music. I watched an English dubbed version and the voice actors did a very good job. I haven’t seen the Japanese yet.

Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal is my favorite OAV series of all because of its excellent quality. The animation, story, drama, action, everything in it couldn’t be any better. I don’t see anything negative about the series. I recommend this anime to everyone. Actually, I lended my video to all my friends already and their reactions were the same.

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Category: OVA Reviews

You can contact me at darren at anime 2 manga dot com.

2 Responses to “Trust and Betrayal - OAV Series At Its Best”

  1. Scarred Sword Heart http://www.myspace.com/scarredswordheart

    I didn’t really like this OVA originally because I’d only seen the last half of it on Anime on Demand and in English. The English dub is so horrid, I don’t know where to begin. They sound like robots reading off a script!

    But I decided to watch the entire thing and in Japanese and must say I was wrong about this OVA. It’s gorgeous! I love how sexy Kenshin looks with his wine-colored hair in a top knot. I don’t care if he’s only 15. He is sex!

    For those who dislike this OVA because it’s tone is very different from the anime series, it must be understood that this story is set during a violent war and that Kenshin is on the verge of insanity.

    Kenshin kills so much that he is known as Hitokiri Battousai. His sword is sharp and relentless. One night, he kills a shogunate bodyguard who is desperate to stay alive because he is to be married. The bodyguard is able to wound Battousai on the cheek before Battousai plunges his sword into the man’s neck.

    After this, the wound starts to bleed mysteriously whenever Battousai kills someone. His supervisor, Iizuka tells him that sword wounds inflicted with strong grudges never heal until revenge has been exacted. Battousai is marked!

    Redemption comes along in the form of a mysterious young woman with deep, black eyes. Will she be able to help the assassin regain his humanity, or will they both succumb to the tragedy of the war?

    Over all, I would highly recommend this OVA over the anime series, the motion picture and certainly Seisouhen/Reflections. It can be watched after the anime series to understand how Himura Kenshin decided to become the Rurouni and how he acquired his scar.

    Tsuiokuhen also has a strong enough story to stand on its own. It can be enjoyed without ever seeing any of the other animated works, though of course I still recommend reading the manga above all!

  2. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    I thought the dub was OK. But yeah, the Japanese version sounds a lot better.

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