Reviewby Mark A. Grey, Nov 3rd 2002
DVD 7: Shadow of the Wolf
Kenshin has been having dreams reminiscent of his bloody past. But do these dreams fortell of a painful future? The height of the Rurouni Kenshin series, the "Legend of Kyoto" arc launches in this dark and action filled release.
Kenshin is one of the most well-liked and widely known anime series out there, generally famed for its second story arc. The previous story arc of Kenshin has come to a close and now a new quest has begun. Kenshin has been having dreams of his bloody past, but do they truly foreshadow the future?
The “Legend of Kyoto” story arc is probably the highest point of the entire Kenshin TV series. Shadow of the Wolf starts this arc off. New characters, such as Toshimichi Okubo, and one of the series new main characters, Hajime Saitou, are introduced.. The DVD starts off with Kenshin having flashbacks, which he fears are foretelling of a violent future. When Saitou, the legendary wolf of his past, comes for him at the Kamiya Dojo it makes for one of the best fight sequences in the series. “Legend of Kyoto” starts up with a bang and is one of the best DVDs of the series, if not, anime in general.
The sound is wonderful. All of the new music tracks are great, most notably “Departure” which captures the entire scene perfectly. “Hoeru Miburo” (Howling Wolf of Mibu) is another great track, and it represents Saitou, the character it is made for perfectly. The dub quality is just like all the other Kenshin DVDs, and it is appeasing. While this DVD's dub is quite good, the original dialog is still better, as the acting is superior for its originality and emotional performance. Still, the dub is decently received, except for those who do not watch dubs anyway. Die-hard fans of the original will probably not approve of it, but when viewed alone it is certainly not the worst.
The artistry is one of its best points. Character designs are creative and original. Scenery is always beautiful, and the summer scenery of “Shadow of the Wolf” is just amazing. The fireflies and trees full of leaves in the forests are stunning. If you have seen the previous volumes, little is different except for the change of tone. Some of the scenes in this volume are very dark and foreboding, incongrous with the comic relief in previous volumes.
Extras are excellent. Liner notes help clear up parts of both dub and sub dialogue. The outtakes are very humorous, the dub actors' mistakes range from funny to hysterical. The original epilogue is nice, it is good to see the original Japanese in the scene.
All in all, “The Shadow of the Wolf” is the best DVD so far from this excellent series. If you are a fan of Kenshin, the “Legend of Kyoto” arc is the best of the series, and “The Shadow of the Wolf” is a must have for you. “Rurouni Kenshin” is one of the most acclaimed series, and if you are a samurai fan it is highly recommended.
Overall (dub) : C+
Overall (sub) : A
Story : A
Animation : A-
Art : A
Music : A
+ Excellent story, awesome fight sequences, one of the better dubs in the series.
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