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I happened to get this because I've read about "Rurouni Kenshin" The T.V. series and it always gets fantastic reviews from people who've seen it. Well I was on eBay one day and saw this as a "buy it now" for $10 and I'm getting into collecting anime so I said "Why not?" and I was very impressed with these OVA episodes. I had read somewhere that the first two DVD's are a prequel to the T.V. series, and the final disc "Reflection" is an ending and to view the T.V. series before the ending. As a note for those who don't already know, ADV changed the name from "Rurouni Kenshin" to "Samurai X" as a marketing ploy taking advantage of the "Awsome Gnarley X-treme" syndrome of marketing that was bludgeoning us over the head here in America at the time. Seeing how these episodes were of a much more mature theme than the original "Rurouni Kenshin" series it seems a little backward to me, but what can you say?
I bought the T.V. series-the first two seasons and watched them after the first two discs of this set and I must say that I was a bit dissapointed in the T.V. series after watching "Trust" and "Betrayal" the first two discs of this set. These OVA episodes are very well animated(general art quality and movement) and the tone is a serious drama with deep psycological aspects. They explore issues like living with the deaths caused by involvment in war and the scars that soldiers carry for the rest of their lives as a result of their participation. And also how these burdens are carried by the wives and children as well. I was so impressed with these OVA episodes that when I saw the original T.V. series (which had enjoyable parts) I was dissapointed with the silly, slapstick elements that are all through the T.V. series. Some parts I even felt a little embarassed watching, even by myself! The art and animation were also of a much lower quality level than these OVA episodes. Even with the hole in time that this set has in the middle, I think that it is an excellent set if you're interested in a more mature themed anime that doesn't include any comedy at all, but has much thought provoking elements in a very good story. And if you're already a fan of "Rurouni Kenshin" the T.V. series then these episodes will round out and complete the tales of the legendary swordsman for the die hard fans. They are rated with a 17+ though, the original series was 13+. But I think that it could be appropriate for viewers younger than 17 if you're not bothered by bloody violence. I think that the older rating for the OAV's reflects the more serious dramatic tone than anything else, younger kids might not enjoy it as much as the T.V. series.
I'm not sure which came first, these OVA's or the Rurouni Kenshin television series. I know, personally, I saw the TV series first. I enjoyed the show so I decided to buy these based solely off the Kenshin character. What I didn't know was that I would enjoy these OVA's so much more than the show. These OVA's give you the beginning and the ending of this character's saga. Understand that the television show has a light, comedic touch for the most part. That is definitely not the case with the OVA's. These are a realistic (as much as can be expected for an animated show) take on Kenshin's back story. You see how he begins from a young child on the path to becoming a swordsman. You see how his story ends. This is just a great buy if you are a fan of the series. You see just about everyone involved in the series. You even get to see where Kenshin got his name and his famous scar. Even if you haven't seen the TV series, the first two OVA's are very accessible. The final OVA--Reflection is the only one that may require some background in the material. I would highly recommend these OVA's to anyone who is an anime fan or for someone who wants to show their friends just how good anime can become.
I've wanted this set for a long, long time, and now that I have it, I am far from disappointed. Trust and Betrayal were wonderful, but it was Reflection that really did it for me. Despite the general negative opinion on it, Reflection made me weep because, unlike Trust and Betrayal, I didn't expect that kind of ending. I love the whole OVA equally though. It's one of anime's best, and if nothing else, it's definitely worth a watch.
The Samurai X box set is an excellent, more economically friendly buy. The movies are without a doubt some of the most powerful and emotional anime I have ever seen. It is important to realize that very few anime lives up to my expectations of having exceptional caliber. This is definitely not just an "anime freak's" must-have collection, but the average person would agree that these movies have the most intriguing samurai plot ever created, and are worth your time and patience. That about sums up my personal review, high standards is my motto, this box set is indeed worthy of high praise.
the OVA's answer some of those questions that were left unaswered after the tv series wrapped, this is a plus, but this series captures the true story of Himura Kenshin, these three discs show what the human spirit is capable of, no matter the cause, or circumstances that we will go to great lengths for those we care about. I am not a very compassionateperson but these OVA's surpassed the series by tugging on a heart string on me. These three Discs should be in every anime lovers collection