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April 2017

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whatever happens

I've been wallowing in nostalgia. This is going to be a completely trivial post, so if you're reading it, you probably have better things to do. :)

The nostalgia is the late 90s anime Rurouni Kenshin. I recently got the three live action movies from Funimation (Origins, Kyoto Inferno, and The Legend Ends). I watched them in the dubbed version and enjoyed them so much that I watched them again immediately, this time subbed. I thought the casting was phenomenal, the acting was great, and so was the direction, photography, fight choreography, sound, set decoration, etc. They were heavily compressed from the anime, of course, but I thought the compression was skillfully done. Even when I had a problem with it, I understood the why of it. I had a quibble with the dub - the voice actors didn't have the distinctive qualities that the anime voice actors had - but it was still well done.

I have to say that the live action Saitoh was every bit as sexy as the anime Saitoh, if in a different way. Also, I liked the actor for Hiko, even if he wasn't Hikaru's Hiko. I think that Hikaru would have liked him, if she wasn't so gone on the anime version.

Watching these made me think a lot about the anime, so I got that off my shelf and started binge-watching it. I'm almost through the Kyoto Arc now. I thought that, after all these years of not even thinking about Kenshin, I wouldn't like the series as much. Wrong. I like it even more. I didn't think I'd react to the characters strongly this time, but I did. I was a tiny bit less horrified and unforgiving of Saitoh driving that blade through Sano's shoulder, and I was more tolerant of the silliness of some of the characters, but otherwise, even knowing the endings, emotionally it was like watching it for the first time. I still adored Sano, wanted to cuddle Kenshin, had mixed emotions about Saitoh, got frustrated/mad with Aoshi, went weepy over Capt. Sagara, and laughed or cheered or groaned or got worried and upset, just as I did when seeing it long ago. I had the same reactions to Hiko as in the old days, reliving whatever spark it was in that guy that set me off into all those stories with Hikaru. I even re-read some of those tales.

I noticed a couple of minor changes in the "me" that is watching it now, and the "me" that watched it years ago. For one, I like Yahiko more this time, and Aoshi less. For another, the repeat of the basic theme, especially pre-Kyoto, was much more obvious to me, which is probably because I am binge-watching.

I also have a fanfic observation. I got a lot of feedback in the reviews for my Hiko stories (and if any of you reviewers are reading this, blessings on your heads), and some of the feedback included polite corrections of Japanese things that, in my ignorance, I got wrong. I'm grateful for all those suggestions (especially for the one that told me katanas don't need to be sharpened, only oiled). But one thing I got corrected on, several times, was the use of the word Battousai as if it was a title rather than a name, i.e., "the Battousai". I'm here to justify that error now. It wasn't my fault! Watching the anime, I realized that the dub made that error through most of the pre-Kyoto episodes and even in some of the Kyoto episodes. So I wrote it like the anime taught it to me!

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