Why such a high rating?

8.6/10 for Reflection and only 7.2/10 for Trust and Betrayal? It should be the other way around.

Reflection was mostly a retelling of the series and the storytelling was too jumbled and often incoherent. Even if you've seen the TV series, the movie is confusing. I had a hard time judging when everything was talking place, if they were flashbacks or dream sequences, etc. It was very distracting.

Trust and Betrayal had a solid plot, was very poetic and heartbreaking. I'm surprised that people prefer the TV series and the other OVAs over Trust and Betrayal.



You will give this a much higher rating if you have seen the series and both movies prevous to it, as it brings the theme of the whole story together.

I was really thinking bad thoughts about this movie for the first half of it and even went as far as fast forwarding a little of the monolog(I was tired).
But on the completeion of watching, this after seeing both the OVAs and most of the series, it made me feel very sad inside, not because the film was bad, but because of the way people can die sad, sad deaths for values they believe in.

To see how much Kenshin had changed since he had first wandered into miss magumi's town, and realise all the pain behind his small smile, it actually is a very effective peice, beautiful, not in animation but in character .

I enjoyed it, would give it at least 8/10

'nuff said


Trust and Betrayal is Excellent. If you don't become quite emotionally moved by these OVAs then you have a heart of stone.

Reflections is one of those things I wish I'd NEVER had the misfortune to see!!

10/10 for Trust & Betayal (4 seperate eps.)

3/10 for Reflections

3/10 for the movie

10/10 for the series. It has a bit of everything and a happy ending (i'm a real sucker for positive endings - I don't like the 180 degree turn pulled by the producers for the final OVA - No lighthearted comedy at all)


The only things that I liked about it was that you get to see Kenji and not only this but you now can see Yahiko fight like a real swordsman and how far he has matured since the series. Also, you can see what Kenshin's life was like after the series. Other than that, Trust and Betrayel were better.


A 3/10 for Reflection? You don't know art. Give me a break, not everything has to have a happy ending. The suprise ending gave it that final emotional punch. This even though it's an Action series, it didn't deteer or distract with mindless violence. While a bit grusome, it is truly the finest OAV I have ever seen. If you are wondering, no I haven't seen the others, but I don't have to, to see a good story.

Anime is Forever


I'm glad that Seisouhen is ahead! I think they did a better job on it than Trust and Betrayal. The music is much better and fits the scenes more perfectly. The art is also closer to the series without losing much of its realism. The end is so beautiful that it blows all the angst of Trust and Betrayal out of the water.

From the Attic with Love


Give me a break. Maybe it'd have been better is a single character acted in character...

Kenshin: I'll leave my family and go wandering-which I swore to NEVER DO AGAIN- to help the Meiji FIGHT A WAR!

Kaoru: I'll stand by weeping and wailing when Kenshin breaks his vow and I vowed to never let him go!

Sano: I'll toss my terminally ill best pal in a boat with no guarantee he'll reach home to go slumming around China! I'm the guy bwho stood against Makoto Shishio for him, too!

Hiko: I'll train Kenji....thus breaking my vow to my apprentice...because I'd never pass on HMR...mainly as the test is fulfilled and the true master chose its way....

Kenshin: I'll offer my life to Enishi! Never mind I decided I'd NEVER DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT in the Kyoto Arc and decided the will to live is the strongest thing ever

Enishi: I'LL KILL YOU FOR REVENGE!!!!!...notice how I'm in a half an hour...half an hour after a TEN VOLUME arc! And all my layers and character drive? GONE! GONE I TELL YOU! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I'M CEEEERAAAAAAAZY!

Kenshin: What am I dying of anyway?


Kenshin: Kenshin was in character. He didn't go to FIGHT a war, he went to help out the wounded. He never said that he wouldn't help those in need, only that he would give up the sword. Also, he's dying of Syphilis that he caught from nursing someone who was dying from it. Lastly, who says that Kenshin wouldn't give up his life if he thought that it would fix what he had broken. (Committing suicide and giving your life for someone are two different things. If it makes you feel any better, I don't think that he would have done it for any one but Enishi.)

Kaoru: She wasn't weeping and wailing, she was supportive and loving. She gave everything she had to Kenshin. While I realize she is only a character I also wish that I could be even half as wonderful a wife as she is.

Sano: He knew that Kenshin was dying and he also knew that he could honor his friend best by staying in China to finish what Kenshin had started. (aka helping the wounded)

Hiko: He did NOT fully train Kenji. He never taught him any of the real secrets of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu. Basically, he was just taking care of Kenji in Kenshin's absence and keeping him busy.

Enishi: They would have had to make the movie 13 hours long to do the entire Jinchuu Arc. They had to make the choice to cut it down to the bare essence and I think that they did the best that they could with the money (and movie length) that they had.

From the Attic with Love


/Hahahha. How about violating hias greatest vow to NEVER LEAVE HIS FAMILY AND KAORU AGAIN. No matter what he did, he helped the Meiji. And nope, he said he'd never surrender his life. Did you miss the Kyoto arc where he DID NOT let himself life or someone kill him? Or how he achieved his greatest move? How he knew he could NEVER willingly surrender his life no matter what? He gets this in the Jinchu arc too. nd this syph thing is never once hinted at. Learn more about Kenshin then come back

Kaoru: As in let him leave, breaking HER vow and generally be a horrible husband and eventually die of grief? Pfft, come back when you know a little bit about Kaoru's character. She'd never have let him go, or at least not alone. You missed the Kyoto arc, hm?

Sano: This is the man WHO STOOD UP TO MAKOTO SHISHIO WITH A BROKEN FIST AND VOWED HE'D NEVER LEAVE KEN'S SIDE WHEN HE WAS IN NEED. Come back when you learn about Sano. He'd never, ever, EVER have sent Ken ahead on a boat.

Hiko: He taught him some of HMR. Invalidating his own vow. Learn a bit about Hiko then come back.

Enishi: Learn more about Enishi as it's obvious you know very little. His bare essence was making Ken suffer. Unbearably. Horribly. In this, he's a one dimensional maniac with zero character and none of what made him so great. Maybe they should've made a mini series for him, but they didn't. Another reason this movie sucks


Oh yes, even Watsuki, the mangaka despised Reflections, saying it was totally out of character with numerous other criticisms


Wow, Debnath, YOU really don't know anything about Rurouni Kenshin.

Kenshin fought the revolution in order to help the Meiji. If he did the opposite after that, all those lives he took, everything he did would be for nothing. He explained this early on in the series/story.

When he left Kaoru to go help the people (and, yes, the government did ask for his help), he couldn't say no. He felt that he needed to atone for his sins. In saving lives he could atone for all the lives that he took.

Kaoru understood this, understood that Kenshin's soul was still heavy with the weight of the sin and the only way he could get rid of it was by doing this. So she let him go, sacrificing her own happiness in the process.

He wanted her to stay there and stay safe.

And he always came back, and Kaoru was always there, waiting for him with a smile and open arms. That was what Kenshin needed--total acceptance, and someone to always be waiting for him.

Megumi commented on this, if I am not mistaken.

Kenshin did give up the sword--he gave it to Yahiko when Yahiko was ready and of age. Yahiko was very honored. (I think he looks adorable in the OVAs. =D)

Kenji doesn't understand his father one bit, and becomes bitter because he is never around, and he sees his mother slowly wasting away it seems.

He chooses not his mother's sword style, but his father's, and wants to prove himself better than his father, so he goes to Hiko.

I remember Hiko saying he wouldn't teach it to another student, but I think it was a cursory statement, and not a proper vow.

As for Enishi, he really was insane. He was obsessed with his sister when he was little, and when she died he placed all the blame on Kenshin. Over the years that anger grew and festered inside of him, and he lost it, finally taking his chance to avenge Tomoe.

They were all in character. It may have seemed different to you, because you couldn't see the story step-by-step and watch the characters mature and change slowly over time. No, you had to actually use your head and work it out for yourself.

Maybe that was too tough for you, Debnath.


What DO I believe??!?!?!?! The arguments made by Nobuhiro Watsuki-who, y'know CREATED THE CHARACTERS and the manga...or some kid on the internet with no idea what she's talking about.

1. Yeah, Kenshin's redemption was also done. He realized that in the Jinchu arc, hence his scar fading. Recall that little bit? No? Well, too bad.

2. No, he could have said no as he made it clear in the manga it wasn't his job to help everyone, especially as he needed to care for his family and friends and he'd never get involved with the Meiji.

3. Kaoru was a freaking idiot, since she let Kenshin go which she swore she'd never do again and his soul's been clean ever since he married her. Read the manga.

4. You'd think by the times seeing Kaoru be an incredible swordswoman and defeat Kamatari that her staying safe would he rather simple.

5. Yeah, you mean by the times AFTER Kaoru kicked his ass for leaving her? After Enishi, they took vows to never be apart again NO MATTER WHAT. PErhaps you missed that whole detail, what with her saying she'd stay by his side forever.

6. Yeah, and Megumi also said Kenshin's only issue was HMR's effect on his body.

7. Which is another problem: Ken would never ditch his son. Read the freaking manga, last volume.

8. which is why the OVA screwed up Kenji horrifically.

9. Umm...no, that was a vow. Hiko comments that with Kenshin the true master, only Kenshin could pass it on and he refused. Hiko agreed that if HMR had to die it would with them. No more students or masters. The succesion ritual was complete

10. Too bad Enishi was NOTHING like the OVA protrayed him as, hm? Don't talk about things you have no idea of.

11. Maybe this is too tough for you, but read the manga and don't talk about things you know nothing about. You couldn't understand not a single character would have acted how they did in this movie and RK's creator has said so himself. Case closed


Can you read Japanese? Because the manga is not finished being translated yet. Where are your sources? Where did you find out that Watsuki was displeased with Reflections? Because before creating an animation, the animators first need full permission from the creator.


They need the rights, which the creator doesn't always have, having given it to make the anime series, which he was very pleased with. However, OVAs were made, without his permission as the rights to the anime were sold. That, or he didn't know what they were going to do with it.

Ever heard of scanlations? That's how most people have read the translated RK manga and Watsuki put a long rant in Shonen Jump in Japan a few years back, which I believe was copied in Volume 28 detailing how furious he was with Reflections.


I'm 100% in agreement with you. The Reflection OVA is horrid. To my mind, it's a trainwreck. I love Watsuki's story and Sony really screwed things up. It's sad that most North American fans will see the OVA before reading the manga and have their perception of the Himura family warped by this garbage.

Kenshin is a great husband and father, his son doesn't grow up hating him, and if he did think of leaving again, Kaoru would kick his rear.

If we didn't need computers to use the Internet, they'd make great doorstops.


I have to agree with all those who say ADV payed ABSOLUTELY NO attention to the manga.

Kenshin would never have even thought of leaving her again. He'd done so much for japan already, so why would he leave his wife and his child and STILL feel like he had to save the world!?
This contradicts the whole meaning of the movie! The point is that he found a home in Kaoru, the person who accepted both his past and his present selves, right? So why would he do that? Why would he leave her?
I have to say i hate how negligent kenshin was of Kaoru in this OVA. It was ridiculous. It seemed like she was the one with all the love and he was the one who took it all without giving more than a little bit back. All of Kaoru's understanding and devotion and undying love for Kenshin (that Tomoe lacked) was wasted by the patheticness of the movie. The people who made this show didn't know the series, the characters, or the mangas at ALL. As Debnath said, what about their vows never to never be apart whatever happens? They totally overlooked the importance of that promise. What about all those times he should've said 'i love you' when she did? All the romantic scenes in the manga were not there in the movie, a BIG disappointment. It's like the producers of this sorry excuse for a conclusion DECISIVELY drowned out every single moment in that proved she was his other half. The producers of this movie obviously wanted it to seem like he ONLY married her because she asked him to. Some SORRY excuse for a marraige proposal. The producers could've done better.
When i bought Seisouhen i was expecting something else. I was expecting smiles and love and romance like there was in the manga despite his ridiculous, pointless and unnecessary journeys all over. But instead i get some retarded imposter of the real kenshin who doesn't look his wife in the eyes and seems like he'd rather be somewhere else than in the role of husband to his 'beloved' kaoru. I found it hard to believe that she really WAS his beloved Kaoru from the way he neglected her. If they made it seem like he'd rather be somewhere else the way they did, what was the FREAKIN point of their marraige OR their love?

It's disappointing. As a die hard Kenshin x Kaoru fan, I'm sticking with the Manga ending where Kenshin wasn't such a bastard.

PS: I can read japanese and i also read that Nobuhiro Watsuki Did in fact despise what ADV did to his story.


In the OVA, it seems like he maybe wants to love Kaoru, but can't get over Tomoe. In the manga, Kenshin and Kaoru visit Tomoe's grave, say their finaly goodbyes and then leave, hand-in-hand. I'll wager anything that that wasn't in the OVA.

I've been slamming Sony Studios on message boards for this OVA. Is this OVA more the result of ADV films or Sony? Is ADV owned by Sony?
If we didn't need computers to use the Internet, they'd make great doorstops.


i agree with everyone who hates this movie. I watched this movie right after I finished the manga and I despised the movie from being so different.


The only decent part of this movie was the final scene.


vashsunglasses said:

Also, he's dying of Syphilis that he caught from nursing someone who was dying from it.

Could you contract syphilis just from nursing someone? I had thought it was almost exclusively a sexually transmitted disease, along with the miscarriages or other problems it can cause if transmitted from mother to child in utero (good thing Kenji popped out of there ahead of time!). The thought of syphilis actually did occur to me while watching this, on account of the red lesions/rashes on their bodies and Kenshin's apparent neurological degeneration. HOWEVER, the idea of Kenshin sleeping around is utterly laughable (I can't even picture him having sex ever to be honest, but I rely on Kaoru taking a dominant role there).

In the end, I had to chock this one up to a "metaphorical illness"... That is, the disease is intended as a physical manifestation of the weight of Kenshin's sins and his painful history, which (in this version at least) he is never able to fully shed and which continues to wear him down until the eventual release of reunion and death. It is Kaoru's ardent wish to share this burden of his that causes her to contract and grow weak from the disease as well (although in the physical narrative it transfers through them sleeping together). Personally I'm not a big fan of metaphorical illnesses, and I would have preferred that they either clearly outlined what it was, or represented the idea in more of a general withering from grief sort of way.


I'm pretty sure it can be transferred through blood. If Kenshin had a cut on his hand and then got blood on him...

Witty closing remarks have been replaced by massive head trauma and severe hemorrhaging.


Right, there are non-sexual means of transmitting STDs. I was just wondering how statistically likely it would have been in that period? Any time I've ever heard references to syphilis historically it was always contracted through the vector of sexual intercourse (often in environments of prostitution).

If non-venereal transmission was in fact a rarity back then as well, it would make me wonder... Are the script-writers suggesting that Kenshin caught it by some mere fluke, or that he had interaction with prostitutes during the long periods when he was away (assuming a more earthy Kenshin that could be influenced by so-called male carnal needs)? And sadly, men who acquired the disease from prostitutes would often go on to pass it on to their unsuspecting wives back at home. It just seems like an odd writing choice to me to involve a disease like syphilis that is so associated with this particular context, and it naturally casts some shadows and suspicions over the male protagonist who is already not being presented as a very ideal husband and father in the course of this OVA. If there is solid historical data on significant rates of non-venereal transmission than I could understand it better, but otherwise I can't help but be left scratching my head a bit over this and what they expected the audience to take from it all.

I did find this article on Jstor, however, examining some contexts of sexual and non-sexual theories of transmission in the Victorian era, and questioning modern medicine's discrediting of the significance of non-venereal vectors.
A few quotes of interest:

Treponema pallidum, the spirochete first isolated in 1905 and responsible for syphilis, does not survive for long outside the living host. Modern texts admit the possibility of acquiring syphilis through contact between the mucous membranes or abraded skin and objects that have just been contaminated with infected bodily fluids, but such cases are considered extremely rare. Since the secondary lesions are highly contagious, experts also concede the possible danger of nonsexual bodily contact, a danger limited by the relative impermeability of intact skin.

Only in the period since World War II, during which the widespread use of penicillin has magnified the relative importance of sexual communication by shrinking the reservoir of T. pallidum in the population at large, has casual contagion become the oddity it appears to be in modern nations today.

Syphilis is now firmly equated with the risks of sexual contact, but this equation applies, in fact, only to the most technically and scientifically advanced societies. Elsewhere, syphilis is no index of indulgence or restraint.

So there's a counterpoint at least. :)


My assumption was that Kenshin went to help a group of ill people who had been abandoned by the government. It's the kind of thing he would do. And while he was nursing them he came into contact with the disease. Advanced Syphilis can look rather grotesque so a 'leper' colony in a judgmental country like Meiji Japan isn't exactly unlikely.

Witty closing remarks have been replaced by massive head trauma and severe hemorrhaging.


"My assumption was that Kenshin went to help a group of ill people who had been abandoned by the government. It's the kind of thing he would do."

No it's not. It's not the kind of thing post Jinchuu arc Kenshin would do. At this point he never would have left the home and family he had achieved. At this point he's realized that he can only protect the people around him, within his immediate sight. At this point it's out of character for him to leave to help people in a war, even if he wasn't taking part in the fighting.


Your version of Kenshin is a douche. "I'm well adjusted now so F those guys!"

Witty closing remarks have been replaced by massive head trauma and severe hemorrhaging.


"Your version of Kenshin is a douche. "I'm well adjusted now so F those guys!"

It's not my version, it's what was established in the actual series.


Not according to my interpretation. Don't act as if your interpretation is the end all, be all, of Kenshin.

Witty closing remarks have been replaced by massive head trauma and severe hemorrhaging.


"Not according to my interpretation. Don't act as if your interpretation is the end all, be all, of Kenshin."

The consensus is that Kenshin would not have left his family like he did in this movie and was acting out of character all through it. And again, this is based on what's established in the series. He would not have started wandering again, much less left to assist in a war.


There's clearly no point in arguing with you, you have your opinion and you're unwilling to consider other viewpoints... That's fine but I'm not going to waste my time. Have a nice day.

Witty closing remarks have been replaced by massive head trauma and severe hemorrhaging.


"There's clearly no point in arguing with you, you have your opinion and you're unwilling to consider other viewpoints... That's fine but I'm not going to waste my time. Have a nice day."

Fine, but it's not like you actually tried arguing against my points.



I hear ya, though only on the T&B vs TV issue. I was quite impressed by T&B and gave it a "Very good" rating (8). But then I went to the next step and started watching the series... ?!? I've only seen the first two episodes and I want to completely skip that thing. I mean what's with the kid stuff, all the jokes and stupid faces they make? How's that a "sequel" to the deep and dramatic T&B that dealt with swordsman morality and such?

I'll just go on to Reflections and The Movie to see if there's anything there I might like, but I'm utterly disappointed about having been tricked into wasting my time to get all those useless gigabytes of TV nonsense.


I'm sorry you feel like you were tricked by the anime. The Rurouni Kenshin anime and Tsuiokuhen (T&B) OVA are both based on the same story, but are different takes on it. The OVA removed much of the humor from the original manga story and reworked it into a tragedy/romance.

I would recommend reading the original manga to truly understand the story of RK. If you're strictly into dark and serious, you might even like Reflections. However, you should know that Reflections is not the ending the original author intended.

Also, the movie Requiem for the Patriots is more like the TV series than the OVAs, so you may wish to avoid it.

Give me liberty, or give me death!



I feel like Reflections exists in an alternate universe that follows from Tsuiokuhen, but not the TV series or the manga. While Tsuiokuhen was good overall, and less contradictory with the original core of its characters than Seisouhen, it also seemed to exist in a separate space to me (hence your contrast-shock when transitioning from that to the TV series). The universe of the OVAs is imbued with "mono no aware". It's utterly devoid of humor, and no happiness is to be hoped for that isn't ephemeral and tinged with poignancy and sadness (the cherry blossoms falling in the last scene are so iconic for this theme).

On the other hand, the manga has a much more positive outlook and I think things would have played out very differently in that case. As people have said, the Kenshin that developed through the manga/TV series would never have neglected his family so, but I could buy it of the Kenshin we saw in Trust & Betrayal.

Seriously I would be totally pissed if I thought this was how the manga characters ended up, and for this reason I hated this OVA at first as I wasn't sure what to do with it at the time...... but if you disregard it as canon and view it as happening in that "aware" space I mentioned before, it kind of works in its own way, and there are actually some beautiful moments.


Seisouhen is a reflection of the reality that everything comes to an end, even for heroes. No movie has ever moved me to tears like this one. It shows you to appreciate what you have (especially love), and does so in such a beautiful way.

The first time I watched, I absolutely hated it. The second time, I "watched with my heart" as the opening suggested, and I saw the movie in a completely different way.

The ending shows Kenshin as the true warrior he is, fulfilling his promise to Kaoru and earning his redemption. I was hoping for a reunion party at the dojo with smiles and laughing, and for Kenshin to maybe settle the score with Saitou. But the ending was much deeper, meaningful, and true to life than a cool sword fight or comic relief. I will never forget Seisouhen.


I don't think I've ever been shunned or swayed on watching an anime until I actually watch it, but this thread has turned me away from watching Reflections. I think I'll probably leave it at Trust & Betrayal.

I don't want to watch some kind of "beautiful" and "deep" handbag drama. It isn't something I would normally watch, (given the choice).


I liked Trust and Betrayal more... but I disagree with those who claim that Reflections is horrible. I think the two OVAs go well together as a standalone to the series. The ending, though heart-breaking, work so well thematically with the OVAs' atmosphere. All in all, it's really just a matter of preference: If you like the light-heartedness of the TV series, you probably won't like Reflections, but if you prefer to view it apart from the series, you'll love it.


T&B was a great OVA and a great way to see Kenshin before he stopped working as a manslayer, Reflections however is garbage story and character wise to the point the creator even said this is NOT how he wrote Kneshin's ending and is NOT how the charcters end up in his story. Whoever was doing "Reflections" took the story in a very wrong direction as it's characters are so OOC its practically an alternate universe.

"Always two there are , a master and an apprentice"


yeah, Reflection is a good OVA if it's a standalone samurai movie but as an ending of Rurouni Kenshin, it's just too different and too depressing.

I'm okay with the more realistic approach and the grittier tone they took for both OVA from Rurouni Kenshin but making the characters behave totally different from the original source (the manga and the tv series) is just weird and an insult to the creator (Nobuhiro Watsuki-sensei).

Thank goodness Trust & Betrayal rated higher now, it's stay true with the best chapter from the manga (Remembrance 1-14), it's animated with pure awesomeness and tons of gracefulness, it have amazing script, and it have the most beautiful scores in the history of animation.