47 Ronin and Rurouni Kenshin: A Dual Review

It’s rare that I would blog a movie that hasn’t been shown and in that effect I haven’t seen – that’s because I don’t like shooting my mouth off on topics I don’t fully understand or personally know. But I am making an exception for these two movies.

RUROUNI KENSHIN

Like most anime fanatics (otaku) I have been anticipating the release of this movie for about a year now. It was announced that the film will be released on August 25, 2012 (so far no announcements to the contrary as of yet) but that date will soon be upon us and sad to say that none have seen any ad relating to this film. Usually if the film will be shown internationally, especially something this big, you would see ads about it months ahead. Oh we have seen countless trailers and that’s what makes it even more painful…having seen the trailer and not knowing if you’ll be able to watch it in the big screen.

Rarely has a live action film about an anime character been this much anticipated, so what makes this film so different? It’s because the film is a Live Action Adaptation of an anime character made and produce by the Japanese. And from the looks of the trailers the people behind the film had respected the character such that they have retained most of what the anime has – and most importantly they have respected the plot of the anime. So YES, we are so looking forward to this. I only hope we will be privileged enough to see it within months of its Japanese release..and on the big screen. HOPEFULLY!

 

47 RONIN

The next film I would like to talk about is one that slated to come out next year and one that as a lover of Japanese films and stories, am very apprehensive about. The story of the 47 Ronin is legend in Japan and in any person that places a high regard for loyalty. Personally, it’s my favorite piece of Japanese historical story and I am so afraid that Hollywood will ruin all again, like they did so many Asian stories (the Ring, DragonBall, Blood – the last Vampire, the Grudge, Street Fighter and so many others).  What I am most concerned about was that this is a piece of history and I am afraid to what extent Hollywood will take artistic license on the story.

True from what I read, they have decided to make this a fictional story about a man who joined the 47 ronin in that revenge…for what reasons I have no idea. I mean what reasons could you have as a foreigner to join a mission of revenge such as what the 47 ronin undertook. The lead role will be played by actor Keanu Reeves and he will be working with a number of big Japanese artists too. My friends will be thrilled to know that Jin Akanishi will be in the film also.

However, I think the producers of this film are trying to replicate the success of ‘The Last Samurai’. Unfortunately, I do believe they are going about it all wrong. The Last Samurai didn’t play around with real and historical story..it was an original story about a foreigner who realized and came to love the ideals of the samurai that he actually joined them in their fight to reserve their way of  life. Yes, the plot happened in Japan and during a real historical event but aside from the background story that plot of the film was a stand alone. This 47 Ronin film was entirely different because the foreigner will be joining the key players of an event in history.

Aside from that…just the fact that Hollywood will be doing this brings thrills to my bones. I am so, so nervous about this.

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