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Rurouni Kenshin New Kyoto Arc Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow/White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-MA (V)
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 90 Mins.
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 5, 2013
  • List Price: $39.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

This is a new update to the Rurouni Kenshin anime series, the focus being on the Kyoto arc of the original story. Not being familiar with this series, I cannot compare this new work to any previous versions, all I can say is that I felt I was thrown into an ongoing story and needed to get my bearings before I could begin to follow along. The story, set in two parts, is set just after Japan’s Bakumatsu period, in the Meiji period. It follows the wandering ronin Himura Kenshin who has taken it upon himself to protect the people of Japan, but sworn not to kill anyone with his sword. In this new Kyoto arc, Himura must fight to save Kyoto from burning at the hands of determined nemesis Shishio, a supernatual samurai determined to bring an end to the era of peace. The story is told from the perspective of Himura’s follower Misao and others. A fine chambara fantasy with cool design, a number of edge-of-the-seat swordplay scenes, and compelling characters, these two stories do hold your attention. I would assume that those familiar with the franchise from before this would find even more to like, for those who are not, this may not be the proper point of entry.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The animation is offered in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement. Colors are vibrantly saturated and there is little to complain about at all, other than there is some softness in the image, especially in some of the midrange imagery. Overall, however, this is a quite satisfactory transfer.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) tracks are supplied. Little difference can be heard between the two, but the Japanese track does have slightly fuller-sounding dialogue to my ears. The overall mix is far from aggressive, but it does have good natural dynamic range, generally solid low end, and some effective use of ambient effects in the surrounds.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

They offer nothing more than trailers from additional Sentai Filmworks releases and the English disc credits.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

New animation, a new story arc, and magnificent swordplay define the 90-minute, two-part anime of this chambara fantasy. Fans of the series will most likely find something to enjoy in this solid, even of barebones, release.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]


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