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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kenshin (Reflection) & Fuse (Jin Roh): Under the Ghostly Sin

To see Himura Kenshin as a husband, a father, a full grown up man might never crossed my head. This only OVA that I found, aside Jin Roh, is one of the best anime I'd ever seen.

Original Story of Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin or in English version called as Samurai X. It was a mainstream story where a young samurai named Kenshin took the role of protagonist. He was designed and created by Watsuki, as a famous swordman who wanted to help people around him after Bakumatsu war. Kenshin was portrayed as a compassionate person, closed with children, but also a strong person. He could make a gag for the audience or reader for his comical action. His past was slowly revealed by the truth that he was a killer from Chousuu faction who also killed his wife.

OVA Version
On Reflection, the opening had successfully surprised me with Kenshin appearance. It was totally different from the series and manga version. More realistic, more bishie-ness, with details on hair and body movement. His voice was much deeper with wrinkles under his eyes. I realized then this was Kenshin in much older, probably about 15 years after his son was born.

As the opening started, Kenshin was on the way home to Japan but the storm caused the him fell to the sea. Waiting for his returned, Kaoru - looked much mature and natural as Japanese woman, made her reflection about their life from the first time they met. For those who already watched or read the manga version, the story was more like a resume.

Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade

I never felt boring with this animation. It was a 'sign' of my coming-back to watch anime and also the first time I watched anime in film festival. I watched it personally uncounted times. The story, somehow reminded me to the student movement in my age (the scene where the protester met the police/army). But the spionage story with political needs behind it was something interesting to my own opinion. Based on the manga, Jin Roh was claimed as the last anime that was worked using celuloid. After that, anime entered the age of digital which was much cheaper on production.

The story was a linear storyline. Fuse and his group was ordered to find the terrorist/protester who was suspected carried bomb. On the tunnel, he found a little girl who carried the bomb. He was ordered to stop (by killing) the girl but instead he was only standing, startling to her until she suicided by blowing the bomb, creating chaos in Tokyo. Feeling guilty for unable to stop the girl, Fuse drifted himself into sadness. The meeting with the young girl's sister, somehow changed their relationship into bittersweet love story.

The Ghostly Sin
Anyway, I'm still attracted by the fact that the OVA version of Kenshin's characterization was stunning. To compare with Fuse from Jin Roh, both had a gloomy face and deep thoughts about their life. They also had a guilty feeling for 'accidentally' killed a female and tried to wash the feeling by doing good to other woman. There was a little note for Fuse. He was ordered to stop (by killing) the girl but instead he was only standing, startling to her until she suicide herself by blowing the bomb. However, they both fell in love to the new woman. The only different thing was that Fuse - in the end - killed the new woman (he had no choice) while Kenshin died on his woman's lap.

Now I'm thinking about these movies. I just suddenly have question: is that your feeling if you accidentally killed somebody or letting somebody get killed when you had ability to stop it?

Both Kenshin and Fuse were 'designed' to be killers. They both served organization where killing was not taboo. Precisely, killing was part of order. They were trained mentally and physically to kill. But, it was all planned killing or at least, they knew who they supposed to kill. Killing by accident is surely something else. Killing when you resisted to do that created an even worst guilty feeling. In this case, I can sense that if you are a normal person, however cold you are, however good you are trained to be a killer, there will be time that your heart can melt. You will cry for someone that you kill. You can cry for innocent beings.

The Reality in Our World
They might be only fictional characters but we can learn one thing: we must responsible to our action, planned or not. Carrying the burden may be a worst choice but by doing that, we can learn to be a better human.

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