A Good Prequel

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SAMURAI X: TRUST AND BETRAYAL (Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen, 1999, Japan)

This afternoon, Volts and I watched this prequel to the anime television series, written by Masashi Sogo and directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi.

It chronicles the backstory of Himura Kenshin as the Hitokiri Battosai, a legendary assassin during the years of the Meiji Restoration. The story starts with how he was named Kenshin by his master, Hiko Seijuro, a master of the Hiten Mitsurugi, the strongest form of sword fighting. Because of conflicting principles regarding helping the weak and innocent, Kenshin leaves Seijuro and joined the revolution against the Tokugawa shogunate. He joined the Choshu clan and worked for Katsura Kogoro as an assassin. After a bloody encounter with another assassin, Kenshin met Yukishiro Tomoe and later became his wife. However, towards the end of the story, as the title implies, trust and betrayal were shown in a slow, symbolic, and (as most samurai film goes) gory imagery. It also establishes the rivalry with Saito Hajime.