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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Samurai X #1: Trust
Samurai X #1: Trust
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Review by Earl Cressey | posted October 4, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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Review:
Movie:
Samurai X: Trust, or Rurouni Kenshin, is the first of two volumes that each present two OVAs that serve as a prequel to the TV series. The second volume, Betrayal, is due out in November.

Shinta, sold into slavery when his parents died, is the lone survivor of a brutal attack when he is quite young. Seijuro Hiko, a wandering swordsman, saves him. Because he feels pity for the boy, he takes him as his pupil, and gives him a new name – Kenshin. After ten years of training, Kenshin is determined to leave the mountain and defend the innocent. Seijuro knows the boy has a pure heart, but fears that if Kenshin were to leave, he would be manipulated by those in power to kill for their purposes. He knows that Kenshin will leave despite his wishes, so he allows him to go. Kenshin soon joins the Choshu Clan, lead by Katsura, and becomes their assassin. By killing, Kenshin believes that he is bringing Heaven's justice to the guilty and that he is also forging a new world that will be at peace. In the village of Kyoto, Kenshin meets Tomoe while dispatching a foe, and fears that he might have to kill her for witnessing his actions. However, he spares her. Katsura, fearing that Kenshin might be losing all traces of his humanity, asks Tomoe to look after him and to always remind him of his humanity. Soon after, Miyabe, leader of a rival clan, orders Kyoto destroyed along with the Choshu Clan. Forced to flee, Kenshin must protect both himself and Tomoe from harm.

Samurai X was confusing initially with a very broad cast of supporting characters, but once I learned who everyone was, it made a lot more sense and was quite enjoyable. Kenshin is a very complex and conflicted character, and I look forward to seeing him develop with Tomoe's influence in the next volume. Just be warned, a fair amount of blood flows in these two episodes.

Picture:
Samurai X is presented in 1.33:1 full frame as it was originally presented on TV. During the first episode, I noticed some compression artifacts, but that is the only flaw I could detect in either episode.

Sound:
Samurai X is presented in both English and Japanese 2.0 Stereo. Simply put, the sound is fantastic, with no problems that I could detect. I did have some problems with the English subtitles though. The subtitles usually do not match the spoken English at all, and sometimes contain vast differences. The dialogue, though, is crisp and clean.

Extras:
ADV has again come through with some very neat extras for the first volume of the Samurai X DVDs. There is the trailer for Samurai X/Rurouni Kenshin, ten character introductions with the option to play a short clip featuring the character, and a scrolling text historical background. ADV has again put trailers for their other anime DVDs at the beginning of the feature, and those include: Blood Reign, Gasaraki, Ninja Resurrection, Generator Gawl, and Sin. But perhaps the neatest extra is the reversible cover that the DVD comes with; featuring the Rurouni Kenshin cover from the subtitled VHS and the Samurai X cover from the dubbed VHS.

Summary:
ADV has put together a great DVD for Samurai X with an almost flawless print, fantastic sound, and some terrific extras. Anime fans should definitely give this a try. Highly Recommended.

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