My God! I was totally blown away by this! This is the single most moving film I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of dramas. This is nothing like the Rurouni Kenshin series, as it is a lot darker, both in terms of lighting, color, and perspective. There is not a single hint of humor in it, but as the hero is a young assassin trying to come to grips with himself during the Japanese civil war, I don't see how there could be any funny parts. You WILL NOT be laughing at any point in this. IF you don't want to be in tears at the end, then don't watch this.
I have been a Rurouni Kenshin fan for years, so I thought that I would give this a try for the backstory on Kenshin and his life during the Bakumatsu. I knew it would be somewhat depressing, but I was put through the emotional wringer--and loved it. Every time I watch it I cry. It is that powerful.
This is the favorite in my collection. I have shown it to my mom, and she loved it as well. This is definitely for those mature people who want to see the definitive sad, moving love story. Betrayal, love, loss, pain (both physical and emotional), and ideals come into play in this wonderful film.
Kenshin joins the fight against wishes of his mentor and the warnings that he will be used by those in power, who will only want him for his incredible sword skills. Sure enough, his power and skills are abused by his superiors, who put him in the position of being their primary assassin. His ideals of honor, righteousness, and loyalty are skewed by his job as a murderer, and he begins to lose himself.
Enter Tomoe. She meets Kenshin by chance and begins following him around. They start to fall for each other, but there are too many secrets still hidden, and too much to overcome...
I cannot stress enough just how EXCELLENT and WORLD-CLASS this film is. If you want to see a story guaranteed to make you cry, then this is it.