Rurouni Kenshin concluding stories: Yahiko no Sakabatou Haru ni Sakura
As a Kenshin fan who has read the manga, I can say without a doubt that Seisouhen is the most heinous betrayal of a manga by its anime counterpart that I've ever seen. The manga has a happy ending, where Kenshin stays with his wife and raises his child. There is never any mention of him leaving again to wander, getting a disease or any of this other garbage.
Everything in this OVA beyond Kenshin giving Yahiko his sword is filler and is in no way canon. The characters are bastardized beyond words. Kenshin becoming a deadbeat dad and negligent husband, Kaoru as this whiny, weepy woman who tells him it's OK to walk out on her and their son and "walk the spiritual path of atonement" and that she'll "wait as long as she has to" for him to return and then when he does return, asks him to infect her with his disease so she can follow him into death. Yeah, right! Really in character, really canon!
The background animation is well done, to be fair. But the characters themselves! They all have these weird, sunken, haggard features. Their eyes have no emotion in them. Kaoru's eyes are brown! What's up with that?
The supposed animation of the Jinchuu Arc is such a ripoff, it doesn't deserve to be called that. If it's the Jinchuu Arc, where are Gein, Banjin, Kujirinami, Otowa and Mumyoi? Where's the doll? Why doesn't Kenshin go to Rakuninmura? Where are all the others when Kenshin goes to the island to get Kaoru? They're not there because all of that, and thus the whole meaning of the story, was butchered out!
Kenshin's fight with Enishi is complete crap too. Kenshin actually allows Enishi to kick his face into the dirt and offers his life in exchange for Kaoru's? I can look through all my manga volumes and say that that is most definitely not canon!
It seems like the message of this OVA is Kenshin was never able to let go of his grief and guilt over Tomoe, Kaoru never gained the strength and resolve needed to keep Kenshin stable and that Kenshin became self-destructive after giving the Sakabatou to Yahiko. Again, I can look through my manga volumes and say that this is not canon.
This OVA betrays the message of Watsuki's manga, which is that one can best atone for one's sins by living instead of dying. The message of the OVA is that peace can only be found through death. Uh-huh. Really canon. My only prayer is that someday the real Jinchuu Arc will be animated and this betrayal, this blasphemy will pick up dust on the shelves.
The Handsome Hitokiri
Ken wa kyoki. Kenjutsu wa satsujinjutsu. Donna kiregoto ya odaimaku wo kuchi nishite mo sore wa shinjitsu. Kaoru-dono no iterukoto wa ichido mo ono re no te wo kekashita koto ganai monogaiu, amatsu choroi zare goto de gozaru. Kerdomo sessha wa sonna shinjitsu yorimo Kaoru-dono no iu ama choroi zaregotgo hou ga suki de gozaru yo.
Under cover of night, the handsome, red-haired hitokiri comes up behind his prey and strikes. Never a sound is heard.
Konnichiwa! O genki desu ka?