All good things must come to an end. The final chapter to director Keishi Otomo's blockbuster trilogy based on the Kyoto arc of `Rurouni Kenshin' has finally arrived in Philippine cinemas,  fulfilling a promise to loyal fans for back-to-back bows on the twin sequels. The second installment of the film, Kyoto Inferno, ended with Kenshin lost at sea and feared dead at the hands of his archenemy and fellow assassin, Makoto Shishio. 

Every single element of the film is just downright amazing. Here’s why you ought to check out “Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends" in theaters.

1. The Mind-boggling Plot Twists 

The first half of an epic two-part finale, "Kyoto Inferno" finds the reformed assassin desperately trying to avoid the violence promised in the next film. While it was a bit of a cliffhanger, “Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends” is a giant, two-hour-plus action extravaganza in terms of its brilliant plot. There is little room for nitpicking in “The Legend Ends” as director Keishi Otomo throws the original plot out of the window and offers a new story, creating a new experience for fans who already know the story before going to the cinema. Fans may already know that Himura will fight Shishio, but they will just be as clueless as to how the events will unfold leading up to the final battle.

2. Acting At Its Finest

Every single one of the characters displayed impeccable acting skills. Takeru Satoh, Emi Takei, and Munetaka Aoki gave awesome performances on the film as their characters Kenshin Himura, Kamiya Kaoru and Sagara Sanosuke, respectively. Takeru is successful in showcasing how the weight of our hero’s past has finally caught up on him. It's safe to say that he has truly mastered his role. And beecause Shishio’s face is covered in bandages, it required an actor who could bring a very strong emotion to his performance and Tatsuya Fujiwara certainly gave justice to the character. That being said, the highlight is the fight scene between the two and other worthy opponents (no spoilers here), that's bound to make movie-goers holding their breaths. 

But of course, everyone did a remarkable job. From Himura’s sidekick, Sanosuke Sagara to Emi Takei who plays the adorable Kaoru, Shinomori Aoshi and Saito were all amazing. 

3. Professionally Executed Stunts, Seamless Special Effects

One of the film's strengths is its high production value and its visually exciting action scenes that really put it above many other manga adaptations that are so frequently hampered by TV aesthetics and distractingly awful CGI. "Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends" impresses from the stunning opening onwards as it attempts to tell a much grander story with a marked step-up in characterization and a darker tone. 

When it comes to the fight scenes and stunts, "The Legend Ends" is top notch and completely flawless, so be sure to keep your eyes filled with some of the best scenes happening very fast. Many of the battles are incredibly complex that's bound to make your jaw drop to the floor. And to make it even better, they've managed to reflect the unique techniques of each of the characters - Saito’s left-handed Gatotsu thrust, Aoshi Shinomori’s dual kodachi slashes, Sojiro Seta’s Shukuchi technique, and even Shishio’s Homura Dama. Yes, complete with the tip of his sword on fire.

4. More Than Just The Intricately Crafted Fight Scenes

Even though the film is truly an action movie, you are guaranteed to leave uplifted. The movie opted to stick to realistic scenarios and well, it pretty much has everything in it. It artfully weaves in a multi-layered budding romance, drama, tragedy and just the right amount of comedy, it hits on concepts that stand in contrast with most animes.  

The battle for Kenshin's soul maintains the film's focus, with Kaoru acting as his moral compass while a romance subtlety develops between them. As always, Munetaka Aoki is as hilarious as ever as Himura’s sidekick, Sanosuke Sagara. His lines and antics will leave audiences cracking in laughter. 

5. Pleasurable Influx Of Morals, Perfect Display Of Political And Societal Issues

Other themes which are rarely seen in the anime genre, such as politics and moral dilemmas pop up as well. This is what contributed to the legendary multiple demographic appeal of the series, which crossed age, gender and national boundaries with equal ease. This is perfectly translated in the film. There's certainly a lot to take to heart, teaching viewers a thing or two about life. 

Rurouni Kenshin shows a lighter side to the shifting of eras during the transition from the Genji to the Meiji, with a dark, underlying shadow of bloodshed that keeps viewers shaking with belly giggles while on the the edge of their seats. The characters are unique and have different philosophies and morals and the storyline is excellent, and unpredictable.

Kenshin's new approach to life that follows "Killing is wrong no matter who you kill" and how "Revenge is never the way to live" will, to some extent, give a great deal of perspective about life in general.

Watch the "Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends" trailer below!

From YouTube User WBPhilTrailers

In Theaters
September 24, 2014