When I first heard of the news, it was after I had watched the 3DS game trailer on Youtube. I told a friend of mine on the Facebook chat and sent her the link. We stayed up that night watching the trailer for like an hour straight, just replaying it. Shortly after there was a “big announcement” that was going to be made. Rumors swirled of a new anime. As it turned out, it was the live action movie. And not too long after that, “Restoration” was announced. When I read that news, to steal a quote from Greg Capullo when he was asked about working on Batman, my pants got tight.
When season 2 came out, unfortunately, they changed time slot so it interfered with high school so I couldn't watch 90% of it. And this was back when tape trading was the only real way to try and watch animes, and at that time I didn't know anybody nor did I have internet at home, so as I graduated high school and moved on into college, Samurai X had stayed as a memory I made sure to never forget. The at the local mall, and Electronic Boutique opened (to you younguns', that would be Game Stop now a days), and this was back when they would sell DVDs and VHS', as well as Japanese merchandise, so after a few years of being separated (season 3 never aired in Puerto Rico as far as I remember), I ran into a VHS of this little thing called “Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal” Vol 1.
Oh my word, season 2, the “Kyoto Arc”, what a season. It had everything. A beautifully animated story with big repercussions, and the stakes where so much higher. The action scenes were more intense and jarring than in season 1, and much more serious in tone, though it never lost track of keeping lighter moments in too. It stands as one of my favorite anime seasons ever. Especially those final 5 or so episodes. I was jumping off my bed with every twist and turn and slash. Very few animes has drawn me into the characters as much as this one did (the most recent actually being “Attack on Titan”, which I say you should also watch now that season 1 is over if you haven't watched it). Those final scenes where Shishio is at the entrance of hell itself with Yumi and Hoji when Shishio declares he's going to fight the devil himself, yes, THE DEVIL HIMSELF and take over Hell, always sends chills up my spine. And the final scene with Kaoru welcoming Kenshin back home once they arrived at Tokyo, always makes me teary-eyed.
It's amazing how this one franchise has been able to reinvent itself and make me fall in love with it all over again. And yes, I got vol 1 of Restoration. And yes, in love. All. Over. Again. It is one of those pleasures I will take to the grave, and if by some off chance Nobuhiro Watsuki ever reads this, from the bottom of my heart and my creative soul, thank you. Thank you so much for sharing your talents, sharing your world, and for sharing your dream that in turn made me dream as well. Until next time, stay cool, my friends, and thank you as always for reading.
~Alvaro “Lance Danger” Cortes Jr