Written by: Nobuhiro Watsuki
Directed by: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Starring: Hideki Hamasu
- Contains episodes 63-66
- Extensive liner notes
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Overly-romantic girls
- Underly-romantic boys
- Very little butt-kicking
Released by: Anime Works
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Buy it
[ad#longpost]Firefly’s Wish is the first disc in a new story arc for Rurouni Kenshin, The Tales of Meiji, but they are really more filler episodes, developing the characters as they process the happenings of the second and former Kyoto Revolution story arc. In the first episode, Kenshin attempts to catch some fish for dinner, and ends up catching a moral instead. The second episode follows Yahiko as he impersonates a young foreign prince and dodges assassins. The third episode surrounds Sanosuke and his treasure-hunting chow dog, and the final episode centers on Kaoru as she deals with her feelings for Kenshin on a romantic holiday.
The animation is very nice. The backgrounds are beautiful and detailed, especially skies, and the main characters are expressive, lovely, and individuated. The first tale on the disc is particularly beautifully done, like an animated painting. Given that the stories are more comedy and emotion than the usual action, the animation is appropriately softer.
The voice-acting is solid, carrying emotion and personality without benefit of filming the actor’s faces. I don’t quite understand Megumi’s Southern accent, but ah well. Kenshin manages to sound both young and dangerous, without just being stereotypically disturbed. Swordswoman Kaoru is suitably strong, but also womanly.
The features are interesting: a reel of outtakes, some liner notes, and trailers. One of the outtakes is particularly funny, but I won’t spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that such voice-acting bloopers are a great addition to any Anime disc, and I hope to see a lot more of them in the future. The liner notes are useful for viewers new to Anime; for example, if you don’t know that sea bream is a festival fish in Japan, you’ll enjoy learning more from these notes. The information about the Tanabata festival day is particularly extensive and welcome.
In general, the filler episodes between major story arcs allow writers the chance to develop new sides to their characters, but also to break up the tone a bit. These episodes have less of the martial action and more humour, and we see the various relationships develop further. The first episode, “The Legend of the Fireflies,” is especially good, with the art, story, and voice-acting all working together to create a dreamy story with real emotional punch. The good thing about this disc is that it’s a wonderful place to get started with the Rurouni Kenshin story–you’ll meet the major players and get a feel for who they are, preparing you to follow the next arc better.
This portion of the Rurouni Kenshin story concentrates on humour and character development, rather than action, but it’s still quite entertaining and beautiful to look at. Besides, this disc contains one of my favorite lines in Anime: “If you kill yourself, I’ll chase you into the Afterlife and kick your ass, you got that?” Not as wild as Ranma 1/2 or as irritating as Tenchi can sometimes be, Firefly’s Wish is a wonderful addition to the Rurouni Kenshin saga. All in all, a solid and restful break after the action of the last story arc and the danger of the next one.