There is a movie of the show, which is just a long episode of this, so it goes included somehow in this review, cool thing, but you won't miss anything if you skip it, so no real credits for it.
Without Studio Deen: 8.3 (Great)
With Studio Deen: 7 (Good)
More Details About Story Scoring
aprox eps 0-20 : 7 (Good)
aprox eps 20-40: 10 (Superb)
aprox eps 40-61: 8 (Great)
eps 62 -95: 3 (Bad)
Ruruouni Kenshin was one of those shows I watched when I was a little kid, after that I become very distant to Anime, till some years later. The thing is that when I started again I kept "fighting shounens" as far as I could and more the ones that went over 50 episodes, I though they were stupid due that they went repetitive and never lead to somewhere, and I still do for the most part sincerely. I also watched Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, Inuyasha, Pokemon, and a little bit of Ranma when I was little, but Samurai X was the only one that for unknowns reasons, still wanted to watch it again and took me time to actually take guts and watch my longest Anime from beginning to end, and gonna be some time till I grab another larger.
One part was that Kenshin is just an incredible character and the story has an amazing story because of that. Me, hating the formula of the strongest, it was an advantage, Kenshin being already one of the most powerful and he is not looking for that?, but the enemies are? While Kenshin tries to go on a philosophy of not to kill, It is actually complex just by thinking about that, and I actually was amazed that they deal with it a lot better than I expected.
The first maybe 20 episodes were pretty simple, my expectations and memories were very accurate, it starts very childish, very few fillers (bad ones), and arcs with kind of a moral lesson for each one, the battles actually have some sense of tactics: attack, defend, analyze and go against weakness and they actually do it pretty well as for realistic (For the anime standards of course) as for entertaining. It is heck exciting, a lot of emotions on the game, and great cliff hangers that just invite you to watch what goes next, despite of this I had the sensation that this was going to be as this all the way and the arcs were going to be forgotten, even for Shishio who I loved when child.
I couldn't have been more wrong, and the next around 20 episodes, started, no fillers until a lot more later, more precisely, when Saito appears, just fucking glorious, here is when I go just hyped about how much I love this part and I just can't express my emotions on words. But the reason of this is that, except for the fillers, everything was giving feedback to start with the big story, and here the storytelling surpass my expectations by far, every important character is always doing something important and having their own spotlight and it never stops, it has a lot of diversity and it heck of dynamic, 20 episodes of constant movement and going forward without stopping, building tension and tension for the last part.
Also another approximation of 20 episodes, and with what they did before, I was full and satisfied, and it was a giant support to this part of the plot and it actually was very epic, but it went for a shounen route that I just really wasn't very into, chamber battle, one fight and then the next one an so on, having two heroes team, in the cool hero team every battle is just sweet, with the rookie team, that is... just.... couldn't take it seriously because for me it was ridiculous, and so comes the final battle, which is impressive to watch but didn't like it much since it recurs to something that for me is just cheap.
After that Studio Deen takes property of the series, and ruins it with fillers and arcs that just aren't about what they show was supposed to be. Except for the first one, that to begin, can't compare with the one before, still could be great but with Studio deen: Battles lost all the tactics and all is driven by plot conveniences and fake danger far from being believable and the rule of cool is just exaggerated, so the last 34 episodes are rubbish, and just the first 61 are worth it.
Without Studio Deen: 9 (Great)
With Studio Deen: 8 (Great)
The characters are just classics, even the first Studio Deen arc characters are memorable for me, But I actually throw away Studio Deen part, reason, the ones who liked it, don't have a problem and the others like me that just don' t care about about that trash, will not even care about the character development at that point. And we are gonna take the first 61 episodes as source for our character value, since at the end there isn't any real growth or decrease on character development, is just null.
But in this 61 episodes for childish, stereotypical, and simple characters, they are marvelous, no doubt, they care so fine about each characters, even the villains have their own personality well manage and good backdrop, some other are just insane and beautiful like Soujiro. You will fall for the characters since the dynamic between them is very pleasant to watch, the main four are gonna be memorable for the rest of your life.
Without Studio Deen: 9 (Great)
With Studio Deen: 6 (Good)
Compared with the melancholic and harsh OVAs which I love, this just have a special sweet humour of its own, I will miss this a lot, as well it is a show that even in simple situations it can take stole your heart and get yourself pour into it so easily since it is very cozy and nice. Despite of Studio Deen wasting your time which really destroy the quality, everything is a solid show that I hope it last long being watched by new people, by lots of them.
Without Studio Deen: 8 (Great)
With Studio Deen: 7 (Good)
Animation can be amazing but in general is just good, character design are very good, the fights truly are worthy, and the atmosphere can be very imposing. When Studio Deen there is a lack of quality as always in this show.
I have a lot of respect for the music of this show, it really gave me the chills a lot of times, Kenshin does have one of the best OST, and as always, I don't know what was the problem with Studio Deen but it wasn't the same sensation, but it deserves a lot of recognition.
As you probably notice, I highly recommend skipping the last part of Studio Deen