First and foremost, this episode should only be viewed after you have experienced the entire 94 episode series. If you view it as a single episode apart from the rest, then it would be a pointless, confusing, mostly bland, low-rated disappointment. This review is based on this single episode, while encompassing the entire series that preceeds it, so it will have some sway in the overall ratings of this review. Please keep that in mind when reading.
Anime was ridiculously expensive in the USA back in the 1990's and early 2000's. It is around the latter (circa 2005) when I had acquired the full bootlegged DVD version of the Rurouni Kenshin series, which included The End of Wanderings (episode 95).
I will be very vague about the plot of this last episode in order to not give away any spoilers. It tells a brief story of all the main characters post-conflict. Kaoru and Kenshin spend some personal time together away from everyone else. She is worried Kenshin is going to leave and go back to being a rurouni, a wanderer. Sanosuke and Megumi spend both some meaningful and humorous time together reflecting on some of their experiences. Yahiko is working at the Akebeko restaurant with Tae and Tsubame. There are a few flashbacks of some of the more significant moments in the series near the end, which concludes the series' end.
In terms of animation and art style, there is nothing significantly different about this particular episode that sets it apart from the rest of the series. Where the hand drawn art and animation are concerned, the quality doesn't wain from Studio DEEN's representation of the latter third of the series (Gallop is responsible for episodes 1-66). Where it does differentiate itself is the live-action (or possibly CG Animation) scenery that is included only in this episode. I cannot tell which one it is exactly due to its sub-par quality. Regardless, from a general visual standpoint, it is unnecessary and out of place. However, I believe that the studio is trying to end the series with a sense of realism to it.
The music and sound effects are primarily calming and peaceful, which is the mood that is trying to be set in conjunction with the select live-action (or CG) scenery. The ocean sounds are especially relaxing, while the ending music is energetic to reflect the happy-go-lucky nature of the main protagonists.
The history and development of these characters happens throughout the entire series, so very little is new, except as you are watching, you may wonder if Kenshin will be staying with Kaoru or not. Are his days of wandering truly over? Her dreams and the glimpses into the past may make the viewer question how Kenshin truly feels and wonder what he will ultimately decide to do.
One episode reviews can be difficult to sometimes write and even harder to critique, even more so when it is the last episode of something wonderful and fulfilling as Rurouni Keshin is for me. In the end, there is a sense of peace that is being presented to the viewers throughout this entire episode. There is no conflict, no violence, nothing reminiscent of practically every other episode before. The serene atmosphere feels deliberate and is only enhanced by the soundscape, but slightly diminished by added non hand animated portion.
Personally, it was a surreal moment as it made me realize that this beloved show of mine was drawing its final curtain. It was far from the most exciting or entertaining episode. However, as a conclusion to a great anime series it highly succeeded in conveying that the end was sadly here, and the characters will go on living peacefully as if their entire story was a work of non-fiction; something that really did happen. Thank you Gallop and Studio DEEN for taking me on this grand adventure known as Rurouni Kenshin.
Entertainment Score: 6/10
1️⃣Weighted Average System Score: (21 + 6 + 8 + 30 + 12 = 77/100)