During the Bakumatsu period of feudal Japan, two boys’ lives are changed forever when their village is destroyed and their parents are killed by a British naval attack. Together, they decide to become swordsmen, and under the tutelage of a skilled fighter, one of the boys soon catches the eye of Ryouma Sakamoto, a samurai who dreams of a better Japan. Along with he and his wife Oryo, the boy, who Ryouma names Ryo, travels the land, while Ryouma does everything in his power to usher in a new era.
In comparison to some of the other works to come out of the Young Animator Training Project, Ryo's story is somewhat vague, takes place in a historical era (which probably requires prior knowledge of Japanese history [which can be assumed when writing for a Japanese audience]), and doesn't really have a lot of meat or development. I was kind of surprised by how weak the story was, and I didn't really think the animation itself was all that special. I wouldn't go as far as to call it a waste of 25 minutes, but if you're not a history buff, you might consider skipping this one.
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