On Sunday, September 2nd, I saw the new Rurouni Kenshin movie!
Ebony, Kim, and I had been planning for a week to go see this movie. Since there’s no movie theater near us, we really had to plan it, because the only theaters were two hours away, in Chiba City (or near Chiba City). And since we were making the trip, Kim and I thought we should see two movies. Movies are expensive in Japan, but it’s probably worth it to see two if you’re going to make that drive.
Kim wanted to see another Japanese movie called Another (2012), and I wanted to see The Dark Knight Rises (2012), so we decided to split up to see those, and then meet up again after those movies were over to see the RuroKen film.
However, things didn’t work out exactly as we planned.
Ebony went to Tokyo on Saturday evening, and when we drove up to Chiba City, we got a little lost and ended up at a different theater. The different theater had about the same movie times anyway, and it was actually closer to Tomiura—we would have had to drive another half hour to the one we meant to go to!
When we called Ebony to tell her that we were changing theaters and that we could pick her up at a different, closer train station, she said she couldn’t make it. She said she was just going to go home. I was disappointed that she couldn’t come with us, because she really wanted to see the movie too, but she was probably tired after spending all day in Tokyo.
When we arrived at the theater, it was too late for Another, but The Dark Knight Rises had not started yet. However, we were both really hungry, and the movie was about to start in 15 minutes.
Remember my priorities list from a few entries ago? Yeah, we chose food over the film. Sorry Batman! My stomach is calling!
After we ate, we had about 4 hours until Rurouni Kenshin started, so we wandered around the mall in which the theater was located. It was a pretty great mall—it had a bookstore, lots of clothing stores with sales, a small market, a food court, everything a mall should have. We did the girly thing—tried on some clothes, wandered around the mall, bought some stuff.
We went into a store that is kind of like Spencer’s or Aahs, and I found this:
Awesome! I wonder if they ever do shadow casts here.
We walked by a store filled with purses, and my purse was falling apart again. The straps keep breaking (because it’s a poorly made purse, but what do you expect from Ross), and I glued it together in June with book glue, but I knew it was going to break sooner or later. It just wasn’t reliable.
So we went in. They were actually having a sale on purses, so I found one that had so many unnecessary straps.
It was big enough and had enough pockets, so I decided to buy it. On sale, it was only $20, which was quite a deal at this store. Also, the cost of living in Japan is high, so this was probably the cheapest purse I could ever get. (Okay, there were probably cheaper. Free is cheap. Free is good.)
Right as I walked up to the cash register, my old purse broke.
Purse: “You’re replacing me? WELL FUCK YOU THEN!”
Kim: “Wow, what perfect timing!”
Some Japanese merchandise is really funny—we found some great Engrish, and with it, Kim and I decided to start a band. Here are some pictures of things with our song titles on them:
Also, we found kitties! Yay!
And some creepy robot animals. O__O
Anyway, we went to watch the movie.
Even though it would be in Japanese and I probably wouldn’t understand a word, I was very excited about the movie. I really liked the Rurouni Kenshin manga in high school, so at least I would be able to get the gist of the movie!
For those of you who don’t know, Rurouni Kenshin is about a wandering swordsman in the Meiji period (1868-1912). He used to be an assassin, but after his side won the war (thus beginning the Meiji period), he vowed to never kill again. And of course, throughout the series, people keep trying to get him to kill. Everyone, everywhere, wants to be the one to beat the Battousai (his assassin name), so people keep attacking him and when they fight, they complain that he isn’t trying hard enough to kill them or some shit like that.
And the poor guy just wants to live a peaceful life.
HAHA THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR BEING AN ASSASSIN.
Since it’s historical fiction, there was a lot of old Japanese, so I didn’t understand much of it. I remembered a lot of the plot from the manga, so it wasn’t really a problem.
The movie was a lot of fun—it’s always fun seeing your favorite characters in action—but if I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t great plot-wise. There was some weak character development—for Kenshin and more disappointingly (for me anyway) for Sanosuke (though I suppose he wasn’t entirely necessary to the plot; besides being Kenshin’s best friend, he isn’t all that significant, I guess…).
However, it was very visually well done and the action scenes were excellent. Great camera angles and everything. It was thrilling to watch.
After the movie, Kim and I walked around trying to find her car, because the mall was closed so not many doors were unlocked. While we walked and talked, we kept using Kenshin’s style of speech. He is very polite and old-fashioned, so he says “de gozaru” at the end of every sentence—even when it’s grammatically unnecessary. “de gozaru” is an old samurai sentence-ending that is just an archaic form of the verb to “to be/is.”
When he’s fighting, sometimes he reverts back to assassin-mode, and he drops the “de gozaru.” It was really interesting how much scarier he got when he used the informal form of the word. And when he used “ore” instead of “sessha” for “I.” (Both “ore” and “sessha” mean “I,” but they have different levels of formality. “ore” is masculine, and “sessha” is humble or something.)
So as a joke, Kim and I said “de gozaru” after everything.
Me: “Where’s your car de gozaru?”
Kim: “I dunno, but it should be easy to find because it’s red de gozaru.”
:D It’s totally unnecessary and old-fashioned. No one uses it anymore, and if anyone does, they sound like a samurai. Actually, apparently even in Kenshin’s time, no one used it, so it was strange that he used it, too.
I took some pictures of the posters in the movie theater hall. Apparently a lot of people were staring at me when I was doing so, but I didn’t care.
Kim: “Everyone’s staring at you, haha!”
Me: “I don’t care! Gaijin de gozaru!” [“I’m a foreigner!”]
Have you guys heard of Walk Off the Earth? It’s this new band I’m into. They are amazing musicians.
I first discovered them through The Japan Guy’s Blog (http://www.thejapanguy.com/). He linked to a video of one of my favorite songs!
This is an amazing version of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” by Walk Off the Earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M
I also highly recommend these two other covers they did. These guys are seriously awesome.
Adele’s “Someone Like You”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U0NFgoNI7s
LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-K1amTMA0I
Kim has also gotten me hooked on this Japanese rock band called ONE OK ROCK. They have a great sound.
So that’s all about entertainment! I want to write an entry about work tomorrow, but I think I’m going out drinking with my coworkers, so I’m not sure when I’ll next get a chance to write.
Please leave a comment! I want to know what’s going on with everyone. I feel real lonely without you guys. :(
P.S. An Edit
I almost forgot! Kenshin has a cross-shaped scar on his cheek. He got one slash from a man that he killed in Kyoto, and the other from… well, that’s a spoiler. :)
When he gets the first slash, I always—always—imagine that scene from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.
Please read, like a normal manga, from right to left.