Guys, the past few weeks have not been good for me. Work has been harder than hell because we’ve had picked up the last shift’s slack, my body has been hating me due to sleeping wrongly which resulted in me suffering some neck pain, today is the fifth anniversary of my older brother’s death, apparently the Rurouni Kenshin Hokkaido Arc is continuing in June after Watsuki was caught owning child porn, and I can keep going. Growing up sucks. I have realized this before entering my late 20’s, yes I am old, but I am feeling this more and more every day. April is my least favorite month of the year for a lot of reasons, and the things that I listed haven’t helped at all. My childhood being crushed to death is the focus of this post. Let’s talk about the death of some of my childhood heroes and how I am unable to disconnect a creator and their works no matter how hard I try.
There have been a lot of bad reports of things over the past half year or so. A lot of people in Hollywood have been called out for being terrible people, but not many of them have affected me as much. Joss Whedon cheating on his wife has hurt me, but I don’t have a major connection with a lot of works besides Firefly and the Avengers. Even then, not as strong as a connection with those because there are many other Marvel movies that are great that I can focus on and the first time I watched Firefly was on my iPod while playing in the graduation band at the end of my freshmen year in college. I realize that Joss is a scum bag and a hypocrite. Because of these facts, I can’t look at Firefly the same way anymore, but I have other science fiction shows that I like which I can turn to as well. The Bill Cosby issues have affected me though, because I used to watch the Cosby Show all the time when I was growing up. My parents always had it on the tv, so I’ve seen every single episode at least three times. Bill Cosby turning out to be a terrible person has affected me quite a bit. The issue gets worse with Rurouni Kenshin and its creator Nobuhiro Watsuki. I have so many words that I have been saving up just for this moment.
I realized that I haven’t talked much about Rurouni Kenshin on this blog, but I love this show to death. This show is one of the things that helped to define me as a person when I was growing up. The story of this wandering samurai weighed down by his past of being an assassin who has killed endless amounts of people is one of the most enduring stories ever. A man with red hair and a cross shaped scar carrying a reverse blade sword is a simple character concept, but it is done so well in the manga and the anime. Especially with his past constantly trying to pull our main protagonist Kenshin back to the way that it’s always trying to pull him back to what he was before. The fact that Kenshin was able to come out on top and become stronger for it was one of the best things I’ve ever watched as a child. The best part? Our main protagonist was one of many people that had a journey like this in that series. The whole cast was filled with people trying to find a way their way in the world. Even the villains. Especially the villains. Yes, there are a lot of great action scenes that somehow combined real swordsmanship with the shonen battle super powere aesthetic which still makes some of the best fight scenes I’ve EVER seen in anime, but the main point is that there was a large amount of emotional and character weight guiding these fights. It’s so good guys. Well, at least season one and two are. Especially two. Rurouni Kenshin’s Kyoto Arc is still the best shonen arcs, possibly the best, that I’ve seen in anime to this day.
And no, this series didn’t only define me. It defined my generation. This all goes back to Toonami when I was growing up. Rurouni Kenshin aired alongside Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing on Toonami and everybody I’ve grown up with remembers them just as much as me. I used to have a lot of conversations centered around talking about the latest episodes. Even Rurouni Kenshin’s ending songs became something that you would hear all over the place. I mean, listen to this. Isn’t it good and addicting? You have no idea how many times in my life I’ve rewatched the first two seasons of Rurouni Kenshin. I don’t know either, to be honest. I bet that I can easily talk about this show to anyone in my age group and it will bring us back to the point of when we were growing up. I know that Trigun and other anime series have covered the same sort of story and it’s great too, but Kenshin is the variation of this story that I saw first. It clicks with me more. Rurouni Kenshin is such a master piece and I can never forget about it. This leads to some complicated emotions for me.
After talking about how this show has affected on a huge level, how am I supposed to suddenly dismiss it after hearing about all the wrong doings that Nabuhiro Watsuki has done. Unlike the director of MMO Junkie, he wrote the source material for this series. I can easily say, “ignore the director, watch the anime or read the comic”when it comes to MMO Junkie. The very fact that Watsuki defies a lot of the things that he was trying to say in his manga and by connection, the anime. It also gives me so many complicated emotions that I am still trying to figure out. This automatically ruins the show for me. Does that mean that I take my fiction too seriously? Maybe. Kenshin was one of my childhood idols and heroes. A lot of my ideals that I still live by were formed by watching the show. It’s who I am. How is it possible for the person who wrote all this good stuff to be such a terrible person? I realize that practicing what a person teaches isn’t always the mainstay of anyindustry, because there is a lot that happens in the background of a manga and anime, but this is Watsuki’s master piece. He put a lot of hard work into this material. Why? Why does it have to be this way?
In conclusion, growing up does suck. When it comes to a lot of works, I can’t separate a show from it’s creator or any of the background stories that I hear about a series anymore. Part of that is the internet’s constant spread of knowledge which can go anywhere at anytime in an instant. Part of that is the fact that as an adult, I care more about a series then the story, it’s characters, and its music. I care about the people that wrote the source material, the people who are behind the anime’s production, and the company who is distributing the material. Rurouni Kenshin will always be a part of who I am, but I will not turn my head toward any newer material for it ever again. I cannot support anybody whose ideals don’t match up with mine. Maybe that won’t affect what Watsuki is doing in the long run, but I will at least feel better about it. In the end, that’s all the closure I get from this franchise. It sucks. Growing older sucks. Why is aging a thing that must happen? Somebody stop that please.