just the basics: Kenshin

Kenshin

The Rebel Son of the Evil Warlord

Released in 1993

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Kenshin, the son of Lord Norinaga, is really the reason for the events of the third film transpiring in the first place. Lord Norinaga wants the farm lands that belong to Princess Mitsu, but Kenshin is in love with Mitsu and conspires with her to keep her lands out of his father’s grasp. Viewed as a traitor, Kenshin is brought to his father for punishment but accidentally sends himself forward in time, with April taking his place.

It’s kind of a shame to see how little Kenshin actually does in the film. While the audience is told that he’s a great warrior, you barely see his prowess in battle. And the battle that he does partake in results in his capture, so who knows what’s true and what’s not about this guy. While his action figure is a nice addition, he just looks a little off compared to the other figures in the Movie 3 variant line. Sure, you could say that him and April wearing the same clothes looks a little crazy, but that’s actually a point that gets explained in the film (matter transference). While he sports the same standard seven points of articulation, he just looks flat compared to the other figures. He’s just kind of standing straight and looking forward. Plus, we have the same narrow feet problem that we found with Mitsu, which is really confusing since this guy is just standing straight up, with barely an arch to his back and no knee bend to speak of at all. Perhaps the biggest problem I have with this figure is his head sculpt, and it has nothing to do with his man-bun (seriously guys, why is that a thing). I know it’s not, but Kenshin’s head just seems a bit big for the rest of his figure. It’s not that he has a bad design, his top and pants have some nice designs that have held up well over time, but the figure as a whole seems very two-dimensional and his articulation is nothing to write home about. But even with all of that being said, I think it’s great that this figure was released considering that he’s the son of a bad guy. Don’t think of these as action figures for a second and really think about the inherent drama that that sets up. You have a son that is rebelling against the traditions of old because he is in love with the woman that owns the land his father wants.

That’s crazy, and it is much more mature than some people give it credit for. A lot of people want to erase Turtles 3 from existence, and I guess I can understand why. I mean, yes, it is cheesy, the effects don’t look as great as they used to and the Turtles fighting new characters we’ve never heard of after two films of fighting with the Shredder is a bit of a reach. But, I am going to give them credit where credit is due. Turtles 3 was the type of story that took place in the comics many times before 1993 and the fact that they created new villains for the Turtles to fight is kind of ballsy. Imagine if the next Batman movie had an original villain that had no representation in the comic book medium. People would rake that movie over the coals before they ever saw a single trailer for it. Turtles 3 took a lot of risk and didn’t quite stick the landing. But that is what is great about the Turtles, they’re a risk that paid off, and Kenshin’s figure, while not my favorite, is a representation of that risk.

kenshin figure

 

Turtle Trivia: While Kenshin is portrayed in the film by actor Eidan Hanzai, he was credited as Henry Hayashi, which was his screen name for many (if not all) of his film and television appearances.

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