The first Kenshin live action movie was a huge success that justifies more live action movies. The awesome Kyoto arc is chosen and the story is long enough to be split into 2 movies. With the same cast members and production team, the good and the bad are not too different from the first live action movie.
I am not going to write about the plot as it is similar to the anime and manga. Kyoto Inferno runs almost 2 and a half hours and obviously it ends on a cliff hanger. The movie ends somewhere after burning of Kyoto and despite the title as such, there is very little burning in the movie.
The cinematography for the mass fighting is still awesome and I am quite surprised that the rating is still PG-13 despite the splashes of blood everywhere. I was expecting plenty of exciting duels and I am disappointed because all the duels suck except for Kenshin vs Soujiro. Both are light-weight fighters whose techniques rely more on skills and agility, rather than brute force, and they depict these spot on. Sadly, despite the numerous duels, there was only 1 "special" technique featured when Kenshin defeats Cho.
Ironically, despite this being a second movie, there is not much improvement in characterisation of the old casts. I guess I am sort of used to them as I could bear with them. Takeru Satoh is still unable to nail the funny side of Kenshin but he is quite awesome when Kenshin goes into the killing mode. I am quite angry that Sanosuke (my favourite character) is somewhat relegated to comic relief. He is not as strong as Kenshin but he is strong enough to be Kenshin's sidekick but this is not what depicted in the movie. Kaoru still feels as distant to Kenshin as in the first movie and Yahiko only has 1 cheeky line in the whole movie. That is so unlike him.
The good news is most of the new characters in this second movie is awesome. Shishio, Aoshi, and Cho are crazy and sadistic as how they are supposed to be. Although I dislike Hojo, this guy playing him is awesome to capture his diabolical character. Misao's cheerful and outgoing personality are spot on and she is pleasant to watch. Soujiro's seemingly friendly but dangerous demeanor is also perfect. However, personally I think they should choose someone cuter to play Soujiro. In the anime and manga, Soujiro is still likeable despite being an antagonist. This guy playing Soujiro makes Soujiro irritating with his fake smiles instead of like-able. I am looking forward to Yumi but she is very ugly here T_T Her thick lipstick is a trademark but on real person, it makes the actress have a Joker smile instead of making her pretty. Bleah.. aah and that kimono should fall lower on the shoulders sia... Haha...
In the end, I still left the cinema as a happy fanboy. It was the same feeling that I left the first movie. Although there are parts which are not up to my expectations or imagination, overall it is still an enjoyable movie that does justice to the original manga and anime. It gets me excited to wait for the part 2 this October but it is not good enough to tempt me to keep a copy of the movie with me.