The following review was written by guest contributor Sam.
Japan’s Meiji era was supposed to be a time of peace, but Japan’s shaky government had enemies, easily silenced by assassins. Trust and Betrayal is the bloody-as-hell prequel to the fun loving anime series known as Rurôni Kenshin.
As a youth, Kenshin Himura (J. Shanon Weaver) was known as Shinta, a seemingly homeless boy accompanied by female slaves. Shinta is forced to watch their murders by vile criminals, eventually being saved by Seijûrô Hiko (Joe York). After leaving Shinta alone, Seijûrô Hiko returns to see the boy has buried every single victim, including the murderers. Hiko is impressed and takes the boy under his wing as an apprentice to swordsmanship renaming the boy Kenshin (heart of the sword).
Hiko trains Kenshin until the youth decides to leave, taking matters into his own hands, attempting to change peoples’ corrupt ways. Contrary to Hiko’s teachings, he finds himself killing more people than he saves, becoming the era’s most feared assassin.
Trust and Betrayal is an often depressing work of art as Kenshin ultimately regains his humanity. Trust and Betrayal’s opening alone is worth a watch, the story is a powerful message and a flawless symphony of violence.