Reverse blade sword
A sneak-peek to the world of Samurai X movie fantasy swords
Hitokiri Battousai is the world’s deadliest samurai assassin in 18th century Japan, a violent era called Bakumatsu, when he suddenly disappeared.
Eleven year later he resurfaced to become a wandering swordsman under a different name, Himura Kenshin. He refused to commit murder any longer.
He gave up his trade of killing people, and as a free man now, he hoped to live a normal life. Alas, his enemies would not let him rest from business. They would kill his friends, so he cannot have friendship.
They would kill his loved ones, so he cannot have a married life. They would kill anyone who knows him, so he cannot confide his life to anyone. He lived in secret, and to the shadows he lingered behind. But what happens when true loves comes along the way?
The world of Samurai X
So goes the life of Himura Kenshin, the main character and the protagonist of Japanese world-famous manga series Rurouni Kenshin, or Samurai X in movie series. (Rurouni stands for a wandering traveler). He is recognizable with a large X scar on his left cheek.
Created by manga artist Nobuhiro Watsuki in 1994, the legend of Kenshin went on to become one of the top 100 manga series, animated television series, and animated movies ever produced. Its reader base is large, and its audience in other media is considerably huge. Recently Rurouni Kenshin has spread to art, guidebooks, and novels.
Himura Kenshin and Reverse Blade Sword
Himura Kenshin, as a reformed man, has vowed to resolve issues with peaceful means. Hence, his Reverse Blade sword is his most appropriate weapon. Called sakabato sword in Japanese language or Battousai sword, the Reverse Blade sword has a unique feature of the cutting edge found on the inwardly curving side.
This is directly opposite design to the samurai swords, where the outward edge is rigidly polished to a fatal sharpness. The Reverse Blade sword thus cannot kill lethally to anyone got hit by it.
The sakabato sword is Himura Kenshin’s blade against his enemies, particularly against soldiers attacking poor and helpless civilians in his revolutionary, volatile times. The Reverse Blade sword is also consistent with his commitment: that he would never kill a single life needlessly.
Reverse Blade sword and katana sword
Which is better, a katana or reverse blade sword? The katana sword and reverse blade sword are the same as far as functionality is concerned. In fact, their shapes are similar—they are geometrically balanced sharpened Japanese long swords of about a meter in length. They distribute a blow to the sword along its length, not in one area, which makes them reliable weapons.
The only difference is that the Reverse Blade sword has the cutting edge located at the back of the sword, rather than at the front. This is done in order to keep the overall design, strength, and durability be like a katana sword.
However, it is primarily used in fighting enemies to submission, not to their outright killing. It’s a peacemaker’s sword, not a bandit’s.
Samurai X movie sword
Samurai X helped spawn the popularity of the whole franchise. Although critics were surprised at Himura Kenshin’s new character, it has catapulted the famed Reverse Blade Sword into a cultish reverence. This Battousai sword was an ever-present tool of war and peacemaking of Kenshin, and in the whole movie it has been credited to saving the life of the hero from near-death situations.
Himura Kenshin sword in other media
Across media where Rurouni Kenshin fiction revolves, the Reverse Blade sword is also featured prominently. For instance, its use and design were given much space in comic books for explanation and eventual understanding for the readers.
The Reverse Blade sword has also been made a reflection of Himura Kenshin too, as shown in original video animation (OVA) Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal. Kenshin was very different to assassins of his time because he refuses to spill blood, just like how unique his reverse blade katana sword was compared to other katana swords.
Collectible Reverse Blade swords
The popularity of Samurai X has resulted to the rise of many collectibles made out of the franchise. They now include many merchandises, ranging from figurines, key chains, t-shirts, plush toys (also called plushies), and replicas of Himura Kenshin sword or Reverse Blade sword.
The contemporary interpretation of this fantasy sword has the following details: an overall length of a meter, blade’s dimension of around 70 centimeters, a clear creamy shark skin wrapped on the grip, a dark circular hilt on the hand-guard (tsuba), and a wooden scabbard.
Other swords in Rurouni Kenshin
Most of the swords that appear in Ruruoni Kenshin are ninja swords, since stealth attacks are common throughout the episodes. Other notable fantasy swords include Hakujin no Tachi (The Thin Blade) and Renbato (double bladed sword), both of which are owned by the sword hunter Sawagejo Cho.
The crossdresser Honjo Kamatari (one of the few gay characters in the series) has a scythe-like sword called Ogama. Murakami, a member of ninja/assassin hell-bent on killing Hitokiri Battousai, has two katana swords chained together at the handles.