Man, my sisters and I loved the anime when it was airing. Never read the manga, but we had all the DVDs as they came out.When I say we loved the anime, I mean we loved the first two seasons. Haven't seen season three? Consider yourself lucky. I mean, the initial story-arc has its strong points, and the last two may have some merits, but overall, season three was a washout.Movie looks pretty good; I like the way they play mix-in-match with elements from the best story-arcs of season one, with a bit of season two thrown in. It's really cool when you can make all those connections into a new story and have it work, which it looks like this film mostly accomplishes.Their choice for Sano looks all wrong to me, though, and he was always my favorite - I think because of his attitude, and because he was the weakest character on the show who could still hold his own in a fight, so he had a kind of underdog vibe going for him. Plus there's just something about a brash hothead, I guess.I'm not sure it's quite accurate to call him an anarchist, though, because it's not like he finds overarching, hierarchical, and coercive governance structures inherently oppressive - he just has a massive (and, given his backstory, understandable) grudge against the Meidji government in particular.I'm also puzzled why you object to him as an anarchist being portrayed comedically, because 1) his character on the anime was played for comedy often enough and 2) in my experience of anarchists, we tend to be a pretty comical bunch, good source of humor. (Also, 3) I recently heard the Marx Brothers' film personas characterized as "anarchists" in the special features of the "Night at the Opera" DVD - and yeah, I know, they're not THAT kind of anarchists, but I still defy anyone to argue they shouldn't be funny.)Anyway, thanks for the run-down; may track the movie down at some point.