Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning is a Japanese movie based on the popular manga series Rurouni Kenshin. The movie follows Himura Kenshin, a talented assassin during the revolution that led to the Meiji Restoration in 1868.

Clip #1

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  • Course Classification: Macroeconomics.
  • Concepts: Physical capital depreciation.
  • Background: Himura uses swords in his work as an assassin. However, while swords are made of durable materials, they are not indestructible.
  • Question: Explain how Himura’s regular use of his sword affects its value. Is there any cost associated with the usage of the sword?

Clip #2

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  • Course Classification: Microeconomics.
  • Concepts: Negative externality.
  • Background: Tomohe’s fiancé was killed by an assassin while working for the Kyoto watch, which dramatically affects her life.
  • Question: When Tomohe’s fiancé (Akira Kiyosato) agreed to work for the Kyoto watch, was Tomohe supposed to be implicated? How come Tomohe is indirectly affected by Akira’s activities at work?

Clip #3

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  • Concepts: Asymmetric information, Adverse selection.
  • Course Classification: Microeconomics, Industrial Organization
  • Background: Tomohe was asked to observe Himura. The stated goal is to detect his weaknesses. However, she was not aware of the real objective of her mission.
  • Question: Is Tomohe affected by not knowing the real goals of her mission? Did lying to Tomohe help the mission succeed? Explain the consequences of such information asymmetry.