I keep falling behind on reviewing manga >.<; during this quarantine, I keep reading ongoing series. so to make up for that, I’ve decided to review another one of the series that I own. it’s always faster for me to read something I can hold in my hands >.>; so, here we go!
Since I own this series, I will be reading the official English translation. I have the omnibus volumes.
“Shinomori Aoshi was once the leader of Edo Castle’s elite guard, the Oniwabbanshuu. When the shougunate was overthrown, Aoshi and his men were deprived of both home and purpose. All that’s left to them now are their fighting skills, which they’ve put to service as a mercenary guard for the industrialist Takeda Kanryuu. However much sympathy Kenshin might feel for the Oniwanbanshuu, he’s sworn to stop Kanryuu’s corrupt plans. But in order to do so, he’ll have to defeat Aoshi, a shinobi prodigy and master of a deadly twin-sword style.
Later, Isurugi Raijuuta, a swordsman of incredible strength and ferocity, requests Kenshin’s aid in reforming Japan’s swordsmanship schools, to save them from their decline in the modern age. Although Kenshin is intrigued by Raijuuta’s ideals, he’s disturbed by his increasingly brutal methods. Sanosuke runs into some trouble of his own when he’s reunited with a member of the Sekihou Army -the doomed civilian-run unit that they both served in during the revolution- who’s determined to exact revenge from the Meiji government.”
I am going to be doing shorthand as I read. These descriptions are really more of a reminder to myself about what all I have been able to read so far. Sorry if this bothers anyone! I will do a full description on the final review page of each series I read.
Every post past this point will be a spoiler, so please read ahead with caution!
ch37: Sanosuke didn’t meet Raijuuta xD Kenshin’s invited to meet Raijuuta somewhere, so the whole crew goes. it’s Yutarou’s father’s house -who sells Japanese swords. his carriage was attacked by bandits months ago, and Raijuuta saved them, so he’s been staying at the house and training Yutarou since. Kenshin goes to talk to Raijuuta while the others eavesdrop (they tied Yutarou up x’D ). Raijuuta wants a revival of swords and invites Kenshin to join his band of shinko-ryuu warriors who use any style as long as it’s strong enough. they intend to wipe out the senketsu-ryuu (peaceful) sword style and replace it with swords that can kill again. Kenshin won’t join. he doesn’t want real swordsman to vanish from Japan, but he’s against killing too much to allow more. Sanosuke gets where Raijuuta’s coming from and thinks swordsmanship might survive history -like kabuki has- if it’s only taught to the talented so it stays “pure”. looks like Kenshin and Raijuuta are going to fight
ch38: they fight, but the homeowner bringing them tea ruins the mood so they stop xD Sanosuke releases Yutarou, and Kenshin’s disapproving; Kaoru doesn’t take responsibility for letting them tie him up xD Yahiko challenges Yutarou who arrives early the next morning to fight. turns out, he hasn’t been trained at all, so Kaoru teaches him. Kenshin asks if it’s fun, and Yutarou says it’s just play, playing’s supposed to be fun (aww, I’m glad he’s enjoying it <3). Yahiko’s sulking about Yutarou getting positive attention xD Yutarou wants to learn the sword since his father -a former samurai- gave up his sword and became a merchant; Yutarou wants to prove what a swordsman spirit is supposed to be. he’s disappointed in his father. Kaoru invites him to become a student at her dojo. some swordsman arrive to attack Kenshin who was “acknowledged” by their sensei (so they’re with shinko-ryuu then…)
ch39: ooo, it starts with colored pages in the omnibus <333 it’s soooo pretty..!! ❤ I love it when it does this ❤ actually, the whole chapter was in color! so nice!! ❤ anyway, chapter time. Yutarou and Yahiko already have a good rivalry going xD before Yutarou can accept Kaoru’s offer, the dojo’s attacked by 4 men. Kenshin knocks out 2, defeats the 3rd, and the 4th runs. Sanosuke catches him by the face before Kenshin makes him release the guy. Kenshin tells the guy to tell Raijuuta to fight him himself. Yutarou’s impressed by Kenshin’s power
ch40: into volume 6 now! (still 2nd omnibus though). back to black and white xD Yutarou comes back to train every day for 10 days; Raijuuta still hasn’t shown up to fight Kenshin. Yutarou has potential as a swordsman, but when Kaoru invites him to join her dojo again, he refuses. he says he’s having fun and that she’s a good teacher, but he wants to learn the sword from Raijuuta. they walk him home that night, and he tells them the story of meeting Raijuuta. when robbers attacked him and his father, his father gave up without a fight; he didn’t show any samurai pride. Raijuuta scattered the robbers with a single swing. Yutarou asks Kenshin to face Raijuuta head on because that’s how two proper swordsman should fight, no tricks. Raijuuta attacks from behind right after he says that <=/
ch41: Raijuuta attacks in the dark from behind and later kicks up sand to try and blind Kenshin. 1 attack sends projectiles with enough force to cut. Kenshin barely dodges, but Yutarou’s hit in the arm. turns out Raijuuta staged the robbery in order to get to Yutarou’s father’s money; he was never going to teach Yutarou. Kenshin says their fight will be postponed for 1 hour so they can get Yutarou to a doctor, then he’ll come back to introduce Raijuuta to a living h***. Kenshin’s soooo ticked; Raijuuta’s even shaking some from his glare (good! D< ). Yutarou’s life isn’t in danger, but the nerves in his arm have been severed; he’ll never wield a sword again. Yahiko’s shook.
ch42: Kenshin’s figured out how Raijuuta’s technique works, but it was too late for Yutarou. the only saving grace is that the blow hit Kenshin 1st or else Yutarou might’ve lost his whole arm (it was cut to the bone, though). Sanosuke’s been with Raijuuta this whole time. they almost start fighting, but Yahiko shows up in time (btw, I like how Sanosuke eggs him on and snarks at him; it’s a joy to read <3). Kenshin says he’ll avenge Yutarou in Yahiko’s place -since they’re avenging the same person, might as well make it hurt as much as possible. Yahiko relents. Raijuuta uses his technique and finally manages a scratch on Kenshin’s arm; he’s delighted. and Kenshin mocks him for it. Raijuuta’s never killed a man, clearly, if just a little blood excites him. this is no victory. Kenshin says his sentence will match Yutarou’s; Raijuuta will never hold a sword again by the time Kenshin’s done with him (gosh, I like this Kenshin too much >///>; )
ch43: turns out, Kenshin’s right arm is still under the affects of anesthesia; he can only use his left, and he says that’s all he needs to defeat Raijuuta. Raijuuta’s insulted and ticked xD combining his 2 techniques, Raijuuta’s able to defend against Kenshin and attack from a distance, making him a decent opponent, but Kenshin launces his sword from its scabbard, hitting Raijuuta in the forehead with enough strength to knock him flat. he grabs Yahiko and threatens his life, but Yahiko’s not afraid. Yahiko, Sanosuke, and even Kenshin egg him on, but he doesn’t have the will to take a life. he’s not fit for satsujin-ken. his confidence shatters. he’ll never hold a sword again -according to Kenshin. elsewhere, Yutarou wakes up and realizes his sensei really did betray and use him.
ch44: Kaoru and co go to visit Yutarou, but he won’t see them. Kenshin talks to his father. as a low-ranked samurai, he became a swords merchant when the times changed, not because he lost his pride but to provide food and a home for his family. he wanted Yutarou to be strong and resilient because he hadn’t been able to. so, he let himself be blind to Raijuuta’s true nature, and his son paid the price for it… he’s fine with them all visiting, but next week, he’s moving to Germany because they have the best medics in the world (I wonder if that was true back then =O my world history knowledge sucks). he’s hoping that Yutarou will forget swords during his recovery. even at the station, no one knows what to say to Yutarou, but Yahiko attacks him flat out, challenging him. Yutarou’s able to defend with his left hand, and Yahiko’s challenge ignites his spirit. he swears to never give up the sword, to train with his left arm if he can’t use his right, and someday, he’ll come back and defeat Yahiko! Kaoru says he’ll always have a place at the dojo. a plaque is hung to hold his spot as a student ❤ Kenshin says he’s not worried about the future of swordsmanship when he sees their spirit ❤
ch45: extra/bonus chapter! background info on Sanosuke! he’s 19, 1st son of a farmer, born in Shinshuu in 1860 (Man’en era). he joined the Sekihou army when he was 9 and became the fight merchant Zanza after it fell (Idr when the Sekihou army fell; how old was Sanosuke when he became a fight merchant? O.o; ). now he’s a jobless freeloader xD Tae from the cafe asks him to buy a painting for her since it sells out too quickly for her to buy -she has to work. Yahiko’s still working at the cafe, too, so he can’t do it either. Tsubame also wants a painting.
history time! nishiki paintings (also called nishiki-e, edo-e, or edo paintings) became all the rage during the Meiji era. they’re colored, engraved prints that portray everyday life and important figures from government leaders to heroes to legends.
Sanosuke runs into Kaoru and Kenshin while he’s buying the paintings. he has to get Kaoru to pay for them xD but he sees a painting of Captain Sagara and realizes he knows the artist who used to also be in the Sekihou army. Kaoru and Kenshin follow him before deciding that this is just a reunion of old friends. Sanosuke tells his artist friend (Tsukioka Katsuhiro) that he’s happy now. turns out, Katsuhiro hasn’t been happy since the Sekihou army collapsed. he plans to overthrow the current government and bring about the future Captain Sagara fought for. he asks Sanosuke to join him
ch46: extra ch, cont! Katsu’s been making bombs slowly and stealthily for 10 years; he has a huge supply set up. he intends to attack the internal affairs office in Tokyo, and once it’s out of the way, he expects farmers, samurai, etc to revolt as well, bringing the rest of the government down like an avalanche. Sanosuke mentions several other revolts (the Seinan War, Saigou Takamori and his followers from Satsuma, the Jinpuu Union, and the revolt of Hagi-Akizuki) that all failed. Katsu plans to do this, alone if he has to. he doesn’t want to ruin Sanosuke’s happiness if he is truly happy. the attack will be tomorrow night, on a Sunday with a new moon; he won’t hold it against Sanosuke if he doesn’t show. the next day, Sanosuke asks to rent out the dojo for a party for his friend; he’ll cover the expense. Kaoru is floored, but the party happens. Tae and Tsubame are invited; they get portraits done by the artist they adore -they also provided the food so Sanosuke may not’ve actually paid for anything xD-; everyone drinks until they sleep. Sanosuke and Katsu didn’t really have fun, but it’s time for revolution; it’s all Katsu can focus on. Sanosuke apologizes to an “asleep” Kenshin before leaving; his bonds to the Sekihou army are just too strong to ignore. Kenshin’s awake. 3 hours later, Sanosuke and Katsu are standing at the internal affairs building, ready to strike
ch47: extra ch, cont! Sanosuke and Katsu clear the gate, but Kenshin’s waiting in the yard. Sanosuke reveals who he is, and Katsu’s all about fighting him since he’s an Ishin Shishi Patriot. but Kenshin cuts the wick of every grenade thrown. Sanosuke knocks Katsu out, thanking Kenshin for stopping them. when Katsu awakens back at his house, Sanosuke explains the situation. Kenshin took all the grenades and is burying them somewhere. he only stopped them so they wouldn’t dirty their own names. bad things were done in the past, but it was in a pursuit of equality, not for chaos. Kenshin doesn’t like the new government any more than they do because he helped build it. he’s changing things slowly, and Sanosuke encourages Katsu to do the same -Sanosuke intends to go slow to reach the future that Captain Sagara wanted. Katsu draws 1 more piece and leaves it for Sanosuke (it’s Captain Sagara smiling) before leaving to start a newspaper which calls out the government for any wrong they do. his fans aren’t happy, but he’s finally making a change for the future instead of holding on to the past.
the end of the omnibus is actually the mangaka’s debut piece (“Crescent Moon in the Warring States”), so I’ll review it as a stand alone like I did for the others before. it’ll be reviewed after this series is over -after the other 2-, so look forward to that!
next time, we’re starting omnibus 3, so to read that along with me, then please click here