Rurouni Kenshin, part 6

part 1part 2part 3, part 4, part 5

Oops; this one’s getting uploaded a day late; sorry about that!

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!

Rurouni Kenshin (image: )

Since I own this series, I will be reading the official English translation. I have the omnibus volumes.
Kyoto: The ancient capital of Japan. It was during the chaos of the Bakumatsu that this shining jewel of a city was plunged into violence and bloodshed. The Shinsengumi, an elite corps of deadly warriors, crossed swords with Kenshin more than once in those days, but what has become of their legacy in the new Meiji Era? An old foe, Saitou Hajime of the Shinsengumi, comes to pay a call at the Kamiya Dojo, but is his visit purely for revenge or a harbinger of much darker schemes to come?
Then, on May 14th in the 11th year of Meiji, tragedy strikes. Oukubo Toshimichi, chief of the Department of Internal Affairs and one of the most powerful men in Japan, is assassinated in broad daylight, but who could be behind such a fiendish plot? It appears that the ghosts of Meiji’s bloody past are threatening to wreak havoc on this new age of “culture and enlightenment” -personified by Shishio Makoto, the man who took Kenshin’s position when he ceased to be Hitokiri Battousai. Though Kenshin has foresworn the taking of lives, he heeds the call and departs for Kyoto, knowing all too well that Shishio anxiously awaits his arrival!
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!
ch48: we’re on omnibus 3 now, volume 7! and this chapter’s in color; so nice!! ❤ Kenshin dreams of the Shinsengumi while Kaoru and Yahiko practice at a neighboring dojo. on the way home, he tells them about it. the Shinsengumi (also called the Wolves of Mibu) was the largest/strongest group of organized swordsman in Japanese history. they were originally from the Edo Tama region and stayed in Kyoto. they rose up to support laws and keep the peace. Kenshin fought them several times but never fully defeated them. he respects the team leaders he couldn’t defeat -even though they were on opposite sides- but supposedly they’ve all died by now. he specifically mentions the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd team leaders of the 10 units of the Shinsengumi. during his dream we learn the names Okita and Hajime Saitou. Kaoru comments that this is the most Kenshin’s ever talked about his past, and he wonders why he’s dreaming about the past now. back at the dojo, a traveling merchant stops by to sell medicinal powders, but Sanosuke tells him that the dojo owner isn’t in. turns out the guy’s a liar; he’s here to fight Kenshin. Sanosuke fights him instead. from his stance, it seems like he’s Saitou from the Shinsengumi. Sanosuke’s punch does nothing, and Sanosuke gets injured
ch49: Saitou’s sword breaks, so Sanosuke keeps fighting, but Saitou hits him in his wound before downing him (I guess he also knows martial arts?). elsewhere, Megumi runs into Kaoru and co and notices that Kenshin’s bothered. he tries to stave off his worry, but then he sees the damage at the dojo, and they find Sanosuke injured. elsewhere, Saitou’s meeting with his benefactor (Shibumi, the Secretary of the Senate) who also hired Jin-e. his companion, Akamatsu, doesn’t like Saitou who’s now going by Gorou Fujita and is a lieutenant with the sword police. Saitou doesn’t drink during the Meiji Era because it makes him want to kill. we learn Okita’s full name was Soushi Okita, and he was supposedly the strongest man in the Shinsengumi. at the dojo, Megumi’s treating Sanosuke, and Kenshin suspects that Saitou’s the 1 who attacked.
ch50: Megumi saves Sanosuke’s life, but after 3 days, he’s still unconscious. Megumi and Kaoru take turns watching over him. Akamatsu confronts Saitou -now Fujita-; he doesn’t like that Fujita was chosen to kill Kenshin. Fujita says they can team up because he’d rather have easy money than take a big risk. Akamatsu agrees, so Fujita writes a challenge letter to Kenshin. when Kenshin arrives at the battleground, he’s attacked by Akamatsu Arundo. Fujita arrives at the dojo in his police uniform, saying there’s a threat against Kenshin’s life and can he wait here? Kaoru lets him (I bet his plan is to ambush a weakened/injured Kenshin)
random: Fujita loves plain soba
ch51: Akamatsu’s not fast enough to defeat Kenshin, but when he fakes surrendering, he traps both of Kenshin’s hands with his concealed chains. he slings Kenshin around and decides to tell him that he and Saitou were hired by Jin-e’s employer who’s a politician. Kenshin’s still alive, and he draws his sword with his teeth (oof <3) and defeats Akamatsu off screen. he mentions that Saitou’s still “playing at” being an assassin; that’s interesting to me… Kaoru greets him at the dojo’s gate and questions why he has chain marks on him xD in the dojo, Saitou comments on how sloppy Kenshin’s gotten if Akamatsu was able to hurt him
ch52: it’s been 10 years since they fought last. Kenshin thinks time has corrupted Saitou who used to fight with honor but now seems to be using bait and hostages to attack indirectly. Saitou says it was to see how far Kenshin’s skills had fallen; he’s very disappointed. Kenshin says he doesn’t need to be as strong as he was before because a rurouni’s strength should be enough to protect people, but Saitou points out that harm keeps coming to people around Kenshin; clearly a rurouni’s strength isn’t enough. Kaoru realizes that Saitou’s been watching/researching Kenshin since he arrived. (it seems to me like Kenshin might be starting to doubt himself, but he still refuses to kill). before they fight, Kaoru worries that Kenshin won’t stay after this. Saitou’s able to hit Kenshin!
ch53: Kenshin manages to dodge the worst of the blow, but he still gets hurt. with each strike and exchange, he’s returning to his hitokiri skills, though. Kaoru tries to defend/shield Kenshin, but he ‘s still capable of fighting. Saitou was hired to evaluate Kenshin’s skills, but he decides to kill Kenshin instead. Kenshin manages to get a good hit on Saitou and says he’ll be sure to kill him first. Kaoru worries that Kenshin may revert and leave them -like what almost happened when he fought Jin-e. she quietly begs for someone to stop them
ch54: Kaoru keeps yelling for someone to stop them, but Sanosuke woke up! he says only someone who lived through the Bakumatsu could stop this; Kenshin and Saitou are reliving/continuing their battle from 10 years ago; they’re not in the present anymore. even with a broken sword, Saitou attacks, and Kenshin defends with his fist to prevent a sword counter from Saitou. Saitou uses the belt from his uniform to knock Kenshin’s sword out of his hand and uses his jacket to try and break Kenshin’s neck. everyone is shook to see how hard these men fight; they realize how dire each battle in the Bakumatsu was. a couple men from the Bakumatsu arrive to stop the fight (convenient) including the guy who hired Saitou, Oukubo Toshimichi -the chief of internal affairs. he was a warrior from the Satsuma prefecture back in the day
ch55: apparently he was 1 of the 3 greatest revolutionary warriors (the other 2 have died), and now, he’s the most powerful man in Japan (I figured that would’ve been the emperor?). Akamatsu overhears and runs off to his boss. Saitou leaves so Kenshin can talk with Oukubo. Kenshin has to punch himself in the face to get back to normal, and he wants the talk to happen in the dojo with all his friends. Oukubo agrees. Shishio Makoto’s in Kyoto, and they want Kenshin to stop him. apparently, he became the hitokiri after Kenshin retired (Kenshin never met him). he had Kenshin’s skills but also lots of ambition. he was “erased” (intentionally killed by the revolutionaries) to keep his assassinations -ordered by them- secret. despite whatever wound killed him, being doused in oil, and set on fire, Shishio lived, and by now, he has a small army -paid with his ground breaking secrets about past assassinations?- in Kyoto, ready to flip the world on its head. the government has sent many assassins to stop him, and they’ve all failed; now they want Kenshin to kill him. they offer Megumi’s record to be wiped as a bribe, but she says she’d rather be put to death than be a bargaining chip. everyone is against Kenshin going. Oukubo says he’ll be back in a week (on May 14th; it says “the Western May 14th”, so I wonder how dates and times used to be done before the US showed up) to hear Kenshin’s answer; it’s for the good of the government after all xP I’m worried Kenshin’ll do it… he did so much to get the government started; the possible collapse of that government would be huge incentive for Kenshin to do something…
elsewhere, Saitou gets into Shibumi’s room and kills him (presumably?) and Akamatsu. he has no qualms with killing xD;;; I actually really like Saitou’s monologue to Shibumi. he talks about how the defeated (the Shinsengumi) are also part of society; they didn’t vanish. and the reason Saitou now works for the government is so he can kill the government leaders who get too greedy and start bringing harm rather than good. he’s loyal to no one but his original goal to make Japan better. Shibumi tries to beg for his life by offering Saitou money, and I love Saitou’s line; I gotta quote it: “One may tame a dog with food… or tame a man with money… but taming a Wolf of Mibu… that, none may do.” I thought that was such a cool line ❤ he then mentions that a wolf is a wolf, the Shinsengumi are Shinsengumi, and hitokiri are hitokiri; implying that nothing changed. the next panel shows Kenshin, staring into the distance <=/
that’s as far as I’ve gotten this time.  to keep reading with me, then please click here!

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