Rurouni Kenshin, part 7

part 1part 2part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6

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!
ch56: it’s been a week; it’s May 14th in Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin’s acting normal, but he won’t tell anyone his decision. he goes to meet Oukubo instead of waiting for him to show up. while Oukubo is travelling, he’s assassinated by 1 of Shishio’s men at the same time that a group of angry ex-samurai attacked his carriage. the assassin’s gone, so the group claims his death; the attack goes down in history. Kenshin sees the aftermath, and the assassin tells him to leave Shishio alone if Kenshin wants to live longer (I guess we’ll never know what his original decision was now)
ch57: news travels quickly about Oukubo’s death. Kenshin meets with Saitou and the government guy from before; we also hear from the person Oukubo officially met with last. Oukubo believed that there were 3 stages to building a nation, and they were just entering the 2nd stage (creation, growth, and a maintenance). the final goal was to make Japan a true republic so the people could choose their own paths instead of having a leader force their path like in the past under an oligarchy. with Oukubo’s death, though, no one in the government is strong enough to lead them there; there will be growing unrest, and Saitou and Kenshin feel sure that Shishio will make sure things get worse. Kenshin returns to the dojo late at night; Yahiko’s asleep, Sanosuke’s walking Megumi home, so it’s just Kaoru. Kenshin thanks her for seeing him as just Kenshin but says that the rest of Japan only see Hitokiri Battousai; he can feel battousai still alive in his heart. he’s going to Kyoto either to stop, defeat, or kill Shishio as the situation demands; he’ll become a rurouni again and keep travelling. he hugs her and leaves as she cries in the street
ch58: Sanosuke’s ticked that Kenshin left him behind, and Kaoru’s depressed in bed. she hasn’t eaten in 2 days. Yahiko tries to talk her out of it, but fails. he asks the café girls to visit Kaoru to try and help her before rushing off to look for Sanosuke. he even asks Sanosuke to help snap Kaoru out of it (kid’s doing all he can). Saitou followed him. Sanosuke was at his artist/journalist friend’s house to get money to go to Kyoto; the friend also gives him some small bombs for protection. Saitou tells Sanosuke that Kenshin left alone because Sanosuke would be a liability in the fight; he then strikes at Sanosuke’s wounds and downs him, but Sanosuke gets up and says he’ll show Kenshin his strength so Kenshin won’t look down on him. Saitou says Sanosuke’s sealing Kenshin’s defeat then
side note: 1 thing I really like about Saitou is that he doesn’t get convinced by other characters’ talk; he’s a pessimistic realist from years of hardships and experiences. just ’cause everyone says “Kenshin can do it” or “I’ll make this impossible thing happen”, Saitou doesn’t believe them; he just keeps pointing out the flaws in plans and he stands by those flaws despite their talk. it’s weirdly refreshing
ch59: Saitou fights at Sanosuke’s level with only his fists, but Sanosuke’s toughness keeps him from losing. Sanosuke manages to stop Saitou’s attack, continuously saying that he’s going to Kyoto. during the fight, Sanosuke also makes a valid point about growing stronger with time, that skills take time to master, and that Kenshin and Saitou didn’t start at their current level; Sano’s not done growing. he may’ve also broken Saitou’s arm? Saitou says go ahead, get yourself killed and leaves (so much for not caving to people’s words xP ). he gives Sanosuke a tip about learning defense instead of focusing on toughness alone. Sanosuke’s got a lot to think about on his way to Kyoto.
ch60: Tsubame and Tae (that was her name, right?) try to cheer up Kaoru, but it doesn’t work. Megumi sees Yahiko running around and finds out that Kaoru’s still at the dojo, so Megumi goes there. Kaoru’s lashing out at everyone, and Megumi gives her perspective about how others feel, how she is honoring Kenshin by continuing to work despite wanting to see him, and that Kenshin said goodbye to only Kaoru because she was the hardest to leave behind. Kaoru agrees to take Megumi’s medicine to Kenshin, and Megumi promises to watch the dojo while they’re gone. Yahiko promises they’ll bring Kenshin back. when Megumi checks on the dojo later, Aoshi is there (well crap)
ch61: Aoshi wants to know where Kenshin is, but Megumi either can’t or won’t tell him. Saitou shows up and tells him, sparing Megumi’s life. she yells at him for it xD Shishio sends some men to meet Aoshi and test his strength, and Aoshi kills them when they attack (they also spit on 1 of his friends’ graves; that’s so rude and disrespectful! don’t do that! D< ). Aoshi now uses dual kodachi. Oukubo’s assassin (named Soujirou Seta) invites Aoshi to join them and mentions it’d be a shame for him to miss 2 historical events in a row (daaaaaang!!). Shishio’s nearby, and Soujirou comments that he’s enjoying this. now they’re off to meet Kenshin, and Aoshi’s off to Kyoto
ch62: colored pages!! the whole chapter is colored ❤ Saitou offered Kenshin passage on a ship, but Kenshin decides to take the East Sea Road instead since people don’t use it as much anymore -he’s trying to reduce casualties if Shishio attacked. the road’s nearly 500km, and it takes most people 10 days to walk it. Saitou thinks Kenshin can do it in 5. most people stay away from Kenshin, fearing his sword, but police still chase him xD he camps out to keep the inns safe. while camping, he hears a girl and some men and thinks she’s in trouble; turns out she’s robbing the men (she’s 16). she decides to take Kenshin’s sword, too.
ch63: she tries to take it, but Kenshin steals the money instead xD during the subsequent attempts, her cloak gets ruined, so Kenshin gives her the little money he has to repay the cloak, but he insists on returning the money to the inn it was stolen from. turns out the girl’s (we find out later her name’s Misao Makimachi) looking for 1 of the men who raised her. she’s from Kyoto, but while chasing rumors of him, she ran out of money. Kenshin tells her to use his money to send word to home so they can come fetch her -she didn’t think of that. they get attacked by the yakuza connections of the guys she robbed, and Kenshin fells the bridge to punish both sides xD Misao reveals that she’s looking for Aoshi and the Oniwabanshuu (oops…)
ch64: Misao keeps pestering Kenshin and calling him names, so he tells her his name but won’t tell her about Aoshi xD he decides to try losing her for her protection, but when she tries (and fails) to jump a cliff in pursuit, he saves her. he tells her that he’s on a dangerous mission and if she must follow, then it should be from a distance. she refuses to leave him alone until he tells her about Aoshi, but she’ll follow his guidelines
ch65: Misao keeps talking about Aoshi and the Oniwabanshuu while Kenshin’s thoughtful enough to push the plants/branches out of her way so it’s easier for her to walk. she decides to give him a piece of hardtack (food) for it. elsewhere, Sanosuke’s trying to figure out what training is, but he’s also lost xD Kaoru and Yahiko took the boat -Yahiko gets really sea sick. Megumi’s worried about them. back to Kenshin, they find a dying man in the woods who asks them to save his brother and village from Shishio
ch66: the older brother is buried… Kenshin offers aid in his stead. 2 years ago, Shishio killed all the police in the village and kept killing the new ones sent until no new police arrived. on the newest maps, the town wasn’t included anymore; the government gave up on them. it’s only about 20 people big, but Shishio stays there for a week twice a year for some reason. he left Senkaku in charge in the meantime. Senkaku’s rule says that outsiders will die and that those who flee will die. the boy wants to go save his parents, but when Kenshin arrives, they’ve already been killed and put on display as examples… Kenshin fights the guards who arrive. 1 tries to attack Misao and the boy, but Saitou shows up and kills him (may I say that Misao as a “onmitsu kinouchi” really annoys me? she can’t move silently, she can’t keep up with Kenshin without getting winded, she yells all the time, and she can’t tell when someone’s sneaking up on her until they’re literally within range and already attacking. maybe she’s skilled compared to normal people? but I haven’t seen evidence of it yet)
ch67: Kenshin defeats those around him. the village refuses to take down those that Senkaku killed because it would get them killed. Kenshin cuts them down anyway, and the villagers flee, calling him a murderer (jeez; it’s a bad situation…). Kenshin asks if this village was really abandoned, and Saitou confirms that it’s 1 of 10. Misao asks why the army doesn’t step in since the police failed, but Saitou says the Seinan war was only 6 months ago; they can’t use the army without showing instability to the rest of the world. if Japan is weak, other countries may strike or try to take over. also, politicians won’t sign off on it now that Oukubo’s been murdered; they won’t risk dying like he did. after all, if the “strongest man in Japan” can be killed, what hope does anyone else have against Shishio? it’s a bad situation all around… Saitou and Kenshin team up to get rid of Shishio in order to save Japan. Kenshin asks Misao to stay with the kid (Eiji). elsewhere, Shishio’s getting a medical bath -that’s why this area’s important. the spy he had following Kenshin lost him, but a guard of the village identifies him and Saitou. elsewhere, while Misao and Eiji bury his parents, Eiji plots revenge against Senkaku
that’s all I could read this time.  to keep reading with me, please click here.

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