Rurouni Kenshin, part 10

part 1part 2part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9

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

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Since I own this series, I will be reading the official English translation. I have the omnibus volumes.
Kenshin journeys to the home of Arai Shakkuu, the legendary swordsmith who forged his sakabatou, in the hope of procuring a replacement for the blade that was shattered in a fight with Seta Soujirou. Instead of Shakkuu, though, Kenshin finds his son, Seikuu, who has given up making instruments of death. But when word gets around that before he passed away Shakkuu forged a final blade, one of Shishio’s warriors also decides to pay a visit, and he doesn’t plan on leaving empty-handed. With the safety of Seikuu’s family at risk, Kenshin springs into action, even if it means fighting without a weapon at his side!
Kenshin realizes that if he is to defeat Shishio the time has come to complete his training in Hiten Mitsurugi-ryuu. But first he will have to convince his incredibly stubborn master, Hiko Seijuurou, that he is indeed worthy of Hiten Mitsurugi’s greatest secrets and techniques. Then, with all of his Juppongatana “Ten Swords” fighters now in Kyoto, Shishio kicks into high gear with his scheme to radically alter the face of Meiji Era Japan. Can Kenshin, Saitou and Misao marshal their resources in time to prevent Shishio from burning Kyoto to the ground?!
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!
ch85: Seijuurou has Kenshin get water for everyone then asks them about what Kenshin’s been doing for the last 10 years. also, turns out that Seijuurou’s 43, and Kenshin’s still 28 (I guess he’ll turn 29 later in the year if 15 years ago he was 14). after hearing that Kenshin’s been a rurouni/is using hitenmitsurugi as a free sword the way he should’ve from the start, Seijuurou decides to teach him. Kaoru asks if Kenshin’s mad at her for coming; he says he’s half mad and half relieved. she keeps hoping he’ll turn and smile at her like before, but so far, he hasn’t (I guess he really is mad). before the training starts, Seijuurou reminds Kenshin that learning all of hitenmitsurugi-ryu will not make him a god; skill alone won’t keep him alive (“be careful” goes unsaid I think). it’s Kenshin’s job to clean up the mess he made, so he must defeat Shishio himself. back at the house, Yahiko remembers that he was supposed to warn Kenshin about Aoshi, and Misao overhears; oh jeez…
side note: Misao and Yahiko really do seem like kindred spirits; they get along much better than Yahiko’s gotten along with anyone
ch86: Misao wants to hear about Aoshi, and Yahiko thinks she’s working for him. Kaoru defuses the situation and decides to tell Misao what she knows since Misao brought her to Kenshin. elsewhere, Okina receives a note from Aoshi, and they meet. Aoshi wants to find out where Kenshin is, but Okina says that killing Kenshin won’t avenge the Oniwanbanshuu. Aoshi feels that no one understands him, and Okina pledges to fight alongside Kenshin and take down Aoshi if he must. when Aoshi leaves, he runs into smiley-boy (what was his name? Seto?) and after some back and forth, Aoshi agrees to meet Shishio
ch87: Shishio’s base is on Mt. Hiei. Houji finds Shishio training; somehow when he cuts, the victim bursts into flames O.o Soujirou (I called him Seto before; oops xD; ) calls the technique “flaming soul”. at meeting, Shishio can tell that Aoshi won’t join, but he makes a deal to share info about Kenshin if Aoshi wants to go after him; they can work in parallel. Shishio doesn’t have any new info on Kenshin, but Soujirou mentions that the people of Aoi-ya probably do; is it ok if they torture a few of them for info? Aoshi agrees; he’s fully devoted himself to be a killer (jeez; how far you’ve fallen, dude…). Shishio provides Aoshi with a room to stay in while they plot how to attack Aoi-ya. also, we meet a couple more of the 10 Swords: Anji (we met before), Henya, and Iwanbou.
ch88: colored page!! Ooo, and this time there’s blues, greens, purples, browns, reds; every color! ❤ and the whole chapter’s colored <333 mostly in reds, though xD Kenshin and Seijuurou train. Kenshin’s rusty, but his eyes are still good. if he can land a hit, then Seijuurou will teach him the final move. elsewhere, Houji sends a special group of Shishio’s men after Aoi-ya called the Owl clan. Aoi-ya takes them all out, though, and Okina sends back a single man after torturing him (jeez though). on the man’s back is a message of challenge to Aoshi; Okina intends to take him down
ch89: Misao hears about the fate of the Oniwanbanshuu, but she doesn’t believe it, so she runs back to Aoi-ya. she figures out that something’s wrong and demands to know where Okina went with his shinobi gear. Okina and Aoshi fight. Okina’s steel tonfa work well against Aoshi’s dual-kodachi, but Aoshi has the resolve to cut through anything and anyone he needs to. for now, they’ve both taken damage, but Idk how long Okina can hold out
ch90: Misao runs off to stop them. back with Shishio, he tells Houji about what led to his decision to take over Japan. when he was burned alive, his sweat glands burned off, so his temperature doesn’t regulate anymore. he’s constantly burning too hot, like he’s in flames, even in his head. 1 day the flames turned to voices that said every man is a devil and the world is actually h***. so he decided that this world should be ruled by devils. Houji -who used to work for the government- is moved and fully declares himself to Shishio again, re-inspired to follow this great man (*rolls eyes* sorry, Houji’s too dramatic for me). elsewhere, Misao arrives just in time to see Okina fall before Aoshi. Aoshi leaves without saying a word. he’d mentioned before about going back to Aoi-ya to question/torture the others there if Okina didn’t tell him where Kenshin was. Okina refused to tell.
ch91: Okina survives, but he has 138 stitches and is unconscious. turns out, Aoshi did say something to Misao; he told her to never show her face to him again. everyone’s worried about Misao, but Yahiko’s the only 1 who believes she’s not crying right now -and she’s not. flashback: Aoshi came back to Aoi-ya before Misao returned, and no 1 knew what to do, but Yahiko stepped up (this kid is brave) and said Kenshin was training and would find Aoshi later. Kaoru agreed and told him to just wait until Kenshin finished training; she also said his sword was cursed; it only brings sorrow with each swing. Aoshi tells them to pass a message to Kenshin that he’ll be in Shishio’s lair. back to present: Misao reads the letter from Okina telling her to seek a normal life and forget the Oniwanbanshuu. she decides to declare herself Okashira instead and says they will lend their strength to Kenshin and will defeat any enemy, including Aoshi. elsewhere: Saitou’s arrived in Kyoto! on his way to question Chou, he’s informed of another inmate at the prison who’s made themselves comfortable. it’s Sanosuke xD
ch92: Sanosuke goes on this huge speech to Saitou, but when the chief asks if Saitou knows him, Saitou says he’s never seen Sanosuke before x’D Saitou says to just leave him in jail, but Sanosuke gets mad and breaks the door. Saitou dismisses the chief to take care of this guy, and now they can really talk xD Saitou asks about Sanosuke’s defense, but Sanosuke still has 0 defense; Saitou’s mad x’DDD they go to question Chou, but he doesn’t cooperate. Sanosuke says he’s scared of Shishio which starts a fight. Sanosuke breaks the shackles on Chou’s wrists at the expense of getting hit in the head by a weighted ball and chain. Chou’s annoyed for the help and agrees to answer questions just to end the fight. Saitou can now get answers -so he used them both xD
ch93: Saitou asks who in the 10 Swords could kill 50 men in Kobe in 2hrs. only Soujirou (who only does as Shishio says) or Usui the blind sword. Usui also kills 50 of Shishio’s men before trying to kill Shishio; it’s his deal with him since Shishio’s the 1 who blinded him. Saitou asks about Shishio’s grand plan. it’s the same as the Oniwanbanshuu: set Kyoto on fire, kill the government officials, and let the government collapse from the chaos (only the Oniwanbanshuu were going to do that in Tokyo). turns out, this also was tried in the past (June of 1864, the 1styr of Genji) at Ikeda-ya, only the Shinsengumi stopped it and the flames; it was 1 of their greatest victories as a group, so Saitou’s well aware of the concept. Sanosuke and Saitou agree they need to find Kenshin now
ch94: btw, we’re on volume 12 now. we get a flashback of how Kenshin met his master, Seijuurou. Seijuurou killed a group of rurouni acting as bandits; Kenshin was just a kid, but there was a dead women near him (I’m guessing the bandits attacked him and his mom, killed her, and then Seijuurou killed the bandits). somehow that led the Kenshin becoming his student? apparently, Kenshin also wet his bed until he was 11 xD also, Seijuurou’s the 13th master of hitenmitsurugi-ryu. after a week of fighting, Kenshin finally lands a hit on Seijuurou who agrees to teach him the final technique of hitenmitsurugi-ryu. it’s completely fatal and impossible to block
ch95: Kenshin learns things the hard way, by trial and error, not in steps. even though he does the technique right, his stength and stature can’t surpass how his master does the technique. also, turns out, it’s not the final technique; it’s the final test before learning the final technique xD Seijuurou gives Kenshin 1 night to figure out the essense of the technique, how to beat it, and what he’s lacking; since Kenshin’s pledged his life to mastering the technique, he’ll die tomorrow if he fails. we see the original flashback continue! Seijuurou arrives at the village a week after saving Kenshin’s life, but he didn’t go to the village; apparently, he’s been burying the bodies since. also, he didn’t lose his parents; he’s already an orphan; his parents died last year to cholera. he was traveling with slavers, and there were 3 other kids who’d been stolen for debts before the bandits killed everyone. also, his original name was Shinta, but Seijuurou renamed him before taking him as a pupil. that was 19 years ago. (so depending on the time of year, Kenshin was 6 or 7)
ch96: neither Kenshin or Seijuurou slept last night xD but Kenshin also didn’t figure out what he’s lacking. Siejuurou takes off his cloak (which applies 37.5kg to pressure points in his shoulders to forcibly reduce his strength; it’s also passed between masters of hitenmitsurugi-ryu along with the secret technique), and Kenshin’s hand starts to shake from nerves; he’s fighting his master at full force. as Seijuurou strikes, Kenshin flashes back on his friends and re-discovers his will to live -which is what he lacked. he strikes his master with a delayed force. this is how hitenmitsurugi-ryu is passed down; the student slays the master with the final technique; Seijuurou says it’s not Kenshin’s fault and that it goes beyond his vow as a rurouni
ch97: Kenshin carries Seijuurou home and gives him some medicine, hoping it’ll help. at Shishio’s lair, Soujirou returns after 3 days with local delicacies xD Yumi’s annoyed he’s been gone so long, but the 10 Swords are gathered now (minus Chou who’s in prison). they’ll attack at midnight tomorrow. also, the delicacy box held a message about an escape ship; only Shishio, Houji, and Soujirou know of it. next morning: Seijuurou wakes up! thanks to a bolt coming loose on Kenshin’s sakabatou, his life was spared. he tells Kenshin to return to his friends now and continue honing his skills so he doesn’t have to rely on a fluke not to kill people
ch98: Seijuurou tries to pass on the master’s cloak to Kenshin, but he refuses. 1). it’s way too big on him; it’d be (hilarious) ridiculous, and 2). Kenshin doesn’t intend to pass hitenmitsurugi-ryu onto anyone. Seijuurou calls him selfish but keeps the cloak. Kenshin asks him to protect those at Aoi-ya, and Seijuurou agrees, but they’re no longer master and student. Kenshin’s summoned to police hq by Saitou, and they try to figure out what’s really behind Shishio’s plan. Kenshin realizes that the turning point of the Bakumatsu was in Kyoto when Shougun Tokugawa Yoshinobu betrayed his men and sailed away on a ship for Tokyo. Shishio’s real target must also be Tokyo; he likes dramatic ironies. unfortunately, most police are in Kyoto now; Tokyo’s unprotected. when Kenshin tries to run out, Sanosuke shows up and punches him in the face (very hard, too!). the team’s getting back together!
ch99: Kenshin left a note for Aoi-ya to warn about the fire so they can help stop it. Misao’s thinking of buying a gatling gun since it’s the strongest weapon of the time, but Kaoru reminds her that 4 skilled Oniwabanshuu defeated it; a destructive weapon doesn’t count for skill (well said, Kaoru ❤ ). back with Kenshin and co, the threat of Shishio’s ship isn’t how destructive it is, but the trauma/memory an unknown ship brings. Tokyo will fall apart just like Edo did when Perry arrived -starting the Bakumatsu. Yumi’s included to the boat plan! it looks rickity on the outside, but it’s a disguise for a merchant ship, so no one will see it coming. she’s ready for the government to fall. 37 minutes until the attack
ch100: between the police and the Oniwabanshuu, the fires aren’t starting on time, so some of the 10 Swords decide to cause a distraction so the fire starters can do their job. not all the Swords want to, though, since the job was to actually kill government people, not police and civilians. the group splits, and people start dying. Misao’s efforts are discovered by Usui. elsewhere, Kenshin and co arrive to face Shishio
ch101: Shishio doesn’t know Sanosuke xD Shishio reveals his real ship which’s an “ironclad”; from Saitou’s reaction, that seems bad. Kenshin’s plan is to have him and Saitou distract Shishio and his men, then Sanosuke will blow the engine with the bombs his artist friend made. Shishio realizes, so he gets out the gatling gun instead and fires at Sanosuke who’s racing across the water on debris. Sanosuke uses his new punch to splash up water, and it stops the bullets. Shishio now knows Sanosuke’s a threat
ch102: so, the grenades are super effective O.o; the ship’s sinking, and Shishio has to retreat. I’m impressed; he actually acknowledges that it was him not taking them seriously as a threat that led to his downfall. he challenges them to come to his lair so this can be finished. Kenshin didn’t want to fight here because Shishio’s men were waiting, and Kenshin didn’t want any to die while they waited. Sanosuke gets on the ship after Shishio’s gone xD Saitou acknowledges that Sanosuke has uses but that he’s still an idiot (sounds like the start of a great bromance xD )
and that’s it for this time!  next time, we’ll be starting on omnibus volume 5.  click <here> to keep reading with me!

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