Rurouni Kenshin, part 11

part 1part 2part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9part 10

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.
As Shishio Makoto’s Juppongatana warriors descend on Aoi-Ya and the Kyoto-based Oniwabanshuu, Kenshin, Sanosuke, and Saitou Hajime take the fight right to Shishio’s front door: his mountain stronghold. Sano tests both his fists and his powerful “Master of Two Layers” against the immovable Yuukyuuzan Anji, the very person who taught him that technique. Saitou matches blades with the homicidal “Blind Sword” Usui, while Kenshin and Shinomori Aoshi resume their match, which was put on hold back in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Misao and her compatriots desperately try to turn the tide against a slew of Juppongatana fighters. With Yahiko and Kaoru getting in on the action, things begin to look slightly less insurmountable… and then the giant Fuji appears. Facing strength and skill that can literally reduce buildings into piles of kindling, Kenshin’s weary friends may lose all hope. Is there a swordsman alive who can stand up to Fuji’s horrific might?
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!
ch103: we’re in omnibus #5, and we’re starting off with colored pages! ❤ the whole chapter is colored ❤ 41 police died in the attack, but no civilians, and many of the enemy were captured. only 7 houses were damaged, but none destroyed. Sanosuke and Kenshin wait at Aoi-ya for Saitou to finish with the clean up. everyone’s united! we learn that Misao survived Usui because Anji stopped him; they both have a deal with Shishio that they can do whatever they want with their victims, so Anji minimizes bloodshed. now Sanosuke knows who he needs to fight. also Misao calls Aoshi her enemy
ch104: Okina’s awake! he asks Kenshin to kill Aoshi, saying Aoshi has thrown away his humanity and can’t be saved. Kenshin says that Aoshi held back his final attack against Okina to spare his life; his soul is still human even if his mind is not, so Kenshin will bring Aoshi back to Aoi-ya. Misao cries in relief, and Okina hopes that Kenshin’s right. the police show up with a message from Saitou
ch105: no one at Aoi-ya knows Sanosuke x’D but Kenshin trusts him, so they accept him. also, this chapter has 1 of my favorite panels in the series; look at the details!! (sorry for the bad quality picture; I took it using my phone)
Rurouni Kenshin ch105
honestly, all the night scenes in this chapter are gorgeous. I won’t add more since there’ll be too many, but I highly recommend looking at this chapter for the pictures alone. Kenshin and Kaoru have a heart to heart which Yahiko interrupts by trying to encourage Kaoru to kiss Kenshin xD now everyone’s awake. Kenshin wants Yahiko to stay at Aoi-ya to help protect it; Sanosuke says Yahiko and Kaoru have to stay alive to pay off his debt to Akabeko for him xD the next morning, Kenshin, Sanosuke, and Saitou head out, and Shishio and co know they’re coming. Houji has a plan
ch106: he wants 3 of the 10 Swords to fight Kenshin and co while the rest go to attack Aoi-ya. Shishio disagrees because of his honor as a swordsman, but Houji’s willing to stand against him to ensure victory. when the 10 Swords are assembled, Shishio throws Houji under the bus for the Kyoto fire debacle. Usui cuts off Houji’s thumb to get the truth, but Houji bites off 6(or 7?) fingers, 1 for each of the Swords left behind, and says it really was all his plan. Shishio’s so moved by Houji’s dedication that he announces Houji’s plan as his own. he then promises Houji will be by his side from here on out. Anji will fight Sanosuke. Kenshin and co arrive at the lair
ch107: Yumi’s full name is Yumi Komagata. Shishio asks her to guide Kenshin and co through the lair. they agree to 1on1 fights, but Kenshin won’t allow killing. Sanosuke chooses to fight Anji. Anji’s goal is to rid the world of corrupt people by killing them. Sanosuke doesn’t agree with it, and so the fight starts. Sanosuke learned the basics of the 2-layer fist, but Anji’s mastered it
ch108: Anji’s goal has him playing the part of Fudou Myou-ou from Buddhism (Idk Buddhism, so I’m quoting what’s in the manga: “With his power and anger he conquers the enemies of Buddha and punishes the ignorant – those who are unworthy of salvation.”). whoever hits 1st wins, and Sano’s lighter on his feet, but Anji blocked Sano’s hit with a counter on his own body, nullifying Sano’s strike. when Sano gets grazed, it’s still enough to make him spew (a lot of) blood O.o; neither of them like the Meiji government, but Sanosuke refuses to doom the people who’re living honestly and fighting hard for a better future, so he intends to stop Anji here. Anji’s willing to destroy whatever doesn’t meet his standards, even Shishio.
ch109: Sanosuke counters Anji’s hit like Anji countered him earlier then hits Anji. Anji’s defeated, but he wakes shortly after because the hit was negated by the memorial tablet he had with him. now we learn his story
ch110: history time (this one’s rough, y’all): the haibutsu kishaku started in the 4th year of Keiou (the 1st year of Meiji). it was an order from the government to separate Buddhism from Shintoism, but the populace took it a step farther and decided to erase Buddhism. temples/documents across the country were burned and priests killed. it continued into the 2nd year of Meiji where Anji’s flashback starts.
flashback: Anji was a Buddhist priest in Ezo (now Hokkaiko), and he helped care for orphaned children that the nearby village disregarded. their parents died in the Boshin war, and 1 girl (Tsubaki) was the daughter of the previous village chef who supported the shogun. the village had a meeting and told them all to leave, then decided to be greedy and got rid of them faster. while Anji was away praying for guidance for their journey ahead, the villagers set the temple on fire, killing all the children inside. when Anji ran back to try and save them, he was attacked from behind and left to die. he lived and vowed to avenge the pure souls of the kids who died, and 5 years later, he killed the village leaders who allowed it to happen.
recounting the story revives Anji’s anger in the present, and Sanosuke agrees to fight him again
ch111: it’s a back and forth fist fight with 2 layers; either could lose at any time. Anji uses his sword for long distance attacks, but Sanosuke dodges with a jump (advised by Kenshin!). their fists collide, and they have a silent talk as fighters do. Sanosuke adds a 3rd layer by opening his palm mid strike, and it sends Anji fighting. Sanosuke reminds Anji that the children wouldn’t want his mission; they wouldn’t like his wounds and bloodshed; they’d cry, and Anji remembers them and starts crying. Sanosuke won?
ch112: volume14. Sanosuke’s treated with the medicine Megumi sent, but his hand’s busted, so he can’t fight now. he tells Anji to use kindness and not anger to save the world; it’s slower and harder, but it was working before; Anji didn’t fail those kids. he tells them about the attack on Aoi-ya, but Yumi can’t lead them back out; they’d die in the lair’s traps, so they can only go forward. next is Usui, and Saitou decides to fight while the rest run ahead. Usui calls Saitou kind hearted for the action, but Saitou corrects him; it’s so Saitou can kill Usui without Kenshin around to stop him
ch113: Usui guesses that Saitou’s fighting him for revenge of the 50 policemen that Usui killed before, but Saitou corrects him; the police are like the Shinsengumi; they protect and uphold laws, and they know their job endangers their life. as long as the job is done, then the lives lost are worth it to Saitou. so he fights to finish the job. Saitou’s signature move is countered by Usui who then explains his ability: after being blinded, he got super hearing; that’s how he can fight still. Saitou’s strike does damage Usui’s weapon, though, so it wasn’t a total loss. Saitou explains his own ability which’s battle experience; he’s good at reading people. he says Usui’s a beaten man who uses a veiled deal with Shishio as cover to hide his own lack of battle spirit. they both start laughing until Usui yells at Saitou to stop xD now Usui’s mad
ch114: looks like we’ve got a colored chapter! ❤ Usui fights with turtle shell shield and lance. he  deflects blows and blocks sight with the shield, then stabs at his opponents with the short lance. this works against Saitou, too, until Usui gets caught up in the fight and mentions that Saitou has to die because he found out Usui’s secret. Saitou riles him up by saying even Shishio’s guessed it. Usui gets in Saitou’s face, giving Saitou the perfect opportunity to use a sword technique to break the shell. it hits so hard it tears Usui’s body in half and pins him to the wall O.O holy crap, Saitou… they chat as Usui dies, and Saitou pledges to stand by his beliefs until death (still kinda’ admirable, but dude, you just tore a man in half with your upper body strength alone; I’m a bit afraid of you now, impressive conviction aside). elsewhere, Kenshin and co’re nearing the last room, but Kenshin senses “him” in Houji’s room which Yumi says is empty
ch115: Aoshi’s in the room; Kenshin has to decide to enter or not. at Aoi-ya, Okina makes a battle strategy, and the attack starts. 4 Aoi-ya ninja against Iwanbou, Kaoru and Yahiko against bat guy, and Misao against scythe 1. the nin weapons can’t cut him, and they get taken out. back to Kenshin! he decides to face Aoshi
ch116: Kenshin says Aoshi has become unrecognizable, so he must be defeated without using a sword to humiliate him back to humanity (or something like that). apparently, Houji’s room is a library; Kenshin uses the books and shelves to fight, but Aoshi finally makes him draw his sword. during the confrontation, Yumi’s able to send a message to Houji to let him know how the battles have gone. Shishio says Kenshin vs Aoshi will take a while because they’re both highly skilled
ch117: so a truly epic fight happens. Aoshi’s skilled, and he knocks Kenshin to the ground. he says defeating Kenshin like this is meaningless; he needs to defeat Himura Battousai so the world will recognize him as the strongest, then after the battle, he’ll die (I think he’s implying he’ll take his own life?). Kenshin gets mad and promises to fight for real, but not as battousai, just as himself.

that’s all I can read this time; this is getting so good!!  to keep reading with me, please click <here>.

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