There are two moments that stand out to me both of them have to do with Aoshi Shinomori.
Kenshin finishes his training, deals with the Purgatory (with the assistance of Sano and Saito), and comes back to the Aoiya. Okina takes him aside to talk about Aoshi and asks Kenshin to kill him for his own good. But then Kenshin says that Aoshi can be saved and that he will bring him back. Which causes Misao to cry. This is such a poignant moment to me because she had to accept that Aoshi is so far gone that he would nearly kill Okina. She decides to take on being a leader of the Oniwaban group in his place. She’s so strong but she still loves him and wants him to be saved.
This moment comes back when Aoshi and Kenshin have their battle at Shishio’s headquarters. Kenshin and Aoshi are physically fighting but Kenshin is also trying to break through Aoshi’s grief induced insanity. Kenshin brings up the fact that Misao is strong and Aoshi agrees but Kenshin goes on to say that she needs him. She’s sixteen years old and still needs his guidance. This seems to the beginning of the breakthrough.
The psychological aspects of these fights at Shishio’s lair adds a whole other layer of intensity.
In which multiple people get trounced.
Kenshin defeats Senkaku. Shishio exits but leaves Sojiro behind to fight. Unfortunately, Sojiro breaks Kenshin’s reverse-blade sword.
Sanosuke also learns a new fighting technique from a fallen monk he meets in the woods.
But eventually everyone important gets to Kyoto during this part.
Relationships old and new are important as well as the thin line between life and death.
Kenshin has to face why the man-slayer inside him keeps dominating him during battle. And Misao has to deal with an Aoshi who has thrown away his loyalties and emotions.
The most compelling episodes, for me, were the episodes focusing on Kenshin trying to learn the Final Attack. We get pieces of Kenshin’s past (and he gets trounced multiple times by his master). Some of these pieces are funny and others are heartbreaking (I tear up every time, especially because Kenshin tears up too.)
But this part does end on a cliffhanger. I know how it goes but I’m still excited to carry on with the series. There will be lots of battles and emotional scenes ahead.
This post covers my thoughts on Rurouni Kenshin Season 2 Episodes 1 through 8! *Spoilers*
Kenshin’s past catches up with him. He and Saito battle it out until Saito’s boss, the head of the Meiji government, interrupts them and reveals that Shishio is planning on taking over Japan. Okubo begs Kenshin to go to Kyoto to kill him.
Kenshin has to make a couple decisions. Does he go to Kyoto? If he does, should he break his vow not to kill?
Ultimately he does decide to go to Kyoto because heroes face the villains regardless of their doubts. But he doesn’t really know what he’s going to do about the hitokiri within him who tends to come out to play when he’s facing a strong opponent.
Kenshin and Saito’s battle was fantastically done. The sun goes down behind a cloud and they begin. It was dynamic, violent, and stunning.
The moment that stays with me though, long after I watched the episode, is the discussion/fight that happens between Kaoru and Megumi after Kenshin leaves and Kaoru falls into a depressed state. Megumi and Kaoru tend to be antagonistic towards each other because they have different personalities but they both love the same man. Megumi gets right in Kaoru’s face for staying behind and crying. When Kaoru criticizes her for staying behind, Megumi drops a powerful speech about how she expresses her love for Kenshin by “following the path of a doctor” regardless of whether or not he’s in Tokyo. She also adds that, no, she doesn’t know what it was like for Kaoru when Kenshin said goodbye but Kaoru doesn’t understand what it was like for her not to get a goodbye at all. All of this serves to galvanize Kaoru into action. Megumi is my favorite female character from the season one ensemble. I may not appreciate her personality as much but I love how strong her beliefs are and how confident she is. She calls it how she sees it.
Misao is my favorite female in season two. Her introduction episodes make me giggle like a maniac every time. I love how stubborn she is. When she finds out that Kenshin knows Aoshi, she refuses to let him get away.
This is the introduction to the characters and the formation of their relationships. Everyone changes around Kenshin and because of Kenshin. Sanosuke decides not to be a fighter for hire anymore, Megumi decides not to take her own life but instead becomes an assistant to Doctor Gensai, and Yahiko decides to become Kaoru’s student rather than continue being a pickpocket for the Yakuza. I would argue that Kenshin changes the least in this first season. He does become more attached to people than he usually does, Kaoru in particular, but that doesn’t really become obvious until the beginning of season two.
So overall I think this is a good foundation for the characters but season two is where things start to happen, dramatically. Season three is kind of weird…
In April I probably won’t be watching a lot of anime but I will be reading a lot of manga. I might continue my rewatch in May or not. We’ll see. In the meantime, thanks for reading!
Not going to lie, this is my favorite filler episode in season one.
Kenshin and the gang go on a train ride to Yokohama but things don’t go smoothly. There are some gold coins aboard and there are passengers there to steal them!
I like the art of this episode. It is the same style as the episode with the con-man and the Hishimanji Gang and it works really well for showing the dramatic and subtle movements of the characters. There are a couple little moments that get me all worked up because they look so cool.
I also like how superstitious Sanosuke is. It makes for some great comedy moments between him and Kaoru.
I totally forgot to write about this episode… This is one of the fillers that comes before the Raijuta Arc. Basically, I watched it but moved right along to the next episode.
So Marimo is a circus performer. Her father, the ringmaster, shoots her out of a cannon as the finale. But it turns out that they owe money to a rival circus and if they don’t pay up they have to go back to working for this mean circus.
And somehow the Kenshin group ends up putting on a show while Marimo and Yahiko run around trying to save the day.
This is definitely an episode to laugh at. Most of it is pretty ridiculous.
Have you ever been to the circus? What is it like? Let me know in the comments below!
The Raijuta arc!
There’s a lot I could write about but I decided to start with Yutaro. He starts out as a spoiled brat who gets duped by a villain but he meets Kenshin and the gang and he gets a chance to change.
But in the end he is injured and decides to go to Germany because their are medical advances there he wants to take advantage of.
We don’t see him again until season 3 which is nice because in the manga we don’t ever see him again.
I have to admit that he isn’t my favorite character but I liked that he provided a competitive relationship for Yahiko.
Another man-slayer from the the revolution refuses to kill and has set up a school for kids to teach them how to read. But that doesn’t make any money so he does hard labor like road and canal work to make a living. He and Sanosuke are occasional drinking buddies and Kenshin had to fight him once upon a time.
This just felt redundant. We already have a whole series dedicated to one man-slayer determined not to kill people.
But the scene where Kenshin gets out of the carriage instead, surprising everyone, was pretty fabulous.
There’s one more filler episode about the circus and then we’re back to following the manga with the Raijuta arc.
I don’t remember this episode airing on Cartoon Network. When I watched this DVD set for the first time I was surprised to see this episode. It’s possible that it didn’t air because there’s a con-man working with the Hishi Manji Gurren Gang who pretends to be using divine power to heal the sick. No religion in particular is referenced but the con-man does “bless” “holy water” and then gives it to sick people and they miraculously feel better.
The picture above is of a Hishi Manji guy pretending to be sick. Megumi (a real doctor) dismisses him with a flick, not feeling any need to explain to the crowd of onlookers that he isn’t really sick. Unfortunately, this incident does cause people to turn on her. Her friends stand by her though (they aren’t as gullible as the crowd and have plenty of faith in Megumi’s abilities). The main conflict centers around a little girl with a heart condition. Megumi gives her parents medicine every week that she needs to take daily. The parents get really impatient with the treatment and decide to take her to this con-man. Chaos ensues.
This story doesn’t appear in the manga but the Hishi Manji do in an earlier narrative mostly about Kaoru’s former students.
I liked the art of this episode, in particular I liked how graceful Sanosuke’s fighting style was when facing down those thugs. The mutual respect builds a little bit more between Sanosuke and Megumi, which I like. I also liked that Megumi’s skills as a doctor were emphasized as much, if not more, than Sanosuke and Kenshin’s fighting skills.
I started my epic rewatch of Rurouni Kenshin when I had a separate blog and when I downsized I debated whether or not to continue posting about it. But I read Ten Count Vol. 2 last night and I still feel a little conflicted about it. (Not where I thought the story was going so soon. Goodness gravy.) After all that, basically I wanted to write about Rurouni Kenshin more. (It can be that simple, right?)
I am still in Season One. Up to this point the anime has followed the manga in terms of general storyline but this is the first episode where a plotline is not originally in the manga. This episode focuses on Toramaru who was pressured to quit his sumo “stable” by his more experienced peers. Kaoru decides to take him under her wing and train him as a sumo wrestler stating that sword-fighting and sumo wrestling have the same fundamentals. When the bullies from his former stable find out, they attack him and Kaoru, Ayame, and Suzume. (The last two are Dr. Gensai’s granddaughters and they happen to be delivering lunch and adding moral support.)
They all work as a team to defeat the bullies, Toramaru realizes he really was already a pretty good sumo, and things are resolved with the bullies (mostly because the old man who runs the stable shows up to add insight).
All and all this is a feel good episode and probably a filler? I thought it was cute if a little silly in bits. Kenshin “accidentally” knocking over the bullies with the buckets of red miso balanced on his shoulders was pretty funny.