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Rurouni Kenshin OVA #1

~ Tsuiokuhen ~

"I'm the man who made the bloody rain falls" - Hitokiri Battousai

My most fave Rurouni Kenshin's version! In these 4 DVDs you will see the bloody past of Himura Kenshin as a hitokiri for the Ishin Shishi. I like this version more than any others, it has a very touchy story, bloody swordsfight and beautiful theme songs ^_^. Since it's not so many as the Anime or the Manga, I will write the details of each act as best as I could. You'd better watch this OVA since it'll add more knowledge about Bakumatsu and makes you understand Rurouni Kenshin better. If you didn't master Nihongo then you can watch the English-dubbed by ADV or the fansubbed. Betsuni, there's nothing more interesting than Kenshin's past as Hitokiri Battousai, so... Let's get it on!

Act #1 : The Man With The Slashing Sword
It began when a lil boy named Shinta who was only an orphan after his parents died, he was then sold by a slave trader. One of those nights, they were ambushed by a group of bandit, everybody died except Shinta. He was rescued by Seijuurou Hiko (always be my love ~_~) who then named him Kenshin and taught him the almighty Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu. But Kenshin is a pure boy at heart, he couldn't standing hollow watching people being killed everyday, so he requested to leave. Hiko knew that he couldn't hold his baka deshi's ass much longer, so he let him go. Later he joined the Kiheitai, a group of revolving peasants who opposed Bakufu, led by Takatsugi Shinsaku. When Kogorou Katsura saw him he requested Kenshin to go with him to Kyoto and became a shadow hitokiri. Kenshin with the ultimate Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu, undoubtedly became the most dreadful hitokiri in the Ishin Shishi. In one of his assignment to kill the Kyoto Shoshidai, he killed a man who gave him a wound on his left cheek. The strange is that the wound won't stop bleeding. On a rainy night, Kenshin was suddenly ambushed by a ninja from Oniwabanshuu. Kenshin flawlessly cut the ninja into 2 pieces but there's a girl who witnessed the incident. Kenshin was flustered, he knew that he can let anyone knows that he's a hitokiri and that girl had seen him, "Should I kill her?" Kenshin thought in panic.

Makoto's note: This first episode has a quite perplexed plot, it has many flashbacks which come out too often until I myself have to watch it over and over again to understand the story. One mistake reported by my pal, Regina, who had seen the English-dubbed version, she said that in this episode Okita Souji (from Shinsengumi) addresses Hajime Saitou as "Master" (sensei). This is simply WRONG! There are no historical reasons for Okita to call him as 'sensei' because they both were on the same rank and Saitou had nothing to do with Okita's training. In the original Japanese version I swear my ass that by my own ears that I heard Okita called him "Saitou-san", and not "Sensei". So it's merely a mistake by the ADV, maybe we should sue them (just bluffing ^_~)

Act #2: The Lost Cat
... the girl stepped forward and then suddenly falls to the ground. Kenshin spontaneously catches her and by his gentleness, he carried her to the inn. But since there was no vacancy, Kenshin let her sleep in his own room. The next morning he was awakened by a bad dream, but he couldn't find her anywhere. When he went downstairs, Kenshin saw her carrying food trays, then he asked her name and the girl replied "Tomoe" (Yukishiro Tomoe). Kenshin knew that it's too dangerous for her to stay there and told her to go back to her home, but she said that she has no family.
Kenshin somehow put a pity on her and get her a job as a housekeeper in the inn where the Ishin Shishi lives. In the meantime, Katsura got a nerve war with Miyabe and finally cut ties. Miyabe and his men was planning something really horrible in Kyoto, they wanna it set AFLAME. Katsura saw the harshness in Kenshin and fell guilty for it, so he told Tomoe, personally, to be Kenshin's saya (sheath) "a good sword should had a good sheath". One night in June, as the Miburo heard the issues of the burning plan, they broke in the Ikedaya where all Shishi were having an assembly to burn Kyoto. The brave Kondou Isami and young Okita involved in a severe battle as they were outnumbered (3:1) but at last they won. Kenshin came too late to help his comrades, fortunately Katsura wasn't there at the moment. Soon they went back to the inn and ran through the back door, Katsura was waiting for them. He told Kenshin that he has a mountain house in Otsu and ordered him to live with Tomoe there as a newly married couple. Kenshin had no choice, so he left Kyoto and head to Otsu with Tomoe to start a new life as husband and wife.

Makoto's note: This act has a very memorable moment for Shinsengumi, the Ikedaya Jiken. The almighty Miburo became infamous because of this affair, some called them heroes, some other called them assassins. Whatever, the fact is that they'd saved Kyoto from the burning, it's enough for me to call them "Heroes". In the closing part you could see a post note that later in month of August 1864, the feud of Choushuu raised an army and marched towards Kyoto as retaliation. The fiefs of Satsuma and Aizu joined forces again, protecting the Gates of the Imperial Palace against the Choushuu army. It was the war known as Kinmon no Hen or Hamaguri Gomon no Hen. Shinsengumi participated in the war also, in which the Bakufu forces defeated the Choushuu army flawlessly. However, the war went over 3 days and made a half of Kyoto turned into a burning ground, including the secret stations of Choushuu Shishi.

Act #3 : The Previous Night at The Mountain Home
As the days passed by, Kenshin lived in peace in a mountain home in Otsu, a day from Kyoto. Kenshin tried to live as a normal man, planting veggies, even became a druggist. When Kenshin lived away from Kyoto, it was Iidzuka, his ex-beholder, who helped him earning a living. Pity Kenshin, he couldn't smell the fishy guts behind Iidzuka who was actually a traitor. The liltle brother of Tomoe, Yukishiro Enishi (who's in the Manga will avenge for her sister's death later on) came to the house and remind Tomoe of her former mission, to get rid off the hitokiri Battousai. But Tomoe defied and told him to go back to Edo. Enishi thought that because of Kenshin, her beloved sister won't go home so he swore that he will kill him. Kenshin and Tomoe's relation somehow became intimate as the time goes by, they became a true husband and wife. But soon after their most beautiful night, Tomoe left him without giving a clue (poor Kenshin -_-). As Kenshin was puzzled by her disappearance, Iidzuka came to make the situation worse. He told Kenshin that the real traitor was indeed his own wife, Tomoe. The evidence is her journal, and Kenshin hasty ran to the house and read the journal. It was written there that her fiancee was killed just right before their wedding day in the street of Kyoto. Futhermore, Iidzuka told him that the man who gave him the wound on his left cheek was Tomoe's fiancee. Then suddenly his old wound started to bleed again....

Act #4 : The Cross-shaped Wound
Kenshin in his fidgety following Tomoe to the a cottage in the mountain, along the way he got a sight when he killed Kiyosato, Tomoe's fiancee. Kenshin's heart was broken into pieces, he didn't know what he supposed to do. It's the same feeling as the night when they first time met. Kenshin somehow couldn't and didn't want to kill her, he had just found a love that he never felt before. But he had destroyed Tomoe's first love and now he fell in love with her. On the way to the cottage, 3 ninja were waiting patiently. Kenshin, though was depressed, still capable to kill them all, but he was bloody wounded because of the battles. Meanwhile in the cottage, Tomoe was shocked to know that she had actually been tricked. For this such a long time, she was only being used to weaken Kenshin's spirit and made him fell in a deep anguish because the women he loves had betrayed him. She tried to commit suicide but her kaiken was seized. At the meantime, Kenshin finally reached the cottage, it's snowing heavily, a man had already waiting for him. Then the battle began, Kenshin was troubled to defeat him, he was beaten many times. Then the man pick up Tomoe's kaiken and prepared to stab him, Kenshin collected his remained power and gave the final blow as a sight of Tomoe's grave flashed. He opened his eyes and saw Tomoe standing in front of him, holding the kaiken to protect him but... she was bleeding hard as his sword sliced through her shoulder. Then they all fell to the ground, Kenshin put her on his lap and weep. Tomoe with her last strength slit Kenshin's cheek over the wound made by her late fiancee and make a mark of cross, then she passed away. After saying his final thoughts, Kenshin burned the house with Tomoe in it. He returned to his former job as hitokiri, believed that it was the reason why Tomoe saved him, because he still had another battles. Day by day he passed to bring on the new era, killed anyone who stood in his way. The Ishin Shishi finally won the war and as what Kenshin had promised he will no longer kill. Then that's the beginning of a resigned hitokiri as a rurouni Kenshin we all know today ^_~x.


Go to Rurouni Kenshin OVA #2: Seishouhen

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