Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan
Japan, Edo 1878
Japan enters the eleventh year of the Meiji era. A new and peaceful age where the people can live in peace. However, things are not what they seem. The Japanese government is corrupt and many politicians or military leaders think only of their selfish greed for money.
The story follows Himura Kenshin, a red-haired swordsman who carries a reversed egde blade (otherwise known as the Sakabatou). Kenshin is also known as Hitokiri Battousai, a man who was known for being one of the strongest swordsmen around. With his famous Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu he made a big name for himselves. Kenshin played an important role for the rise of the Meiji era. Before the Meiji era, there was the Tokugawa Shogunate. A time where many wars where fought and the lands of Japan where plagued by mischief swordsmen and bandits. After the fall of the Tokugawa era, Kenshin dissapeared and was never seen again for ten years.
In the eleventh year of the Meiji, Kenshin is found in Edo (now known as Tokyo) wandering the streets. He bumps into a girl by the name of Kamiya Kaoru who runs a Kenjutsu school known as the Kamiya Kashin Dojo. Kaoru has a thing for getting into trouble it seems. Her dojo is being blamed of many murders in the city. A man who claims to be Hitokiri Battousai slays men and woman every night in the name of the Kamiya Kashin dojo. Kenshin soon finds himself up against this imposter and defeats him in a battle.
Kaoru who is thrilled that Kenshin helped her clear the Kamiya Kashin dojo's name, invites him to stay in her dojo. Even though she realises Himura Kenshin is the real Hitokiri Battousai. Kaoru says she does not care about Kenshin's past as the Battousai, and only cares about the gentle Rurouni.
Later they meet two of their soon to be closest friends. One is a fighter for hire who calls himself Zanza, otherwise known as Sagara Sanosuke. Sanosuke wants to fight Kenshin because he was a member of the Ishin Shishi, who where responsible for the fall of the Tokugawa and the betrayal of his former squadron, the Sekihoutai. Kenshin convinces Sano that he has no desire to still live by the name of the Ishin Shishi and tells him that he has to accept the peaceful times of the Meiji.
The other is a young boy named Myoujin Yahiko. His father was a samurai, but after his death Yahiko's family got into a lot of problems with the Yakuza. Yahiko now has to pay of his family's debt by stealing for the Yakuza. Being an orphan and also being controlled by the Yakuza is not a very nice thing for a ten year old. Kenshin rescues him from the Yakuza and Yahiko becomes the only student of the Kamiya Kashin dojo.
Rurouni Kenshin is a wonderful series that includes humour, action and even romance. The series also tries to teach the people something about the meaning of life, which Kenshin does many times.
"A sword is a weapon. Kenjutsu is the art of killing. Whatever pretty words you use to speak of it, this is its true nature. What Miss Kaoru says are the words of one who has never dirtied her hands. An idealistic joke....I like Miss Kaoru's idealism better than its true nature. If one can ask so much, I want the world to accept this joke as its true nature." -Himura Kenshin