What *is* it about this guy?

Henceforth, these will be manga-based.

Set in feudal Japan, the story opens on a strange man wandering through Tokyo, formerly known as the legendary Hitokiri Battousai (roughly translated as "Shadow Assasin"). Battousai aided the Ishin Shishi party in bringing the present Meiji Government into power, after which he disappeared for 11 years. Now a Rurouni ("Wandering Swordsman") who has taken the name Himura Kenshin ("Heart of Sword"), he has sworn never to kill again and carries the sakabatou (a reverse-blade sword incapable of killing). He is recognized by the mysterious X-shaped scar on his cheek.

In Tokyo lives a young woman named Kamiya Kaoru, who runs her family's Dojo, a school which teaches a special form of swordfighting for the purpose of defending the weak. The Kamiya Dojo has been terrorized by a man claiming to be Battousai, who murders people in the name the Dojo, causing many of Kaoru's students to leave. Kaoru discovers Kenshin near the Dojo and accuses him of being the murderer. He ends up saving her from the real killer, and in return Kaoru offers him a place to live at the Dojo, and Kenshin accepts.

Roaming Tokyo is a boy named Myojin Yahiko, a descendant from Samurai warriors who now picks pockets to repay a debt to Shneitai (a street gang). His life changes when he tries to pick Kenshin's (empty) pockets. Later, after discovering his affiliation with the gang, Kaoru comes to his rescue, but finds herself outnumbered. Enter Kenshin, who saves the two of them and wins the respect and admiration of Yahiko. The boy wants to be exactly like Kenshin and begs him to teach him how to fight like him. However, since Kenshin is unwilling, Yahiko (*very*) grudgingly accepts Kaoru as his teacher.

Also wandering the streets of Tokyo is a Kenkaya (street-fighter) known as Zanza, named Sagara Sanosuke. One day, he is fighting some drunks at the local restaurant where the Kenshin Gumi (Kenshin, Kaoru, Yahiko) are eating. Sano challenges Kenshin to a fight, believing he'd be a worthier opponent than the drunks. At first Kenshin denies the challenge. Then a man hires Sano to fight him and tells him that Kenshin was the legendary Battousai for the Ishin Shishi party (which Sano *beyond* abhors). After a long and arduous fight during which Kenshin cuts Sano's zanbatou (horse-cutting sword) in half, Kenshin defeats Sano. Even though Sano had sworn never to lose a fight to an Ishin Shishi member, he finds a new respect for Kenshin, who reminds him of his murdered adoptive father (for whom Sano is seeking revenge against the Ishin Shishi government). The two eventually become friends.

More soon!

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