Swordsman of Sorrow

Swordsman of Sorrow is an anime episode of Rurouni Kenshin that was released on 01/24/1996

The episode begins with Kaoru narrating about how the dojo has started down the path of reconstruction. Yahiko and Kaoru are sitting in front of each other in the dojo and Kaoru tells Yahiko to close his eyes and breath deep, the first step of the Kamiya Kasshin style. Yahiko makes faces at Kaoru and runs off, Kaoru chases after him. Yahiko declares that he is sick of the Kasshin style and he wants to learn how to defeat his enemies. Kaoru tells him that Kasshin is only for protecting people. While confused of this idea, Yahiko crashes through a door into a room where Kenshin is in. Yahiko complains to Kenshin that he came to get strong, not learn how to protect people, but Kenshin's sword style so he can defeat enemies. Kenshin declines, stating that he doesn't intend to pass the style on. Kaoru and Yahiko both complain about Kenshin while eating rice balls and argue. Yahiko flashes back to a scene from last episode and wonders aloud "what's such a strong guy doing at a no-name school like this?". He concludes that Kenshin must have been something similar to a gangster and that the police are still after him.

A chariot is going down the road, flanked by police. A close up view of a man's mustache. Back at the dojo Kenshin is preparing food while Kaoru stands behind him wondering why he is wandering when he was an Imperialist who made the Meiji Revolution possible. Some history is given about Kenshin based on rumors. Kaoru has a day dream of Kenshin surrounded by swords which spin around him and eventually stab into him. A cat steals a fish and Kenshin chases after it saying it's Kaoru's lunch. Kaoru watches and gets angry, calling Kenshin a moron and wondering why he is keeping his past hidden. She yells at him to confess the truth and turns around, thinking that she shouldn't pry into people's pasts.

Police stand infront of the Kasshin dojo while the chariot stops infront of the gate. Kaoru gets up the nerves to ask Kenshin a little about his past, but when she turns around Dr. Gensai is standing there instead of Kenshin. Dr. Gensai tells Kaoru that Kenshin went out to buy some tofu. The police demand the headmaster of the school. Kaoru runs up and asks what they want. The police chief walks up and asks for Himura Kenshin, the Battousai, which Yahiko hears. He wonders if they mean Battousai the Manslayer. Kaoru asks them what they want with him, but all they tell her is that it's a government secret that only the man in the chariot knows. Kaoru tells Yahiko to warn Kenshin that he'll be caught if he comes back. The police give chase to him. The man in the chariot is shown smoking a cigar and thinking that he will have the Battousai soon.

Kenshin is walking back with tofu, being rushed by the two little girls. Some police swordsman see Kenshin's sword (which are illegal without a permit) and they accost Kenshin. They challenge him to a match, saying they will let him go if he wins. Kenshin says that there are children there so he would rather not, and he shows them that his sword has a reverse-blade. This makes the police laugh, and irritates one of them so he cuts their tofu bucket, causing it to spill on the ground. Kenshin thoughtfully watches them leave.

A police swordsman punches a man to the ground into a a shop, causing damage to goods, while accusing him of shoplifting. The man apologizes, saying it was just the spur of the moment. The shopkeeper pleads to the police swordsman to forgive the man, saying that it was only one hand-towel. A policeman says that the police swordsman don't have to get involved in something so small. One of the police swordsman smashes the policeman's nose, knocking him to the ground. They state they are authorized by the government to slay people. Yohiko comes upon the scene, looking for Kenshin. He sees the shopkeeper and the shoplifter being arrested. The shopkeeper's daughter asks why he is being taken away and is told it's because he sided with a criminal. The police swordsman shoves her, saying she's in the way, and she falls to the ground. She pleads to the surrounding people for help, and the police swordsman leader tells them to arrest the girl too. Yahiko yells at them to stop, brandishing his wooden training sword. He charges one of the police swordsman and they trade blows until another swordsman kicks Yahiko into a wall, dazing him. The police swordsman says to execute them all to teach them a lesson. They justify it by saying they have to kill occasionally so their instincts as swordsmen don't dull. The surrounding people start murmuring about how the people up for execution are innocent. This catches the attention of the police swordsman leader, who declares that the executions are for public peace. One of the swordsman draws his sword, getting ready to begin executing, when someone starts making a ruckus.

Kenshin enters the circle and stands before the police swordsman. Kenshin walks up to the police swordsman leader while Yahiko tells him to get away. Kenshin tells the leader that if all those people truly committed crimes that he will repent for all of them. The leader draws his sword and points it in Kenshin's face. A policeman tells the police chief that he found Kenshin, and that he is fighting the police swordsmen. Kaoru hears this and runs after him. The police try to grab her, but she knocks them all down. The police swordsman tells Kenshin to draw his sword, but he declines. At this the leader tells a swordsman to start killing the captured people one by one. This gets the surrounding people riled up and they start shouting at the swordsmen. The police swordsman leader invokes the "Government Opposition Crime Law" and tells his men to arrest everyone, and then says to slay them all. Kenshin draws his sword. The leader tells his men to kill Kenshin. Kenshin promptly knocks all of the swordsmen unconscious, leaving the leader standing before him. The police chief arrives, and the police swordsman leader attacks Himura. Himura jumps over him and hits him from above. The people crowd him, cheering, while Kaoru and Yohiko try to get him away.

Outside of the crowd, Kenshin and company are arrested by the police chief. The mustachioed man from the carriage tells the police to release them. The man greets Himura like an old friend. Kenshin notes that the man has grown a mustache since he last saw him, and calls him Mr. Yamagata. Yamagata tells the police chief that Himura is a hero who saved the lives of many Imperialists with his sword. Kaoru realizes that the man is Aritomo Yamagata, the Lord of the Imperial Meiji Army and the politician that stands at the top of Japan. Yamagata tells Kenshin that he needs to talk to him about something and to follow him to his carriage, but Kenshin tells him just to tell him right where they are. Yamagata offers him a position as a key officer in the Imperial Army. Kenshin tells Yamagata that he has no wish to be given a key position as a reward for manslaughter. Kenshin points out a flawed path that Yamagata is beginning to follow and surprises him. Kenshim begins to walk away and Yamagata tells him that he can't help the people with his sword without power. Kenshin replies to this saying that even if it's just the people he walks by that he can protect them with one sword. Kenshin and company walk away, leaving Yamagata standing there thinking.

Yohiko reflects on what Kenshin said and finally realizes why Kenshin wouldn't teach him his style. The episode ends with Kaoru narrating about how she learned a little bit about why Kenshin is a wanderer.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Kenshin Himura ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Richard Cansino ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Mayo Suzukaze ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Yahiko Myojin ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Mina Tominaga ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Wendee Lee ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Kaoru Kamiya ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Dorothy Elias-Fahn ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Miki Fujitani ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)

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Kazuhiro Furuhashi Director
Noriyuki Asakura Music

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