Kenshin Kenshin Kenshin

Episode 1:   Legendary Samurai:   The Man Who Fights For Love.

        Kenshin, the person with the red hair, is male.   The hair style makes for a bit of confusion at first.
        Kenshin, Kaoru, Dr. Genzai, Suzume-chan, Ayame-chan introduced.

Episode 2:   The Bratty Samurai:   Why Don't You Become My Student?

        Kaoru:   "Maybe no one's coming because they're afraid of my beauty."
        Yahiko introduced.
        Kaoru can fight.   It's a nice change from my other favorite series, DragonballZ, where the girls are pretty much entirely helpless.
        The 'bossman' in this episode is unique in that he makes an obvious and sensible decision that no one else ever seems to make- realizing by reputation or (in this case) by seeing Kenshin in action how vastly better than anyone else in the room Kenshin is, bossman orders his men to not fight Kenshin.   Exact opposite of Jine, who we'll meet a few episodes later on.

Episode 3:   Samurai In Sorrow:   The Man Past Forgiveness.

        The Chief (of police) and Yamagata introduced.
        I'm not clear on why Yamagata reacts so strongly to Kenshin saying 'And you used insight to create change.'   A part of Japanese culture having to do with openly stating one's true feelings or giving a direct compliment?
        Is Yamagata supposed to be of British blood?

Episode 4:   Something Stinks:   It's The Gangster Sanosuke.

        Sano introduced.
        Ooooh.   Are the three drunk guys in the restaurant supposed to be the 'sword squad' guys from the previous episode, out of uniform?

Episode 5:   Sakaba v. Zanba:   Fight The Desperate Fight.

        Background on Sano.

Episode 6:   Visit From The Darkness:   The Kurogasa Appears

        Yahiko:   "Don't complain- it's great experience enduring torture like this."
        The Kurogasa (Jine) is the most direct example of a certain kind of logic that seems to be a hallmark of anime.  Jine knows and admits quite openly that Kenshin as the Hitokiri was the finest killer he ever knew.   Kenshin as the Rurouni apparently isn't good enough to beat Jine.   So what does Jine choose as his primary goal?   Tick Kenshin off badly enough to become the Hitokiri again!   But, having admitted that Kenshin was the best, Jine is implying that he would lose and therefore be killed.   Jine's goal, then, is to force Kenshin to become the Hitokiri again, but at the expense of Jine's life.
        Since Kenshin and Sano can each shake off Jine's Shin No Ippu (his freeze trick), if they had guns, they could have shot Jine.   I mention this because the police tried to shoot Jine, but couldn't un-freeze themselves.   Some of you, dear readers, may watch those 'police video' shows on tv in the US and may recall having seen the one with the black guy who had gone nuts and was wielding a sword, threatening to attack anyone who approached him.   The 'honorable' thing, I suppose, would have been for one of the police to go find a sword or try to take the guy out with a baton.   Instead they eventually got him off balance and knocked the sword away with a fire hose.   It wasn't an issue of honor- it was an issue of 'let's take care of this guy while avoiding getting ourselves hurt.'   Personally, I subscribe more to the school of thought exemplified by Indiana Jones dealing with the black-clothed guy with the big sword in Raiders Of The Lost Ark.   Bang, he's dead, it's done.
        So what could they (in Kenshin) have done to more effectively deal with Jine?   Instead of having everyone in nice big easy to kill clumps of people, they could have had several snipers set to shoot Jine through one of the windows.   Wouldn't Jine's Shin No Ippu have got the snipers too?   I don't think so because there ought to be some kind of range limitation and because it looks like Jine needs to know who he's trying to get with it and has to be looking at them at that moment.   Couldn't Jine then get out of the way of the bullet?   Assuming he hasn't seen the sniper or the flash from the gun, he shouldn't know the bullet's coming.   I'm not sure for the weapon technology of the time, but I want to say that bullets travel faster than sound, so he shouldn't be able to hear the bullet coming.   Won't the bullet break the window and thus make a noise allowing Jine to hear the breaking and get out of the way?   Again no, since the bullet will still be travelling ahead of the noise.   What if Jine sees the window breaking and, realizing what's about to happen, moves?   No, because we're assuming the bullet is coming from a direction (probably behind) Jine isn't looking.   Wouldn't Jine have already found and killed the snipers though?   This is the hitch- this is the scenario I haven't been able to make an alternative to yet.   The show hasn't been entirely clear on Jine's m.o.- does he just run in the front gate, up to the guy, kill the guy and everyone along the way or does Jine kill every single person in the entire area?   If he doesn't, the sniper scenario does the job, so let's assume Jine can find and kill every single person in the compound, indluding the snipers in the trees.   It's another situation where my not knowing the limits of that time's technology prevents me from answering- how far away can a sniper reasonably expect to hit Jine from?
        And for those of you who are inclined the belief that all this speculating is a waste of time, just 'what-iffing,' and serves no purpose, I would remind you of a Certain Unnamed Individual who is of an older generation.   This person would say something like that, that it's just speculation and is therefore a waste.   Perhaps, but speculation is a way of participating in and enjoying the show.   The 'waste' point of view is, frankly, a geezerly position and/or one likely to be held by someone who is not an enthusiast of the show.   For example, why should a Trek fan be so happy to acquire an actual set prop when many of the fan's acquaintances see it silly, nerdy, a waste of time and money?   One way of looking at it is that it's a matter of whatever makes you feel good.   Complaining makes me feel good, so here I am.   Wonder what i'll be like when I reach 'senior' age?   The other way of looking at it is the Dogbert way- 'You're not me, therefore you're irrelevant.'   To the extent this does not prevent me from functioning in society, I (and, I believe, pretty much everyone else even if they won't admit it) agree for the most part.   That Certain Unnamed Individual would be likely to point out at this point that this is the point of view he/she holds that I frequently attack.   Here I would draw the distinction that I apply the belief (or at least I try to) that everyone else's opinion is irrelevant to my own life- I don't expect others to agree that they themselves are stupid and that they should listen to me.   I guess I won't be starting a conservative radio talk show any time soon.
        One of the more memorable 'moments' from the series is at the end of this episode when Kaoru is taken.

Episode 7:   Fight Under The Moonlight:   To Save The One I Love.

        Got to hand it to whoever makes Kenshin- fancy titles.
        Jine defeated.   Jine doesn't mind dying because he saw in Kenshin's eyes that, in that moment, Kenshin was the Hitokiri again.   Okay, so he got to see Kenshin really really angry, and he considers it to have been worth his life.   Baka, baka, baka.
        Jine:   "This is so great."   Yeah, he just stabbed himself with his own sword on purpose.   Wonderful.
        One thing I do wonder about is if Kenshin could have defeated Jine without becoming the Hitokiri again if he had his succession technique (which he learns later in the series)?

Episode 8:   Unexpected Battle:   A Beautiful Woman Runs Us Ragged.

        Megumi and Aoshi introduced.
        Megumi's relationship to Kaoru feels similar to Naga and Lina on Slayers.   Megumi uses her confidence in her...well, sexiness I guess, to give Kaoru a hard time.   Of course, Kaoru makes it easy by getting angry so quickly.
        Megumi:   "What a violent woman!"
        I wonder is this a Japanese mannerism (like in real everyday Japanese life) or is it specific to anime?   I've seen both Megumi and Naga do it- they put the back of their closed hand up to their mouth and do a sort of 'ho-ho-ho' laugh.

Episode 9:   Strongest Ninja Clan:   Fear The Oniwa Banshu.

        More plot development with Megumi.

Episode 10:   Aoshi:   Lethal Power Raised To Beauty.

        Woof, what a title.   Battle to recover Megumi from Kanryu's mansion.   All of the Oniwa Banshu here die accept Aoshi, so he's a touch upset.   I still think it's strange that he chooses to be upset at Kenshin since it's Kanryu that kills Aoshi's men.

Episode 11:   Adios My Strongest Friends...Crashing Shadows And Light.

        Aoshi's the first to really challenge Kenshin.   Jine doesn't count since he was defeated handily after he ticked Kenshin off enough.   But Kenshin doesn't get ticked off with Aoshi...Hmm...Yeah, let's say Jine counted, but I still say he isn't (wasn't) in a class with Aoshi.
        Hero or not, Kenshin dodging direct fire from a gatling gun has some plausibility issues.

Episode 12:   Birth Of A Junior Samurai:   The First Disciple, Yahiko's Battle.

        Another difference, if i'm not mistaken, with Japanese and American culture.   Being a girlfriend / boyfriend seems to imply a more significant relationship in Japan than it does here.   Not that their relationships are different; it's just that the term seems to imply more for Japanese culture.

Episode 13:   You Can Do It Toramaru:   The Dosukai Journey.

        The version of this episode I saw appeared to be from a different fansub group.   I prefer the Shinsen Gumi fansub for the translation, the picture quality, and the larger font size.
        How nice- Kaoru found someone who actually likes her cooking.

Episode 14:   Welcom The Assassin Group:   Jin-Pu-Tai.

        I think this is the only episode i've ever seen Megumi make an angry-face in.   Kaoru, on the other hand, makes them all the time.

Episode 15:   Take A Pledge:   The Hidden Sword Technique, Shiden-No-Tachi's Here.

        Yamagata's in this episode.

Episode 16:   Jump To Your Dream:   Adventure Of Narimo The Flying Bullet.

        Sometimes I get tired of the oops-I-forgot-about-my-loan schtick.   I know it's a plot device and I know it's necessary to drive the story, but it feels like they're reaching a bit.   An otherwise competent and capable individual is stupid in just this one particular area.
        Kenshin sings in this episode.   Maybe someone wanted him to do Karaoke?

Episode 17:   Run Yahiko:   Get The Sakaba Sword Back.

        This is, I believe, the third and final appearance of Gohei, the bad guy from the first episode.   But i've only seen up to the end of the Shi-shi-o story arc, so Gohei might have shown up later in the series or in one of the OVAs.
        I understand that Gohei's got a serious grudge against Kenshin for making him unable to practice budo any more, but I would think if he's become rich, Gohei would be happy with that.
        And if Gohei's unable to do budo (to use his fingers), why is he able to umbrella-fight with Yahiko?
        And if the only major difference between a sakaba sword and a regular one is which side is sharpened, why doesn't Kenshin use a regular sword until he gets his Sakaba back?   Okay, so maybe he'd become or be tempted to become the Hitokiri again if he did that.   So just turn the regular sword around and use it as a makeshift Sakaba?   As with the previous episode, it's necessary to the plot even though it doesn't make complete sense.   At least, to me that is.
        Noice...ah....visualization when Yahiko kicks Gohei.

Episode 18:   Rai-Ju-Ta's Desire:   The Vision Of A Forbidden Kingdom.

        This is the first episode of Kenshin that I ever saw; at Greenwood.   It's the first episode with the spoiled rich kid.