Book Review: Rurouni Kenshin Volume 19

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As I have mentioned before, I recently received store credit from Barnes & Noble and used it to get two books.

So far, one has been covered and only one remains.

Today, I will be reviewing that last title, which is called Rurouni Kenshin Volume 19 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

Enishi and his group have started to move by attacking more places that are associated with Kenshin.

Kenshin and Sanosuke want to leave everyone in the dark about this chaos, but after Kenshin meets Enishi for the first time in years, he starts to have second thoughts about handling things on his own.

I enjoyed this volume. After the great start of the Jinchū arc, things seem to really be picking up. The fight between Sanosuke and Inui Banjin was pretty exciting. In fact, I did not want to stop reading the moment it begun. I do remember Sanosuke having a fight this since his fight with Anji, who had taught him the futae no kiwami. Speaking of the futae no kiwami, it seems to definitely be a strong attack for it to break Inui’s guanlets, which we actually see deflect bullets. However, what made me interested in Sanosuke’s fight the most was what he said to Inui. When Inui revealed that his reason for going after Kenshin was because Kenshin beat his master and he did not want to be seen as weak due to that lost, Sanosuke commented that it was terrible reason to go after Kenshin. I certainly agree that it is a poor reason to go after Kenshin, but that is not the worst reason for revenge that I have heard so far in this arc. Kenshin’s brief confrontation with Otowa Hyoko was also somewhat interesting, but it was not as exciting as Sanosuke’s fight. I also liked how it was revealed that Enishi was connected to more than just the recent events happening around everyone Kenshin knows. Apparently, he not only supplied the weapons used in the four most recent incidents, but he also supplied the battleship that Makoto Shishio used in the events that took place in the Kyoto arc. To me, this suggests that Enishi was meant to arrive on the scene sooner or later. I was also surprised to find out that Enishi had not expected Kenshin to fight with Shishio. In my review of the previous volume, I was wondering if Enishi planted Gein, the real face behind Iwanbo, there because he knew Kenshin would get involved, but it turned out to be just a coincidence. However, I do not even know why Enishi would bring up Shishio, because Enishi would not be able to go after Kenshin if Shishio had succeeded in his own plans. Another nice thing about this book is that the words from the author, while still not it its proper place at the very end of the volume, was not as distracting as it was in the previous volume. I think that this is because it was merged into one page and did not switch between talking about the volume itself to things not related to it. Not only did it talk about something that had nothing to do with the volume, but it also came up at a point good enough to be an intermission point, whereas the one in the last volume came up when things were just getting exciting. It is nice to see this kind of improvement. The thing that I liked the most though is that we find out about Kenshin’s past. While it might not be as exciting for those that have seen the Trust & Betrayal OVA, because that also covers Kenshin’s past, I think it is important, because at this point in time, we do not know why Kenshin and those around him are being targeted by Enishi, aside from a grudge caused by the death of Enishi’s sister that may or may not exist. Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked without repeating myself. The fact that Sanosuke has a pretty decent fight and that Kenshin’s past is being explored, as well as the fact that there has been some improvement with extras, made this a great book.

Although I did like the volume, there are some issues. However, aside from the already mentioned terrible reason for revenge, which turned out to not be the worst one yet, nothing comes to my mind. As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that there was some improvement in the handling of the words from the author and we delve into Kenshin’s past, this was definitely worth reading. I recommend this to fans of Rurouni Kenshin and action, though the former may appreciate it more. As for everyone else, I think that either the anime or the early volumes should be read, in addition to the previous volume, in order to be able to really enjoy this.

What are your thoughts on Rurouni Kenshin Volume 19? Were you as satisfied as I was or did it disappoint you? Was there something I forgot to mention? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.