Book Review: Rurouni Kenshin Volume 20

May 29, 2014


Well, it looks like it has been a while, huh? With the rest of my order from Barnes & Noble being delayed and the inconvenience of their site not allowing a shopping cart capability for ebooks, I kind of slacked off.

However, recently, I did get a new book from them.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Rurouni Kenshin Volume 20 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.

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

The trip down memory lane continues as Kenshin reveals more about what happened in his past, when he went by the name of Battousai.

However, while Kenshin and his friends are enjoying their moment of peace until the date Enishi told Kenshin, Enishi’s comrade suspect that Enishi and Gein have other plans.

I kind of liked this this volume. While not a whole lot happened, considering that this volume is still covering the same events featured in the Trust & Betrayal OVA, except for the scenes involving Kenshin meeting his master for the first time, which was partly covered in the manga version of the Kyoto arc, according to online scans, though I cannot find anything about Shinta being Kenshin’s real name, outside of the OVAs and references to Rurouni Kenshin Profiles, I liked how it showed how Kenshin’s demeanor started to change from the assassin that we saw him as at the beginning of this flashback in the previous volume to the Kenshin we know now, even expressing a desire to never kill again by telling Tomoe that he plans to find a way to protect without killing and wanting to atone for the killings that he was responsible for during the war. In my experience, as far as I can remember, with the OVAs, both Reflection and Trust & Betrayal (Summaries for both are available at the link I provided for Trust & Betrayal), and the television series, I somewhat knew that the Kenshins being portrayed were the same, but they were mostly different with very little connecting them. Here, however, the Kenshin presented in these chapters seems to have a better connection to the Kenshin everyone knows, because he is playing with the children of the village he and Tomoe were living in and the change in Kenshin was quite gradual, compared to having only four episodes to become the Kenshin everyone knew. I also liked how it was revealed that Enishi and Kenshin first met. If this flashback were not present, I would still be wondering how Enishi knew so much about Kenshin when they had yet to meet. However, it is still not known at this point if the grudge he mentioned really is his sister’s or if it was his very own. After all, years have gone by since the time Kenshin and Einishi saw each other and Enishi was only a child during the time Kenshin went by the name of Battosai. The thing that really has me interested though is what Enishi has planned. Back in volume 18, Enishi tells his five allies that their goal is to make Kenshin suffer and that their alliance will be over. However, now that Enishi has given Kenshin ten days and Enishi told his allies why, there must be something else planned. Then again, looking back through volume 18, this is not so surprising since Gein and Enishi did seem to suggest that there were other plans in the works. Outside of those things, there was not much else that interested me. The fact that we started to see how Kenshin became the person we know today and that Enishi reveals that he does have other plans made this a pretty interesting volume.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues. However, aside from the minor annoyance of the flashback being interrupted, which may or may not affect things in the long run, I cannot really think of anything that particularly bugged me. Because of this fact, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that there was not much wrong with this book, this was definitely worth reading. I recommend this only to fans of Rurouni Kenshin and those that have read and enjoyed the previous volumes, because most of the volume covers Kenshin past and those that have not read the previous volume would be lost.

What are your thoughts on Rurouni Kenshin Volume 20? Did you enjoy it like I did or were you disappointed? Was there something that you think that I should have mentioned that I left out? Feel free to comment.

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