Book Review: Rurouni Kenshin Volume 22

May 30, 2016


I hope you all are doing well.

As you guys have noticed, there has a bit of downtime in server stability, but that was mainly because I was migrating to a different server, since the people originally hosting this blog did something that made things harder to run maintenance, as well as move another service over to a different server.

Thankfully things are working fine now, so there is nothing to worry about.

On the subject of this post, I recently realized that I had some stuff that I had gotten from Barnes & Noble, before it became a pain to continuing buying digital content from them, and decided to continue reviewing the remaining seven titles.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those seven, which is called Rurouni Kenshin Volume 22 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.

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

The battle at Kamiya dojo between Kenshin and his and Enishi and the rest of the Six Comrades rages on, with only one person removed from the fight, but Kenshin continues to eye the brother of the now deceased Tomoe.

However, while seem to be going rather well for Kenshin, things will not stay the same, as Enishi still seems to maintain his composure, even after seeing KenshinÔÇÖs ultimate attack in action.

Even though it has been roughly a year since I read the previous volume, I really liked this book.

Within the first few pages, I was sucked right into the world, with some help from the volumeÔÇÖs summary of what had happened previously.

Seeing as Rurouni Kenshin was one of the shows that got me into anime, though it was around the time that I did not know I was watching anime, it kind of makes sense.

However, nostalgia can only go so far, considering that it was a factor in ruining my enjoyment of Resurrection F, where was I disappointed by how the fight between Goku and Frieza felt like an inferior version of the first fight they had.

In the case of the events that occurred in this volume, I did not feel like I was disappointed by what I was seeing and it really felt like this was the beginning of the end of KenshinÔÇÖs journey of redemption that had started after Shisho became the killer in the shadows and Tomoe died.

As a result, I kind of have to applaud Nobuhiro, because it tough to have things go on for such a long time, though not as long of a run as Detective Conan, which is nearing 1000 chapters in Japan, or The Simpsons, and not become stale.

I also liked how the volume delved a bit into things like people claiming to be masters of something and a common complaint about the most popular manga these days.

During the course of the volume, SanosukeÔÇÖs opponent keeps bragging about being the best at the fighting style they utilize, yet during the course of this arc, lost to Sanosuke once before and Sanosuke berates him for it.

Yes, having some bit of optimism, especially in oneÔÇÖs capabilities, is good, but optimism is not always good, like I have noticed in my life.

Those who truly know what they are talking about will acknowledge that there are limits to their knowledge or skills and take the time necessary to improve upon such skills, as well as not boast too much.

This may not be a new concept to think about, even considering that Rurouni Kenshin came out in the 1990ÔÇÖs, but it is definitely one that people forget, especially considering that we are doubting people as much as we should be.

As for the common complaint that I had mentioned a bit ago, a lot of people these days complain that by having the characters of a manga explain how their techniques work gives their opponent an advantage that never seems to utilized by said opponent just does not really make that much sense.

However, people do not realize that there are some things out there that can really be overcome easily, if at all, by understanding how they work.

For example, there is a game I like to play called Innovation.

In that game, there are 10 decks of 10 cards, or up to 30 or 40 decks with expansions, with roughly two cards each of five different colors and each of those cards is unique with capabilities that can be considered strong or weak at different points of the game.

While I understand how a lot of those cards work and am familiar enough with rules of the game to form strategies to lessen or negate the negative effects of those cards, I cannot do it all the time and end up losing quite a few games in the process.

Likewise, in a fight, a person may understand how a move works, but they will not always have the tools or the capabilities necessary to overcome it, particularly in situations where one has weakened themselves considerably.

In the case of how things progressed, while the characters did kind of take advantage of attaining knowledge of how their opponents attacks worked, unlike many other manga, they still had some bit of struggle to make their methods work and it made things feel really intense throughout the whole volume.

The best example of this was YahikoÔÇÖs fight with Otawa.

Yahiko understood how some OtawaÔÇÖs of attacks worked, thanks to a bit of explanation from Kaoru, but had signs of having taken damage and dealt with that particular element.

Of course, it still not beat how impressive things were when Kenshin beat Hannya by figuring out how the attack worked by himself when he and Sanosuke stormed KanryuÔÇÖs place.

The thing that really caught my interest though was how unimpressed Enishi was with the Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki, though he did seem to be a stunned, before his thoughts revealed that it was not as powerful as it was originally thought to be.

Throughout most of this arc, EnishiÔÇÖs fighting capabilities have not been shown at all and he has been sitting back, watching how things go down.

Now that it has been revealed what he thinks of KenshinÔÇÖs ultimate attack, I wonder just how tough he is going to be for Kenshin in the long run, especially because Enishi is the last opponent we see Kenshin fight against in the series.

As a result, I kind of want to reading the next volume to find out how strong Enishi is, though this series will not end until after the last of the six volumes I have left to read, and I have give Nobuhiro quite a big round of applause.

All that I can hope for is that it is more impressive than the fight between them shown the OVAs, even if I find Kenshin's ultimate attack to be less impressive in the manga than I did in the anime.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.

The fact that things continue to be exciting and that the characters struggle to defeat their enemies, as well as the question of how powerful Enishi actually is, made this book quite enjoyable.

Although there was quite a bit to like about this book, there are some issues.

However, aside from something that I am having a difficult time looking up and issues too minor to talk about, I cannot really think of that really bugged me.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that the good far outweighed the bad, even giving me incentive to continue on wth the other volumes, this was definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend this to fans of Rurouni Kenshin.

As for everyone else, I recommend first reading from volume 18 onwards, if not one does not feel like starting from the very beginning of the series.

What are your thoughts on Rurouni Kenshin Volume 22? Did you like it or hate it? Did EnishiÔÇÖs thoughts of the Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki make you want to continue to end, like it did for me? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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