Book Review: Rurouni Kenshin Volume 23

June 1, 2016


It looks like things are still well here, huh?

As I mentioned in the previous post, I found out that I still had some good copies of titles I had gotten Barnes & Noble before buying digital content from them became a pain.

So far, I have covered one of those titles and only six remain.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those remaining titles, which is called Rurouni Kenshin Volume 23 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.

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

Just when Kenshin and the gang think that everything has been resolved, a new threat appears, along with a face that everyone thought had died some time after the conflict with Shishio.

This, however, is nothing compared to what Enishi has up his sleeve when his turn to fight Kenshin finally arrives.

I have to say, I very much liked this volume.

Throughout much of the Jinchu arc, the final arc of Rurouni Kenshin, things had been fairly serious, especially when Kenshin finally told everyone the story behind why he became a wanderer and also why the new threat was specifically going after Kenshin, but in this volume, I had gotten a few chuckles, though it is just mostly the usual kind of comedy found in the series.

I also liked Kenshin stopped Saito from killing the last remaining member of the EnishiÔÇÖs group that was on the ground.

While this most likely something that is not unexpected, seeing as Kenshin stopped Eiji from killing a Senkakau to fufill his own desires for revenge and Kenshin even yelled out to everyone stop fighting during the Raijutu incident, at least in the anime, I never really appreciated how firm he was with his ideals when first watched the series.

However, because the manga had connected kenshinÔÇÖs past that was seen in the Trust & Betrayal OVA with the events that were currently happening, I would have been mad if Kenshin had let Saito kill his opponent.

After all, people do not like it when people do the opposite of what they claim to preach all the time.

The fights present in the volume were also relatively exciting, but Kenshin and EnishiÔÇÖs fight was truly exciting.

Even though one of the fights between Kenshin and Enishi was shown in the Reflection OVA, it was not really as interesting as it was here.

Back in the previous volume, Enishi showed that he was not really that impressed with the Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki, stating that it was not as powerful as he thought it was, which made me wonder if he was either overconfident or a fairly adept fighter.

Here, Enishi was shown to have been a pretty match up against Kenshin, even not being beaten with the same technique that had defeated Shishio and many others in the series up to this point.

I have to give Nobuhiro some major praise because the Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki, as awesome as it looks all the times that it was shown in the anime, has essentially become to Kenshin what Touma KamijouÔÇÖs right hand has been in A Certain Magical Index, as well as not disappointing me with yet another overconfident fighter.

After all, in a real fight, one can really use only one move to pull off a victory in every fight, though Kenshin is definitely one of those that did not seem really on any single move prior to learning the Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Enishi decided to carry his revenge against Kenshin.

In many anime and manga, there seems to be some characters that want nothing more than to kill the person who had wronged or defeated them, such as Frieza after being revived and fighting Goku again in Resurrection F.

Seeing this so many times, I have grown awfully bored of such occurrences that it is not funny.

Here, however, EnishiÔÇÖs true goal is to make Kenshin feel great misery by taking away the people important to him.

Yes, this might not be that unique of a concept as the aforementioned moments of other characters rushing to seek vengeance.

However, Enishi has seemingly planned everything carefully up to now and he even got KenshinÔÇÖs demeanor change by targeting those important to him.

The only other time I remember a character thinking of manipulating or taking something of importance from the people that had wronged them was The Count of Monte Cristo, though more so a movie adaptation than the book, and nobody really recognized the protagonist until it was too late.

If revenge plot were this good, they might be more enjoyable than the clichÉs that they have become in our time.

As a result, I have to once again give Nobuhiro major applause, though he never really seemed to make a great series after this one ended, unlike Jun Mochizuki and Hiromu Arakawa, who have both created more than one decent series.

Hopefully, Nobuhiro can one day make something as good as Rurouni Kenshin has been, because this series does show that is capable of creating something as good as Pandora Hearts and Fullmetal Alchemist.

Other than those things, I cannot really think of anything that I particularly enjoyed,

The fact that there things to laugh about, even though it was more of the usual, and that the fights were pretty decent, especially the one between Kenshin and Enishi, made this volume fairly enjoyable.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, only one thing really seemed to bug me.

During the course of reading this book, we get some words from the author.

While there is nothing really wrong with this in of itself, as a writer could pretty much do whatever they want with their work, it really ruins the flow of a story, or even think that the book was already over.

In the case of this book, there is once again an occurrence of some words from the author that is not in its proper place.

Yes, it does not really break up the flow of things too badly, but I really wish Nobuhiro and whoever edited and put together the volumes had put things like this, which end with things like, see you next volume, towards the end of the book, rather than after the penultimate or, in this case, the end of the antepenultimate chapter.

True, this might because I had not read Kenshin in a while, even if I had fully intended to cover these volumes when I had originally gotten them, instead of putting them off for a year or so, but things like this being placed in the wrong spot can affect the quality of a release, as I have mentioned a bit earlier.

Besides, I have no problems with reading what a writer or manga artist has to say, at least if they are interesting to begin with.

Still, the placement of these words does kind of hurt the quality of this release a bit.

Hopefully, things get better in the final five volumes of the series, otherwise I may have more reason to not follow any more of NobuhiroÔÇÖs work, aside from how disappointing Buso Renkin turned out to be.

Even though there was not too much to dislike about this book, the placement of at least one of the authorÔÇÖs thoughts in the volume did diminish the quality and my enjoyment a bit, though not as much as it did before.

Considering that the only flaw was the placement of some thoughts from the author, this volume was certainly worth reading.

I only recommend this to fans of Rurouni Kenshin.

As for everyone else, I recommend reading the earlier volumes, particularly volume 18 and onwards, if you do not want to go over the same events that the anime covered, before reading this book.

What are your thoughts on Rurouni Kenshin Volume 23? Did you like it or hate? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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