Book Review: Rurouni Kenshin Volume 26

June 8, 2016


I hope everyone is doing well, especially those that are now on summer or winter break, depending on where you live.

At the end of last month, I decided to review a few books in my backlog, though certainly not all of them.

So far, I have covered each book until only three remain.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those three, which is called Rurouni Kenshin Volume 26 by Nobuhiro Watsuki.

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

Everything in Tokyo has settled down and Kenshin and friends are still recovering from what has happened.

Sanosuke, meanwhile, has his own trip down memory lane when he arrives in Shinshu, a town that is familiar, yet has experienced many changes, and must find the place where he belongs.

I kind of liked this book.

While there was not a whole lot that has happened, I liked how Sanosuke was not left by the wayside.

Now, Sanosuke is not particularly my favorite character in this series, he has been around in it from the very first major event that occurred, which, according to Nobuhiro himself, was the incident with Jin-e, and just having Sanosuke leave the story without some kind of closure would have ruined how great this series has been since the Kyoto arc.

Fortunately, Nobuhiro never really intended to just write Sanosuke out of the picture, according to what was written in the free talk and other extra pages in the book.

Instead, Sanosuke ended up revisiting the place and people he knew before he went to join the Sekihotai.

While many of my elders might think of this as a good thing, since the church I attend claims that our purpose in this world is to return to our abode in heaven, this is not actually where everyone belongs.

For example, in Silver Spoon, Hachiken runs away from home and the expectations his parents had of him to attend an agricultural high school that was recommended to him by a faculty member of his old school, and when HachikenÔÇÖs father tried to convince him to leave, Hachiken wanted to stay because that was where he belonged, not at home.

Likewise, Nobuhiro expressed that he wanted to have Sanosuke realize that his place was not with Kenshin and the gang, but the way things were going in this volume, I do not think that I would have been satisfied with that kind of conclusion of SanosukeÔÇÖs part in the story, not mention the fact that I think that there might be another person capable of using, or at least knows the weaknesses of, the futae no kiwami that will appear, though I could be wrong about this because I have not read the entire Jinchu arc in quite some time.

Not only would I have not been satisfied by such a conclusion because of the evens, but I also would have been disappointed because it would not have been a unique end for Sanosuke.

After all, it would be like if everyone decided one day that a 9-5 job, even if hours are not exactly 9 to 5, was for everyone, which would lead to a slowing or complete halt in the stories and other forms of entertainment that we enjoy, though some of my elders see no problem with that because they actually do believe the false belief that a 9-5 job is for everyone and is secure.

Fortunately, Nobuhiro decided to have SanosukeÔÇÖs little journey end with him realizing that his place is still with Kenshin and the gang, at least for now.

If he had not, we would not be able to see him face off against the final enemies of KenshinÔÇÖs journey of redemption, the way the main cast is supposed to be sent off into the metaphorical sunset.

I also liked how I actually felt like laughing a bit.

Yes, the comedy found in this volume is not all that different from, but it was just as good as ever.

Besides, things could be a lot worse, such as in Not Lives Volume 1, where many comedic moments normally found in manga are seen, yet it does not come across as hilarious.

Of course, if I were reading this series as regularly as I have been reading Detective Conan, I probably would not be feeling like laughing too much about the usual comedy seen in Rurouni Kenshin.

Because of this fact, I want to give Nobuhiro even more praise than I have already.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Enishi got annoyed with Heishin.

As unoriginal and dull as Enishi seemed in the beginning of this arc, even if this kind of enemy was necessary to have to explore KenshinÔÇÖs past, Heishin has been far worse ever since his first appearance.

About the only good thing about having him around was so that we could see that Enishi had something else going for him, aside from his swordsmanship.

It also made me want to find out just how good Enishi is when using what we saw him reveal to Heishin.

Hopefully, the final duel between Enishi and Kenshin, which will inevitably occur somewhere in the final two volumes, turns out to be much more exciting than it was in Samurai X: Reflections, otherwise I would be incredibly disappointed.

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

The fact that Sanosuke found where he belonged, even if for just a while longer, and that the usual comedy made me feel like laughing, as well as the fact that I was made to feel excited for Kenshin and EnishiÔÇÖs final duel, made this book 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, nothing really bugged me too much.

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

Considering that this volume did a lot right, and made me interested in reading the final two volumes, this was definitely worth reading.

I only recommend this to fans of Rurouni Kenshin, because this is the antepenultimate volume of the series.

What are your thoughts on Rurouni Kenshin Volume 26? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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