Rurouni Kenshin, Season 2, Disc 6 – “Blind Justice”

**post by nichan**

This season of “Rurouni Kenshin” so far has three different songs used for the end credits. There’s the one that most episodes feature, sung by TM Revolution. Then there’s a random two-episode guest spot by L’arc~en~Ciel. Then on this disc comes the bloody delightful “It’s Gonna Rain!” by Bonnie Pink. Totally love it. So… I keep jamming while the credits are playing instead of skipping to the next episode… It’s kind of time consuming.

But, anyway… This is disc 6 of the second season: “Blind Justice”!

Episode 48: “Reborn to Salvation: The Beginning of Anji’s New Life”

Sano’s just knocked Anji to the ground, with Hajime, Kenshin, and Yumi watching from behind. So did Sano defeat Anji?

Heck, *I* wanna lay down after I get a paper cut...!

No.

Sano hasn’t defeated Anji. …Instead, he’s knocked him into Dramatic Anime Monologue Mode. You know, when the bad guy rambles on for twenty minutes while all the good guys who seriously outnumber him just stand there and listen? …I’ve never been in a fight. Is this how fights go down? Every episode I’ve ever seen of daytime talk shows suggest otherwise, but maybe it’s different in Japan.

Looks like the beginning of an 80s sitcom...

Once upon a time, Anji was a monk, living in a run-down temple, taking care of a gaggle of orphaned siblings.

The siblings were the children of some guy who did some thing, thus giving the town a bad reputation. The local government decided that the best way to score brownie points with the Meiji government would be to banish the kids and Anji from the area, and destroy the temple. So the locals tell Anji and his posse to move it or lose it.

Well, one night when the kids are asleep, and Anji’s out doing monk stuff (standing under a waterfall in the middle of winter), the local government closes in on the temple and lights it on fire.

Anji's not a pinata.

When Anji came running back to the temple, somebody thwacked him on the back of the head with a stick and knocked him out.

Who got the joy of animating this?

Meanwhile, the kids burned alive. So… So there’s that.

Heckuva way to start your day...

When Anji woke up, there was nothing left but a burned hand sticking up out of the rubble.

Now he just needs to brush his bangs down over his eyes.

So Anji decided to react by becoming an emo goth, and wiped the ashes on his face.

I've had this headache before...

Fast forward five years, and he goes back to the town to seek his revenge – by smooshing the heads of the local government guys like their skulls were nothing but peaches.

So, anyway, monologue over, Anji and Sano start to fight again. Sano’s less than pleased about the situation, because he feels he has something in common with Anji: hatred of the Meiji based on how their youths were destroyed by those in charge. Blah, blah… Lots of fighting, plenty of annoying talk. You get the idea.

Then Sano hits him so hard he starts tripping.

Sailor Moon...???

I think this means you have a concussion.

Really? He gets off just like that?

The ghosts of the children tell Anji it’s all good. So what if he’s been killing people left and right for the past few years? No biggie. All is forgiven. It’s cool, man. Just chillax.

It's more dramatic if you actually watch it...

And Anji’s all, like, “Woah, dude.”

So, anyway, the fight ends when Anji is suddenly reborn into his love of Buddha. Kenshin, being the sort he is, just accepts it without holding a grudge, and he leaves Anji in charge of taking care of Sano with Megumi’s medicine. Then he and Hajime and Yumi head off to the next fight. …Sometimes Kenshin is very simple.

Oh, right! Anji also tells Kenshin that the rest of the Juppongatana have been sent to go pester Kaoru, Yahiko, and Misao. …Kenshin kinda already saw this coming, but being reminded of it doesn’t do much for his mood.

How do the neighbors not notice this?

See? Bad guys *everywhere*!

Temper tantrum.

And Kenshin, being in a bad mood, is all, “RAWR!” and kicks a door down.

Episode 49: “The Wolf Destroys the Eye of the Heart: The Fierce Attack of the Zero Stance Gatotsu”

This episode didn’t skip in the DVD player, but it did wreak havoc on my laptop when I was trying to do screen shots… Accordingly, I missed this epic, “Oh my god, has he got a hard-on for this battle?!?” moment. I’m very annoyed, because it was pretty intense.

Anyway…

I just assume this guy smells like dirt and feet and cat pee.

The next boss to battle in this video game is… Oh! Wait! This isn’t a video game! Why was this written like one, then?!?

The next guy that either Kenshin or Hajime has to fight is Usui. Kenshin’s kind of on the last shred of his patience by this point, so he politely tells Usui to go bugger himself, then starts to draw his sword. Just in time to catch the uncharacteristic pissing match, Sano shows back up.

But, dude! I wanted to see Kenshin throw another fit!

But then Hajime is all, “This guy’s mine!” and tells Kenshin to go on ahead to the next battle.

This is the point where my laptop and the disc stopped getting along, so after a lot of work, I gave up trying to get screen shots of the battle. Point is, Usui yammers on for awhile about how awesome he is, and Hajime just stands there all but rolling his eyes. Finally they start to fight, and though Usui gets a bunch of good shots in, well… Hajime’s not the same as Kenshin. He just goes for the kill:

The sort of decoration you'd buy at Hot Topic.

And he does this by using his sword to nail Usui to the wall over the door like a fancy decoration.

Meanwhile, Kenshin, Sano, and Yumi are running down the hallway to the next fight when suddenly Kenshin stops dead still in front of Houji’s office… (Houji being the guy in the stupid looking coat.)

How does he know what's behind closed doors...?

What’cha smell, Kenshin? What’s behind the door?

Episode 50: “The Promised Time has Come: Aoshi and Kenshin Fight Again”

Sano tells Kenshin to get a move on, but our ginger hero refuses to budge. After staring at the door for a moment, he goes into the room, and look who’s waiting for him:

Brooding much?

Aoshi was just, like, sitting in the dark…

So this particular battle gets dragged on for two episodes, and it is absolutely the most awesome, epic battle in all of “Rurouni Kenshin”. I didn’t get it the first time I watched this season, but this round I was all, “HOLY CRAP. HOW COOL IS THIS?!?” …It’s really cool. That’s how cool. I had a hard time not doing a screen shot of every single move.

Nail him with some Russian lit, Kenshin! That stuff hurts even without it being hurled at your face!

Destroying a library wouldn’t be the same if it was just one or two Nooks or Kindles or iPads, eh?

Glare!

Kenshin’s got his game face on…

Glare, glare!

…Aoshi’s got his game face on.

There’s a storyline to the fight, yes, but… Who cares? They’re ripping up a library and just totally going after each other. Forget the storyline! Gimme more Kenshin versus Aoshi!

This is what they did before texting.

Yumi sneaks up to the balcony (Houji’s got one kick butt office), locates the telegraph, and starts to secretly send messages to Shishio about what’s going on.

Get a cough drop, kid.

Shishio and Sojiro are having a discussion about the details, and I swear that either Sojiro’s going through puberty, or his voice actor just suddenly changed.

Meanwhile, though…

Tricky...

Aoshi’s giving Kenshin one heck of a run for his money.

That's gonna sting in the morning.

And even manages to slice and dice our ginger hero’s throat…!

Episode 51: “Wake up Now! Ignore your Wounds and Fight to the Finish”

Eventually Kenshin realizes he’s not going to get anywhere at the rate he’s going, so he starts to play mind games with Aoshi, picking away at his pride and stuff. It’s like trash talking, Kenshin style. It works, too, ’cause Aoshi loses his cool and really goes nuts.

This was a tricky shot to get!

I wonder if Kenshin is thinking, "I'm getting to old for this" right about now...

See?

Kenshin’s still playing mind games, even though he’s getting his bottom handed to him on a silver platter, and eventually breaks through to Aoshi that he’s got all the wrong motivations, and is blaming all the wrong people for his problems. It’s like an episode of “Intervention”, sans the mom passed out in the front yard after slamming back a bottle of Listerine.

It hits Aoshi like a ton of bricks, and he abruptly changes – kinda like how Kenshin did when battling with Seijuro. They have a stand-off that lasts a few tense minutes, during which time Sano realizes what Yumi’s up to and goes to stop her.

Like I say at work: "It's hard to defend yourself against crazy."

Now that they’re on even ground, though, Kenshin has the upper hand and can totally whomp Aoshi.

We're on a schedule here, people!

After which Sano plucks up Yumi and demands that Kenshin follow him in a mad dash to the next battle.

Now, while Hajime is still mysteriously missing from the plot, it’s time for Yahiko, Kaoru, and Misao to shine once more. There’s some awkward nonsense with the big, fat, dumb member of the Juppongatana kinda half fighting with some of the Oniwaban. It’s rather peculiar because they’re focusing on it one moment, and then the next it’s like it’s never happened. Really annoying.

I'd like to see this guy get his own show...

But then the focus moves more towards Kamatari, the cross-dressing (I don’t think he’s technically transgendered, is he?) Juppongatana member in the green outfit, there.

He's got nice legs.

There’s this fantastic conversation back and forth before Yahiko, Kaoru, and Misao realize Kamatari is a dude, not a chick.

Originally, Misao was going to battle Kamatari on her own, but Yahiko tells Kaoru to back her up and goes after the third Juppongatana on his own. He’s ready to prove himself, and he sees this as his opportunity.

Oh... Well, then...

Problem is, this guy fancies himself to be Batman…

Oh. Well... Yah.

…and he’s packing dynamite.

So Yahiko gets tossed about by the explosions, and then sliced up once or twice as the batguy glides down and takes random swipes at him. Everybody tells Yahiko to retreat, but the kid’s got something to prove, and he starts racking his brain, mostly doing his own version of, “What Would Kenshin Do?”

This was a little weak.

Apparently Kenshin would not animate what happens, and instead rely on the bad guy making a comment to explain.

But... They didn't draw the key parts of this.

It seems that Yahiko used the explosion to leap onto a stray door and glide up over the batguy, then pulled an imitation of one of Kenshin’s moves to knock the batguy to the ground.

Anorexic much?

They don’t explain if Yahiko killed the batguy or just knocked him out, though…

Kaoru is floored that Yahiko’s not only defended himself without her help, but has done it by mimicking Kenshin’s fighting style. Sure, she’s been training him and stuff, but she wasn’t prepared to see him pass an actual test. …Particularly with Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu instead of Kamiya Kasshin-ryu. But she’s still proud. Maybe just a hint confused. But proud.

That's gonna leave a scar to show off to the ladies!

Yahiko stands up to cheer Kaoru and Misao on, then promptly falls over. They’re kind of vague about whether or not he’s died, but they kinda hint… You know…

It took me forever to get this screen shot!

Then Kamatari insults Misao…

She's gonna need some tummy ache medicine for that one.

…Then clobbers Misao.

They keep saying stuff like "manhood" here. It's hysterical.

But after a few failed attempts, Kaoru and Misao get their teamwork lined up and break Kamatari’s weapon.

During the fight, Misao is knocked unconscious for a few minutes, and gets a visit from the ghosts of her past. They tell her that Kenshin’s kept his promise to beat Aoshi into being normal again, and Misao wakes up with the knowledge that her beloved leader is coming back to her.

Also, with his weapon destroyed, Kamatari is still looking for a way to fight…

Being gay isn't a choice, but I get your point, anyway.

I like the English dub dialogue better than the subtitles sometimes. This is one of those instances. In the dub, he says something like, “You can’t be a queen if you don’t take things seriously”, or something a little bit better than what the subtitles offer, anyway.

Quick chop to the neck.

But then Kaoru breaks his leg, and Misao knocks him out.

Anyway, things are looking up! Er… Up-ish. Up-ish. The batguy is either out cold or dead, Kamatari is passed out on the ground, and everybody’s completely forgotten that this guy’s been standing there the whole time:

I think he was an afterthought.

“Who? Me???”

Duuuuuude...

And the Juppongatana are all, like, “Oh. Crap.”

But then because, I dunno, writing is hard or something, the big oaf just runs off. So they win by default. So… Yay!

Also, Yahiko is still alive after all!

And things are awesome and great and fanta—- Oh. Wait.

Yah. A giant. They're bringing a giant into the plot.

This!

So what happens next??? What’s the deal with there being a giant? How will Yahiko, Kaoru, Misao, and the rest of the Oniwaban defend themselves? What’s gonna happen to the rest of the Juppongatana? Will Kenshin show up to help? And who’s the next person to fight, back at Shishio’s hideout? And will Aoshi make it back to Misao? And whatever happened to Hajime?

Well! You’ll just have to wait for Disc 7 of Season 2! …But I don’t know what the title is because I was kinda watching it this afternoon, and I kinda left it mid-episode in the DVD player…

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