Ruroni Kenshin
Episode 1:
The Beautiful Warrior of Legend... A Man Who Fights for Love
Synopsis by Anita Sengupta

140 years ago in the middle of the confusion at the end of the Tokugawa regime, there was a patriot called Hitokiri (killer) Battousai in Kyoto. This strongest of men carved a bloody path for the opening of the new era, Meiji. However, with the end of the uprising, he disappeared, and the name Hitokiri Battousai became legend.

Our story begins a decade later in the 11th year of Meiji, in downtown Tokyo. In a misty twilight, Kaoru Kamiya accuses a red-haired young man of being the legendary Hitokiri Battousai, who even last night killed three people in one instant. "Ruroni (variant of ronin)," the young man answers, "I'm a ruroni. Do you think I could kill people with this?" He offers her his katana, which Kaoru pulls out, only to find that the blade is backwards. This is a sword that could not cut a person. Kaoru still chides him for walking around at night with a katana when there is a killer out there, and it's illegal to carry a katana in Meiji anyway. She is interrupted by the police whistle.

At the scene, a large man is having no trouble defeating the police. Kaoru challenges him with her wooden sword, but soon loses it and wounds her arm. She is saved by the ruroni. As reinforcements arrive the killer runs off shouting "I am Hitokiri Battousai, of the Kamiya Kasshin School!" Kaoru tries to follow, explaining that the Kamiya School is her family's school.

The next day, Kaoru wakes up back at her dojo (training hall) to find her wound bandaged by the ruroni. She smells miso soup and goes outside to find the ruroni preparing his breakfast with two little girls. He offers her some, and she finds that he is better than her at cooking. Shortly, the girls' grandfather, the dojo doctor, is tending to Kaoru's wound. Kaoru offers to let the ruroni stay at the dojo while he is in the city. He is surprised that she will do this, knowing nothing about him. "You must have your reasons for being a ruroni," she says, "But there's no need for me to ask about them."

In the dojo, Kaoru explains about her Kamiya Kasshin School. It was set up by her father - a school of martial arts aimed at helping people to live, instead of teaching people to kill. She can't stand that the killer Battousai is using the name of her school. She has high hopes with the arrival of the last of her students, but the tell her that they want to quit the school, its reputation has gotten too bad.

Later, when Kaoru is taking her bath, the ruroni bursts in on her thinking she may be committing suicide. Kaoru shuts him in the shed as punishment. Before she leaves he asks her if she had a student who is left handed with a broken right thumb. Kaoru is insulted that he would think the blood-thirsty Battousai was one of her students. She will capture him and clear the name of her school if it costs her her life. The ruroni says that her father wouldn't have wanted her to lose her life for the school, he would have wanted her to be happy. When she goes out to apologize later, the ruroni isn't there.

Elsewhere 'Battousai' swears revenge for his broken right thumb. In her dreams, Kaoru remembers a student who was expelled from the school. As she finds his name in the records of the school, 'Battousai' - Gohei Hiruma - and his followers enter the dojo. Hiruma quickly disarms Kaoru. "Whose katana will be the first to taste your blood," he taunts her. "Katana are for helping people to live," Kaoru retorts. They are interrupted by the appearance of the ruroni. "Katana are killing weapons. Martial arts teach people to kill. This is the truth. Kaoru's words are those of one who has never dirtied their hands with blood. ... But I prefer Kaoru's words to the truth, and I hope that her ideals can someday become the truth." Hiruma's twenty-some followers attack, but the ruroni makes short work of them. "One more thing," the ruroni says, "The school that Hitokiri Battousai follows is the Hiten-mitsurugi School. Without this sword, it is an incomparably fast killing technique." Hiruma tries to take kill the ruroni to take the name Battousai, but is easily defeated. However, all of the attackers are alive, only knocked out. The ruroni apologizes for keeping the truth from Kaoru. He is about to leave, but Kaoru asks him to stay, saying that she doesn't care about a person's past. But if he has to leave, at least tell her his real name, Battousai being his patriot name. "Himura Kenshin. I'm tired from traveling. I don't know when I will need to move on again." And thus Kamiya Dojo, welcomes a new boarder.

Back - Next