The beautiful doctor Megumi thought she found some measure of safety at the Kamiya dojo. However, the Oniwabanshu prove far more tenacious, and a hulking beast crashes through a wall to declare his intent to kidnap her. Our beauty on the run may not have anywhere else to run to in this episode of Rurouni Kenshin.
Episode 9 — The Oniwabanshu Strike
Rurouni Kenshin: Past and Present — The Fiery Beast of Oniwabanshu
Hyottoko’s color scheme was drastically altered between 1996 and 2023. Nobuhiro Watsuki was inspired by “a mutant from that popular American comic.”
This is obviously a reference to the Hulk from Marvel comics. In fact, his original design showed him with green skin and dark-colored hair, either dark green or black. It’s not clear why the new adaptation would change his color scheme. It should be noted that his colors were changed for the manga covers for the 22-volume kanzenban edition and 14-volume bunkoban edition.
Rurouni Kenshin: Past and Present — Kenshingumi Vs. Oniwabanshu, Round 1
The battle against Hyottoko began and ended in one episode back in 1996. In fact, it all happened in Episode 8, so comparisons will be a bit tricky. We’ll have to compare some events in 1996’s Episode 8 and 2023’s Episode 9, Kenshin and Sanosuke’s first fight against the Oniwabanshu. To start, Sanosuke’s initial punch to Hyottoko actually did damage in 2023, whereas it did less than nothing back in 1996. In fact, Hyottoko could grab Sanosuke to launch his Fire Breath at point-blank range back then. This made Sanosuke’s survival all the more impressive. Instead, Sanosuke seems to take more damage in the 1996 iteration.
The most notable change to this fight, indeed the greatest crime, is perpetrated against Kenshin personally. Friends, they took out Kenshin’s sword spin technique. The famous move he used, turning his sword into a propeller, to block Hyottoko’s flames. Granted, it’s beyond sugoi to see Kenshin cut fire, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of removing his sword-spinning technique.
Rurouni Kenshin: Past and Present — Beshimi’s Poison Pt. 1
Beshimi’s hidden strike happened much the same between 1996 and 2023. The only difference is Yahiko’s position. It may not seem much, but in 1996, he was right next to Megumi, which made it far easier for him to cover her. In 2023, he was far away enough that he had to run to her. He essentially outran a bullet, which is unlikely. He’s no Kenshin.
Han’nya’s appearance differs quite a bit. He saved Beshimi, replaced him with a wooden log, and appeared beside Hyottoko. Kenshin briefly engaged him, but his blade was deflected, and he was punched a fair distance. Han’nya then took his leave. This is contrary to 1996 when he instead grabbed Beshimi and Hyottoko and disappeared.
Another weird change occurs when Kaoru tries to help Yahiko. Previously, she suggested that she suck out the poison. This time, however, it’s Kenshin who recommends it. This is a small yet odd change. The part where Megumi picks up Yahiko and drops small pouches of opium and Kaoru’s mad dash with a list of ingredients in her hand was taken out of the 2023 version.
The rest of the episode differs, as the 2023 version more closely follows the manga. Megumi tries to make a hasty exit, and Kenshin kindly stops her and listens to her woes. Dr. Gensai provides the Takani family history and Megumi’s personal background. Megumi stuck around and even cooked ohagi the following morning in the previous iteration.
However, none of that matters because…
Rurouni Kenshin: Past and Pres- Dr. Gensai is Here!
Yes! Dr. Gensai is finally in the dojo! I don’t even care that he’s wearing a differently colored head covering. He’s here! Oguni Gensai, the man, the myth, the legend! Now, let’s see Ayame and Suzume appear. It’s the least they can do after cutting him out of the previous episodes. Those girls are his treasures.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
The tension of the battle subsided, and Kenshin needled Sanosuke just a little bit. Sanosuke suffered slight damage from Hyottoko’s flames, and Kenshin pointed it out, infuriating the singed brawler. He eventually got Kenshin in a headlock.
Rurouni Kenshin Ep. 10: A Reason to Act
The post-credits scene shows Kanryu boarding a Western ship to pick up an item that would make him “invincible,” which is most certainly “a reason to act.” The Oniwaban and Aoshi will surely be making another move to grab Megumi.
The next warrior up for our fantasy fights comes from the Fate series. The Rider 2.0 Figma Action Figure is now available for purchase. Kenshin is used to fighting opponents with eye tricks, but it’s still a close match.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Are you psyched that Dr. Gensai is finally here? Were you disappointed that they took out Kenshin’s sword spin technique? Let us know in the comments below.