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I don't know why, maybe it's the stress, but I've found myself reminiscing about my favourite anime series in my breaks, and rereading a few of my favourite stories at night. And since it seems I always return to Rurouni Kenshin for some reason, I've decided to write a little bit about it in my lj about my reasons, the pairings I like most and of course my favorite Kenshin stories.

I've also been looking at Yamaguchirow doujinshi lately, and the skill of the man is just staggering. It makes me burn with the urge to draw doujinshi of my own, in this case Naruto and Inuyasha stuff, but I could very well envision a Naruto/Inuyasha/Kenshin crossover. *sigh*

Maybe after the thesis.

Why do I like it?
Fave pairings

This is one of the few series I've watched in their entirety -- which says a lot considering it has 95 episodes and I have a very short attention span -- and which still holds my interest after quite a few years. This is also the one series where I've liked everything about the main character (Kenshin) without any reservation at all. His mix of bishounen appeal and (feigned) cluelessness is most attractive. This is a man who is a clown not because he doesn't know any better, but because he's seen so much blood and killed so many people ever since he was a child that he takes lighthearted, fun moments wherever he can find them -- and if he can't , he doesn't have any qualms about causing them.

Kenshin has devoted his whole life to atoning for the blood he has spilled during the revolution and he has sworn never to kill again, under any circumstances. And he sticks to that, although it has serious consequences for his health. But he isn't the typical broody, lonesome hero. At the beginning of the tv series he finds a family of sorts, and instead of trying to keep his distance he does the laundry, cooks, plays with the children and defends them with all he has.

Actually, there is not a single forgettable character in this series, from Kenshin's bokken-swinging landlady Kaoru to streetfighter Sanosuke (another to-die-for bishie) to little Yahiko, Megumi, Dr. Genzai, Kenshin's master Hiko, Saitou, the Oniwabaanshu... Each of them deserves at least a paragraph of their own, if I only had the time to write it.

I'm not quite sure why this series has touched me, and continues to touch me, so deeply. Perhaps because it's one of the few animes that centers on grown people instead of children or teenagers. Since I'm past puberty myself, I guess I can identify myself easier with the characters. Another reason is that they are all so damn likeable.

Pairings... Well, again, to me Kenshin is unique in that I actually love the canon pairing of Kenshin and Kaoru. I adore it even more after having watched the final OVA, Seisouhen. I cried for days after watching that and felt as if someone had ripped out my heart and stomped on it, but it was the most beautiful ending to a great love story I've ever seen. It was pure poetry. I'm still happy that fanfiction provides alternate universes that offer more lighthearted endings, but Seisouhen will always have a special place in my heart, sappy as it sounds.

However, this is also the one fandom where I'll accept just about any pairing. One reason is that the characters are so likeable -- or complex rather than likeable, in the case of Saitou and Aoshi. but even there, one has to admire Saitou's unapologetic assholeness and Aoshi's shattered iceman routine. So, here's a listing of pairings I really enjoy:

  • Kenshin/Kaoru, Sano/Kaoru, Enishi/Kaoru, Aoshi/Kaoru (improbable);
  • Hiko/Okon, Hiko/Omasu, Hiko/Okon and Omasu, Hiko/huge harem he really deserves... Really, Hiko's da pimp. Much like Jiraiya, actually.
  • Aoshi/Misao, Saitou/Misao (improbable);
  • Sano/Megumi, Aoshi/Megumi... maybe even Hiko/Megumi. I don't think anyone has ever tried that one before.
  • Saitou/Tokio -- I adore this one, and it's practically canon;
  • Sano/Tae;
  • Yahiko/Tsubame (sooo cute, especially in the manga special where Yahiko's all grown and such).

My all time favourite fanfiction:


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 11th, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)
Agree. Rurouni Kenshin is by far one of my favourite series, as well. I never saw all of the 95 anime episodes, but have seen the movie and the OVA. And read the entire manga. Very good, great drawn and well told story to say the least. Although I adored the OVA I think I still enjoyed the longer manga arc better, such as the time when Kaoru was thought to be dead (gawd that was heart wrenching)... and when Aoshi goes all ninja-y again (See Sasuke-chan? It works. Get over yoruself already!). &hearts:
Jul. 11th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC)
I have yet to buy the Jinchuu arc of the manga (I have all other volumes though), so I have yet to see that admirable bit of Aoshi character development. As to Sasuke... I've decide to cut Avenger-kun some slack since he's going through that hard phase called puberty, and being a pubescent avenger can't be much fun. He'll become less annoying in time, I hope.
Jul. 11th, 2004 07:34 am (UTC)
All volumes?! I'm so jealous. ;_; With my economy and the extra cost of mailorder shipment or trainrides-to-nearest-store, there is no way... yet. Got it all in scanlations though, plus the first Kenshin volume in english (I may be a scanlation whore, but I do try to buy and sponsor everything I like even though it takes tiime).

Hmm, yes. I've decided I like chibi Sasuke and his daddy. That's enough of cutting him some slack for now. *nods stubbornly*
Jul. 11th, 2004 07:55 am (UTC)
Well, the series is fully translated to German, and very well at that. :) And I used to have a little money quite a while ago...

You like Sasuke's *daddy*? (I haven't read the last few manga chapters)
Jul. 11th, 2004 08:02 am (UTC)
Lovely. I am hoping for a good Swedish translation of the Naruto volumes sometime next year or so (because the VIZ english ones are a little scary).

Yup. He's like a mix of Neji and Hinata's daddys, all in one piece of high-strung ninja bastard, haha!
Jul. 12th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC)
They haven't released the Naruto manga in Sweden yet? *pats you sympathetically*

Also, ninja daddys are mostly assholes -- although Ino's and Shikamaru's seem okay. Apart from the happy!killing thing. Which leads me to believe that the new generation is actually a bunch of wimps.
Jul. 12th, 2004 02:36 pm (UTC)
Well, the VIZ/English one, sure. But Sweden is all in all way behind in publishing graphic novels. I am very happy by the explosion of manga that has happened over just the last year or two (and by explosion, i just mean the fact that more titles than DragonBall is published, in Swedish, and Swedish manga magazines has begun to pop up). If we're lucky, the naruto manga will be brought in and translated here as well. Thjough hardly soemthing that will happen overnight.

Well, the current generation is the only generation of shinobi that haven't seen any wars, no?
Jul. 12th, 2004 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that. But I remember the time when there wasn't even one manga magazine in Germany and the only anime series on tv were Sailor Moon and DBZ and some really, really old 70's ones.

I hope Sweden catches up soon though -- it didn't take long here either once it started. Suddenly whole walls in bookshops were full with mangas and arbooks and such.
Jul. 11th, 2004 07:16 am (UTC)
First, that is an awesome icon.

Second, holy Jesus, RK is the best ever. EVER. I never saw all the anime, mostly because... well... IY occupied the hard drive, and the anime was, like, 50% filler, but the manga was amazing. redbeangirl gave me the scanslations, and holy god. Beautiful art, compelling characters, amazing story line... perfect. It couldn't have been done better. RK is one of the few series that I haven't felt the need to mess with in fic, simply because it's so good just the way it is, though I have a special place in my heart for Anji/Sano. (Sano is such a boo. SUCH A BOO.)

*incoherent fangirling OMG*
Jul. 11th, 2004 07:26 am (UTC)
First, that is an awesome icon.

Thanks! :P

Second, holy Jesus, RK is the best ever. EVER.

I agree. Despite my utter love for Naruto, I suppose I'll never get over this one. But I also liked the filler parts of the anime... I don't thein there's even one episode I don't like.

I know what you mean about the fics, but I've found that reading a few of the really well done stories out there has enhanced my experience even more. Especially anna-neko's stuff, because she really has an unparallelled grasp of the characters and she's really funny.

Also, I adore Sano. I can see Anji/Sano too, even if I'm usually a hetero shipper. :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )