Hello out there in CJAS land. Can you believe that I'm still here for my 6th consecutive first CJAS meeting? You can relax though, as I'm not staying for the year; my life goes on (finally). In this article, I'll review the story and characters for Rurouni Kenshin up to episode 30-something for the benefit of those who are here for the first time, and as a little entertainment.
Kamiya Kaoru (girl from above): Owns a dojo, Kamiya Kasshin Ryu [this is the name of the fighting style she teaches -Ed.], which basically has no students, yet can somehow afford to house several vagabonds. She's very strong-willed, but has fallen for Kenshin. Now she's traveling to Kyoto, for love.
Myojin Yahiko: Kamiya Kasshin Ryu's only current student. He was a snotty brat, but really is getting better. Yahiko's got a good heart and puts in more effort than anyone else. Some find him annoying; others find him admirable for his strength of character and sense of honor.
Sagara Sanosuke: He was part of a small tightly-knit band that helped the Ishin Shishi (restoration soldiers) before his group was betrayed and slaughtered by them. Only he and his buddy (they were kids at the time) survived. He was a punk and thug until Kenshin defeated him. Although he still hates the government, he won't let anyone else do evil things while he's around. His old pal has given him some very powerful, very small bombs. You should also know that Sano is tough, real tough. He can take a beating like nobody else. He may even be tougher than Kenshin, but he cannot fight at Kenshin and Saitoh's level. He's got a rough personality, and often his language is subbed a bit liberally.
Tanaka Megumi: Doctor chick. She likes Kenshin but defers to Kaoru. I think they almost try to develop a relationship between her and Sano but... (she isn't in the Kyoto arc much, as she stayed in Tokyo)
Current Story Arc
Seta Soujiro: Shishio's right-hand boy (his combat intro is coming up). He assassinated Okubo (which may have influenced Kenshin's decision to go to Kyoto). Soujiro is super-calm and seems strangely pleased with himself all the time. He's also Dave's second favorite character.
Shinomori Aoshi: We first saw him long ago, in the early episodes. He had 4 cool-tough lackeys and worked for a bad guy, but Kenshin got them to change sides, only to get creamed by the bad guy, via a gattling gun. Aoshi was even shielded by one of them. He buried them and went a bit funny in the head. He showed up at the dojo just after Kenshin left, but Saitoh told him that Kyoto was the place to be. He's thinking he wants the title of "the strongest" to go to his bunch, the Oniwa Banshu, and since Kenshin's the strongest...
Machimaki Misao: Kenshin "randomly" comes across her in the woods. She follows him because he's seen Aoshi more recently than she has. She loves Aoshi. She's a ninja, that's right, a ninja. She's just above Kaoru's level of ability in fighting, I guess, and she's just about as obnoxious (in a good way).
Saitoh Hajime: My (and Dave's, and Daisuke's, and others') favorite character. Part of the police force, he fought to protect the Shogun government as one of the Shinsen Gumi. He was ordered to determine if Kenshin was strong enough to stop Shishio. His report: Himura Kenshin is useless, but the Hitokiri Battousai can handle it. Unlike Kenshin, Saitoh is still perfectly satisfied with the old way of defeating his opposition: killing them [His motto is Aku Soku Zan -- Slay Evil Swiftly -Ed.]. Always clam and collected, he can size up people very quickly and has a strategically adept mind. Many fear him as one of the Wolves of Mibu. One more thing: he's married.
Still to Come