A reader requested that I review some volumes of the Rurouni Kenshin manga. At present, I’ve almost finished the series and can almost review the antepenultimate volume of the series–i.e. volume twenty-six. (Yes, I could not resist using the word antepenultimate.) Now appears a good moment to look back on the series and why I enjoy it so much. This manga is such a delight that I obtained the complete series in the original language in order to translate it from the original.
After reading the first two volumes in English, I purchased all of the tankobun volumes. I must say that the level of Japanese stood far above Inuyasha, which counted as my first exposure to manga and even to translating foreign works. (Later, I would read Latin poetry, but it required three years of high school Latin before I started reading excerpts of Classical literature. Conversely, two months of Japanese sufficed for me to plunge into Inuyasha.) With Rurouni Kenshin, I soon developed a fear of running into boxes of historical digression written in kanji. Having watched the anime previously, some of the long monologues were much easier to deal with; but, in Rurouni Kenshin, unlike in Inuyasha, most of the fight is cerebral. Cases where one can sit back and admire pages of action with interjections here and there are seldom found in the pages of Rurouni Kenshin.