Rurouni Kenshin episode 14: Yahiko puts his life on the line for a coworker as Team Kenshin keeps their distance

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14: Yahiko puts his life on the line for a coworker as Team Kenshin keeps their distance (Image via LIDEN FILMS)
Rurouni Kenshin episode 14: Yahiko puts his life on the line for a coworker as Team Kenshin keeps their distance (Image via LIDEN FILMS)

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 was released on Friday, October 6, 2023, bringing with it the exciting continuation of the ever impressive 2023 reboot of this beloved anime series. While fans were expecting a new arc to begin in the upcoming episode, that sadly wasn’t the case, with the installment instead giving focus to Yahiko rather than setting up the next story beat.

That being said, Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 is still an incredibly fun and enjoyable watch, of which Yahiko’s development within the episode is a key part. While skepticism from fans regarding the decision to focus on Yahiko rather than start a new episode is understandable, the quality of the 14th installment completely justifies this decision by its end.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14: Brief recap

Yahiko as seen in the series' anime (Image via LIDEN FILMS)
Yahiko as seen in the series' anime (Image via LIDEN FILMS)

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 starts with Yahiko Myojin training in the dojo’s courtyard, spurred on by Kenshin’s words about him to Aoshi Shinomori from previous episodes. The episode then shows Kenshin Himura, Sanosuke Sagara, and Kaoru Kamiya sharing their thoughts on what he could be up to.

As they argue about this, Yahiko returns, asking them what they could be arguing about. Kenshin then asks Yahiko where he’s been, and the latter simply replies that he was out on a walk. Kenshin responds that it’s clearly more than a walk if he’s skipping out on training. However, Yahiko then defends himself with an upset expression before running away.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 then sees the others following Yahiko as he leaves a few days later. They then follow him to a restaurant, but find that Yahiko isn’t inside. They then ask the waitress about where Yahiko is, as he’s revealed to be working for the restaurant alongside a girl named Tsubame.

Tsubame as seen in the series' anime (Image via LIDEN FILMS)
Tsubame as seen in the series' anime (Image via LIDEN FILMS)

The waitress revealed that he wanted to keep his job a secret from them, with Sanosuke suspecting that he’s here because of Tsubame. However, the waitress says that Tsubame started working here after Yahiko did. As the others eat a meal, they discuss what he could possibly be after working here, with all of them agreeing that their initial guesses are wrong.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 then sees Tsubame serving a table with someone referring to themselves as her “master.” Yahiko then speaks to himself about how busy he is before wondering how much something costs. He then sees Tsubame being escorted away from the restaurant by the men, where she reports on the restaurant’s cash flow and profits.

Tsubame’s master then asks her for clay molds for keys to the owner’s house and warehouse so they can steal the cash the restaurant makes. Tsubame tries to talk him out of this, but he hits her instead, revealing that her family had served under his family for 300 years of the Edo era. He curses the Meiji era for severing this relationship, while Tsubame once again tries to talk him out of it.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 then sees him say he’ll have to kill everyone so there’s no witnesses, which causes Tsubame to pull out the molds. Yahiko then arrives, chastising both Tsubame and the men for what’s going on. He threatens to take the men on if they don’t stop these discussions of stealing, causing them to attack him. However, he excitingly holds his own against two of the men before being jumped by all of them.

It’s then revealed that Kenshin, Sanosuke, and Kaoru are watching from nearby, with the latter two asserting that they need to get involved. However, Kenshin responds that this is Yahiko’s battle and that he won’t get stronger if they constantly save him. He adds that if Yahiko asks for help, it’s one thing, but they can’t stifle his growth by saving him all the time.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 then sees Tsubame give her master the clay molds to stop Yahiko from being attacked. She tearfully apologizes to Yahiko, but he instead focuses on how they still have one day before a key is made. Yahiko then departs, thinking about what his options are and how he doesn’t want to trouble his friends with such a small-time issue.

The next day, Yahiko is shown to have made a machine to simulate fighting multiple enemies at once. However, Kaoru points out that something like this won’t actually give any benefit to fighting multiple thinking and flexible human opponents. Yahiko then asks Kenshin for advice on fighting multiple enemies at once, to which he says one should pretend to run away before picking the pursuers off one by one, over and over again.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 then sees Kenshin elaborate that for Yahiko, he should try and think of how to come up with a plan to get himself into multiple one-on-one fights. Kaoru then reminds Yahiko what her sword style is all about, seemingly inspiring confidence in him. The episode then cuts to the next night, where Tsubame’s master, now called Mikio, is preparing to pull off the heist.

However, as he pulls out the keys they made, Yahiko arrives and steals them before running away. Tsubame is revealed to be watching from nearby, while Yahiko is seemingly cornered by two henchmen. Mikio yells at his men to only go after Yahiko one at a time, before realizing that Yahiko wanted to create a situation where he was fighting one-on-one.

Mikio as seen in the series' anime (Image via LIDEN FILMS)
Mikio as seen in the series' anime (Image via LIDEN FILMS)

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 sees Mikio assert that he’ll eventually get cornered by them while his men are frozen in place. It’s revealed that Kenshin and Sanosuke are also present, with the men getting terrified of their appearances. However, when Yahiko goes to look, Kenshin and Sanosuke have already made themselves scarce, explaining that they both couldn’t let Yahiko get hurt and couldn’t allow him to lose by being outnumbered.

Yahiko then squares off against Mikio, who wields an actual katana rather than a kendo stick. Tsubame then peeks around the corner to see what’s going on, prompting Kaoru to introduce herself as Yahiko’s master. She tells her that she can leave Yahiko to take care of this, asking her to feel more secure of herself and escape dead traditions once Yahiko does win.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 sees Mikio go for Yahiko’s legs, but he raises his left foot and smashes the blade on the ground before striking Mikio on the head. He then asks Kaoru what she’s doing here before calling out to Kenshin and Sanosuke on the rooftop. Tsubame then thanks Yahiko, promising that she won’t be sobby or jittery anymore before being walked home by Kaoru.

Sanosuke then asks Yahiko why he’s been working a day job, to which he reveals that he wants to buy a sakabato so he can be like Kenshin one day. Sanosuke laughs at this, while Kenshin looks at Yahiko proudly and warns him that a sakabato costs quite a bit as the episode ends.

In review

With one of the biggest complaints of the Oniwabanshu arc being Yahiko’s lack of involvement, Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 immediately takes steps to prevent this from reoccurring in the future. By showing Yahiko hold his own with very minimal help from the rest of Team Kenshin, it solidifies him as a skilled fighter in his own right who can be useful in combat situations.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 also does a great job of establishing how impactful Kaoru and Kenshin have been in his life, mainly through their training and life lessons to him. It’s even revealed that Yahiko got a day job in the first place to buy a sakabato like Kenshin’s. With this in mind, the 14th installment of the series gets a lot of necessary setup for Yahiko’s future development out of the way while still producing a quality 23 minutes of television.

In summation

While Rurouni Kenshin episode 14 unfortunately gives no clues as to what the next major arc is, this is somewhat justified by how significant an installment this latest one is overall. Likewise, if a one-episode delay for the new arc is what it takes to make Yahiko a fighting member of Team Kenshin, then it’s certainly worth the wait for the next group of villains.

Be sure to keep up with all Rurouni Kenshin anime and manga news, as well as general anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.

Quick Links