Rurouni Kenshin episode 9: Megumi unofficially joins Team Kenshin as Yahiko's life hangs in the balance

Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 (Image via Sportskeeda)
Rurouni Kenshin episode 9: Megumi unofficially joins Team Kenshin as Yahiko's life hangs in the balance (Image via Sportskeeda)

Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 was released on Friday, September 1, 2023, bringing with it the exciting continuation of Team Kenshin’s struggle against the Oniwabanshu. With the group having shown up to Kaoru Kamiya’s dojo in search of Megumi Takani, it’s up to Kenshin Himura, Sanosuke Sagara, and Yahiko Myojin to fend off their attackers.

However, things will certainly not be easy, with Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 establishing their foes to be great in both number and individual strength and skill. While a difficult battle lies ahead, fans can expect Team Kenshin to find a way to pull through in what is likely the final major arc before the series’ midway point.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 sees Team Kenshin pushed to their limits by the Oniwabanshu

Brief episode recap

Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 began with Hyottoko’s appearance at Kaoru’s dojo, busting down a wall in order to make his entrance. He demanded that Megumi be handed over, but Sanosuke instead rushed at him and punched him in the gut. Hyottoko then countered by spitting up a flammable substance, lighting it on fire, and catching Sanosuke in the blaze. Thankfully, he was able to dodge it without significant injury.

It was then revealed that Beshimi was also lurking nearby, observing and explaining Hyottoko’s destruction. Kenshin then drew his sword and challenged Hyottoko, countering Hyottoko’s every use of his fire. Megumi then tried to run away, but Kaoru caught her and said that the least she could do was watch Kenshin fight for her sake. Megumi countered that an ordinary swordsman can’t win, but Kaoru said that Kenshin will win since he isn’t an ordinary swordsman.

On cue, Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 saw Kenshin successfully defend all of Hyottoko’s fire attacks. Sanosuke then stepped in to handle the rest, goading Hyottoko into attacking and creating an opening for Sanosuke to rip the oil sack out of Hyottoko’s stomach. Sanosuke then knocked Hyottoko out with a swift kick to the chin, much to everyone’s joy.

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

Kaoru explained to Megumi how reliable Kenshin and Sanosuke are, as she longingly watched the group interact. Kenshin then detected Beshimi’s presence as they discussed what to do with Hyottoko, but couldn’t prevent him from taking a shot at Megumi. Thankfully, Yahiko was able to protect Megumi with his body, saying he could at least do his job properly on the defensive end.

However, Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 saw Yahiko pass out immediately thereafter, causing Beshimi to reveal that his last shot was coated in poison. Kenshin tried to attack Beshimi, but another Oniwabanshu member arrived and saved him. As Yahiko began suffering from the poison’s effects, the third member told Kesnhin that there was no point in fighting anymore.

Kenshin agreed but demanded that Beshimi be left behind so Yahiko could be given the antidote. The third member denied this request, then defended against Kenshin’s attack before leaving with Hyottoko and Beshimi. Thankfully, Megumi took over the situation, recognizing the type of poison before handing out instructions to Team Kenshin and stressing that they’re racing against time.

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

Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 then sees a doctor confirm that Yahiko will be back to full health in three to four days, much to Kaoru’s joy. The doctor then implied that Megumi was a master in Western medicine, eventually guessing that it was Megumi herself who gave him the antidote instructions. He also revealed that she was once the assistant of a “certain doctor” who was murdered three years prior.

Megumi was then shown seemingly departing the dojo before Kenshin asked her where she was going. Kenshin thanked Megumi for Yahiko’s treatment before asking her once again where she was going. Megumi said she plans to leave Tokyo, so the “nuisance” Team Kenshin has dealt with will no longer be a concern. Her dialect for the word “nuisance” then led Kenshin to correctly guess that she’s from Aizu, asking her if anyone there would miss her.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 then sees the doctor explain that Megumi’s family was famous among other doctors. He called them uncommon since their women and children also studied medicine and revealed that they were the Shogun’s doctors. However, they would treat anyone who was sick regardless of social position, leading the Shogun’s samurai to view them as despicable and other doctors to view them as ideals given flesh.

Megumi Takani, as seen in the series' anime (Image via LIDEN FILMS)
Megumi Takani, as seen in the series' anime (Image via LIDEN FILMS)

He calls Megumi’s father Ryusei the pinnacle of medicine and explains that he became lordless in order to move to Nagisaki and study the incredibly useful Dutch medicine. The family was then given special permission to return to Aizu, but this was when the Battle of Aizu started. The doctor explains that everyone in the Takani family but Megumi went to war, with her father dying and her mother and two brothers missing in action.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 then reveals that Megumi moved to Tokyo and became a doctor’s apprentice five years ago, with the doctor being murdered two years later. Megumi then explained that the doctor she apprenticed under had ties with Kanryu, refining opium for him so Kanryu could sell it. The doctor then created Spiderweb, opium with a special refinement process that quadruples profits and is highly addictive.

Kanryu tried to intimidate the refinement process out of the doctor for mass distribution, but the doctor didn’t share, and Kanryu’s group accidentally killed him. Since Megumi was his only assistant, she was forced to make it, but she tried unsuccessfully to end her own life when she discovered what she was truly doing.

Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 then sees Kenshin say it’s time for Megumi to be forgiven and freed after suffering for three years, saying it’s best if she stayed in the dojo for a bit longer. Kaoru, Sanosuke, and the doctor then arrived, with Kaoru agreeing. The episode then ended with Aoshi Shinomori instructing Han’nya, the member who rescued Beshimi and Hyottoko, to find out everything he could about Kenshin’s past, seemingly knowing who he truly is.

In review

One of this latest episode’s biggest strengths is the choice to spend considerable time on Megumi’s backstory and developing her as a character. This both communicates why it’s important for Team Kesnhin to help her as well as why she’s been so averse to aligning herself with and trusting the group to actually help her.

Similarly, having all of Team Kenshin play some sort of major role in Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 is great to see and gives hope for the team to fight together more often in the future. With the episode seemingly delaying the next conflict between the Oniwabanshu and Team Kenshin until both sides are back at full strength, fans may be able to see that sooner rather than later.

In summation

Overall, Rurouni Kenshin episode 9 is fantastic. Fans get a fairly engaging fight scene to start the episode before ending it with some key developments for Megumi and the tease of an all-out war between the two groups. With the series approaching its midway point for the first season, fans are excited to see the stakes being raised and battles taking a more team-oriented approach.

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.

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