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Episode 10

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Episode 10
Episode 9
Episode 11
Kanji 蒼紫· 美しすぎるほど怖い奴
Rōmaji Aoshi - Utsukushisugiru hodo Kowai Yatsu
English Title Aoshi: Someone so Beautiful it's Frightening
Air Date March 13, 1996
March 28, 2003 (US)
Season 1
Opening Theme Sobakasu
Ending Theme Tactics
Aoshi: Someone so Beautiful it's Frightening is the tenth episode of the Rurouni Kenshin anime series.


Takani Megumi has been captured by Beshimi and brought into Takeda Kanryū's mansion. Just outside, Himura Kenshin, Sagara Sanosuke, Kamiya Kaoru and Myōjin Yahiko have vowed to rescue her at all costs. The group blast their way through Kanryu's bodyguards.

Meanwhile Kanryu asks Megumi to prepare for her the new Spider's Web opium. Instead, she intends to kill him along with herself and pulls out a small dagger. However, just as she is about to stab him, her knife vanishes - a result of Han'nya's last minute intervention. Kanryu, enraged, hits her in the face and says that he'll kill her, right after torturing her into spilling the secrets for the formula of the new opium.

Right outside, Kenshin and his crew continue pummeling their way through Kanryu's bodyguards. Kanryu worriedly sees Kenshin's crew advance their way towards the mansion and he thinks to himself why Himura Battōsai is seeking to help Megumi. Han'nya tells him that Battosai does not simply act for profit, something Kanryu, being a self-absorbed materialist, can never understand.

Kanryu suddenly sees Kenshin's sinister eyes gazing directly upon him and the latter tells him to give up and release Megumi at once. Kanryu laughs in desperation, telling Kenshin what a skilled warrior is and that he's willing to pay him the salary of 50 bodyguards if he joins the Oniwabanshū as his bodyguard. Kenshin continues demanding that he come down at once and then Kanryu offers him the salary of 100 guards, then 200 and is turned down each time. Han'nya tells him that the man he faces is not an adversary that can be bought with any amount of money. Kanryu then tells Han'nya to shut up.

Kanryu agrees to give up Megumi, but asks for one hour so that "preparations" can be made. Kenshin walks away and Kanryu is relieved, thinking that the former has accepted his offer, leaving him time to torture Megumi into spilling the secrets of the new opium formula. Unforunately for him, Kenshin was simply walking towards a thick stone piller outside the mansion, which he sliced clean with his sword, before telling Kanryu that he would emancipate Megumi by force. Kanryu's anxiety begins to rise and Han'nya tells him that his words did nothing but anger his adversary further.

Kanryu demands that Han'nya and the Oniwabanshu defeat the approaching threat, saying that he will not tolerate any failure, like with Beshimi and Hyottoko. Han'nya, deeply insulted, roughly grabs Kanryu, telling him that the Oniwabanshu follow only the Okashira, Shinomori Aoshi, and are ready to put their lives on the line for his sake, but have no obligation to follow Kanryu's demands. Kanryu says that he's the one who pays Aoshi large sums and that even Aoshi wouldn't defy his orders, which only angers Han'nya further.

Aoshi then comes inside the room saying that Battosai will be stopped, but not for Kanryu's sake - he intends to defeat Battosai in order to prove that the Oniwabanshu are the "strongest" (since the legendary Battosai was considered the strongest Ishin Shishi warrior, during the Bakumatsu). The Okashira says that even though the Ishin Shishi were their enemies, he respects the fact that Battosai continues to carry forth the warrior's spirit, unlike many other Ishin Shishi who indulged themselves in greed, after the Meiji era. Kanryu tells Aoshi that its his duty to protect, to which Aoshi says: "Who cares what happens to scum like you?".

Aoshi says that he will keep Megumi in the observatory on the third floor and tells Han'nya to go and assume his post immediately, which he does. Kanryu asks him what he's supposed to do and Aoshi simply tells him to can stay where he is and count his money, before leaving. Kanryu, unable to do anything after being belittled by Aoshi earlier, now begins revealing his anger at being insulted.

Kenshin and the others walk through the door of Kanryu's mansion, only to be met with Han'nya, who vows to guard his post with his life, as per the request of the Okashira.

Megumi wakes up in the observatory room and Aoshi informs her that her friends have come to try and rescue her, but that she should not get her hopes up, since they will not get very far. He tells her that what awaits her is not liberation, but torture at the hands of Kanryu and so gives her the same knife she attempted to use on Kanryu earlier, saying that she can either end her life right there or be tortured to death by Kanryu, before leaving. Megumi begins looking at the dagger, wondering whether or not she should just end it all.

Meanwhile, in the entrance of the mansion, Kenshin offers Han'nya a chance to step aside and the latter refuses, saying that the Okashira's orders are absolute. He enters a Kenpo stance and Kenshin apologizes to him, saying that he cannot hold back because time is valuable. Han'nya says likewise and the battle between the two commences. Han'nya charges straight towards Kenshin landing a hard punch directly on his face, followed with a spinning back fist. He proceeds to attack Kenshin, while he is on the ground, but Kenshin dodges just in time.

Yahiko asks Kenshin why he's on the losing end of the battle and Kenshin says that despite being able to predict Han'nya's moves, his arms stretched right before his eyes. Han'nya tells him that if he can't see through his technique, he won't last one minute against the Okashira. He says that the moment the two faced each other, Kenshin was under his spell.

Aoshi senses that the battle has begun and states that Han'nya uses the Shin-wan technique and that any adversary who cannot see through it, has lost the battle.


Kenshin breaks Han'nya's spell.

Kenshin enters the Shin-ken stance, a defensive stance that allows the user to quickly respond to an opponent's attacks, but makes it difficult to perform offensive manoeuvres. Han'nya, recognizing the stance, asks if his opponent has already chosen the path of a coward, saying that such a man does not deserve to battle the Okashira and that he will die by his hands. Han'nya once again charges towards Kenshin, but this time, Kenshin dodges the attack just in time and hits his opponent in the face, with the sheath of his sword, causing his mask to crack.

Kenshin says that Han'nya's spell was simply the stripes on his arms, which created an optical illusion, causing his arms to appear thicker than they actually were, which caused Kenshin to misjudge the distance between the two earlier on. Han'nya realizes that the purpose of Kenshin's Shin-ken stance was to make it easier to calculate the distance, thus allowing him to see through the illusions.

Part of Han'nya's mask then falls off, revealing the burns on his face. He says that he has been through many hell-like situations and has fought many battles, believing in the Okashira. He vows that for the sake of the Oniwabanshu, he will win the battle, pulling out metal blades from his hands. Kenshin then asks him what pride he has in holding Megumi hostage. Han'nya tells him to shut up and charges straight towards him. The two fight and Kenshin seals the battle with a forward slash that knocks Han'nya out, but suffers a slight cut on the shoulder during the exchange. Before passing out, however, Han'nya says that Kenshin stands no match for Aoshi.

The group then heads towards Megumi and Sano looks at Han'nya for a second, thinking to himself how powerful the commander of skilled warriors like Han'nya, Shikijō, Beshimi and Hyottoko must be.

On the way towards Aoshi, the group meets with a band of Kanryu's mediocre bodyguards. Kaoru and Yahiko tell Kenshin and Sano to continue moving forward, while they deal with the bodyguards.

Kenshin and Sano head up a level and open the door. Standing in front of them is Aoshi. Kenshin asks him where Kanryu and Megumi are and Aoshi tells him to ask him with his Sakabatō, while he responds with his own weapon, a short looking blade. Sano asks him if he really thinks he can beat Kenshin with a Wakizashi and Aoshi tells him to stand aside, saying that the Battosai is his only concern. Sano tells him that he can defeat him, just like he defeated Shikijo and foolishly charges towards him, despite Kenshin's insistance to wait.

Aoshi is impressed by Sano's speed, but quickly strikes with a blow to the back of neck that sends the latter flying, just as Kaoru and Yahiko enter. Kenshin is surprised at Aoshi's power, in being able to do away with Sano in just one blow. Aoshi then pulls out his small blade, which Yahiko identifies as a Kodachi - a blade about half way in between a Katana and a Wakizashi that is ideal for defense but bad when it comes to offense. Kenshin is surprised that a man like Aoshi would use a weapon of such sort.

While Kenshin is thinking to himself, Aoshi verbally declares his attack and charges towards him. Kenshin realizes how incredibly fast his opponent is. He blocks Aoshi's downward slash, but is suddenly hit in the face with a powerful kick. Kenshin realizes that like Han'nya, Aoshi uses Kenpo. Aoshi proceeds to fire Kenpo strikes on Kenshin sending him flying off. Kenshin manages to land on his feet and charges forward, trying to attack Aoshi, but the latter is easily able to defend against his sword strikes, using his light and fast Kodachi.

Kenshin tells Aoshi that he realizes his techniques, i.e. using the Kodachi as a defensive weapon, while using Han'nya's Kenpo for offensive attacks. Aoshi corrects him, stating that it was he who taught Han'nya Kenpo and that there is a vast difference in speed and power between the teacher and the pupil. Kenshin's injuries, as a result of Aoshi's repeated strikes, suddenly manifest and he falls to the ground, coughing up blood. Sano, Kaoru and Yahiko all look on in shock as Kenshin faces a seemingly downhill battle against the overwhelmingly skilled and powerful Aoshi.

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