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|Rōmaji||Aoshi - Utsukushisugiru hodo Kowai Yatsu|
|English Title||Aoshi: Someone so Beautiful it's Frightening|
|Air Date||March 13, 1996|
March 28, 2003 (US)
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.