Episode 11
Episode 10
Episode 12
Kanji さらば最強の男たち! 光と闇の激突
Rōmaji Saraba Saikyō no Otokotachi! Hikari to Yami no Gekitotsu
English Title Farewell, the Strongest Men: The Clash of Light and Shadow
Air Date April 24, 1996
March 31, 2003 (US)
Season 1
Opening Theme Sobakasu
Ending Theme Tactics
Farewell, the Strongest Men: The Clash of Light and Shadow is the eleventh episode of the Rurouni Kenshin anime series.


Shinomori Aoshi continues battling Himura Kenshin, giving him an extremely difficult time. Aoshi reminds his opponent that he has nothing against him, but being the strongest Ishin Shishi, he must slay him to take that title for the Oniwabanshū. Kenshin tells Aoshi that despite being a Rurouni, he must stop him from continuing to harm others. Kenshin eventually figures out a way to counter his attack, despite the edge Aoshi has in speed as a result of using a Kodachi - Kenshin holds his sword by the blade, shortening its length and allowing him the speed to attack Aoshi with the sword and then use the hilt of the blade to strike his throat.

Aoshi, impressed by Kenshin's skills, uses his ultimate attack, Kaiten Kenbu, which nearly kills Kenshin, saying afterwards that no one has ever survived that attack. Kamiya Kaoru, Myōjin Yahiko and Sagara Sanosuke all look on in shock, believing Kenshin has been killed. Yahiko, devastated, vows to kill Aoshi at any cost, but Kenshin then stands up and tells the young lad that he is a great student of the Kamiya Kasshin-ryū, who should not end his life here. Aoshi is completely startled by Kenshin's recovery and the latter tells him that he had used his sheath as a shield at the very last moment, to lessen the impact.

Aoshi commends Kenshin's skills, saying that he is truly worthy of the title "strongest", but that this title will be taken from him, after he is defeated. Aoshi tries to repeat the Kaiten Kenbu, but this time, Kenshin catches his Kodachi just as he attacks, utilizing the brief instant when he is off-guard, and reverses the momentum, and the hilt of his own blade hits Aoshi hard in the throat. Aoshi realizes the hard impact of the blow and knows he's been defeated, which devastates him. Just as he is about to fly back, however, he lands a hard hit on Kenshin, causing both of them to fall, however, Aoshi is the one knocked out from the exchange of blows, though Kenshin loses his senses for a moment.

Aoshi's students then arrive (Beshimi, Hyottoko, Shikijō and Han'nya), just as Kenshin and his friends plan to rescue Takani Megumi, now that the battle is won. Aoshi does a hand gesture to his underlings, telling them to stay where they are and he asks Kenshin why he didn't finish him off and Kenshin tells him that he is a Rurouni who refuses to take lives. Kenshin asks Aoshi why he doesn't use his extraordinary skills elsewhere. Han'nya and Shikijo tell Kenshin that Aoshi was offered a high-ranking position as an army officer, but turned it down for the sake of his disciples, who had no place to go and nothing to do in the new era, being old-fashioned warriors. Aoshi says that it was his responsibility to do whatever he could for his disciples, since he made them into members of the Oniwabanshu.

Having lost the fight, Aoshi asks Kenshin to end his life and that if he doesn't, he'll target him as many times as it takes to win the title of "strongest" from him. Kenshin has no problem with that, as long as no one else is involved in their battles.

At that moment Kanryu makes himself known, by blasting through a nearby door with his Gatling gun, which can fire 200 bullets a minute. He declares his intention to kill Aoshi, along with the rest of the Oniwabanshu and Kenshin. He begins firing it towards those in front of him. Beshimi and Hyottoko avoid it as best they can, while Kenshin and Sano respectively carry Yahiko and Kaoru to safety. Han'nya asks Kanryu where he got such a weapon and Kanryu arrogantly tells the former to call him "Lord Kanryu", firing in his direction. Aoshi pushes Han'nya out of the way and is shot in the leg. His students rush to his aid.

Kanryu says that he has no intention of simply being a drug lord, but wishes to use his proceeds from the opium business to establish himself as an underground arms dealer, selling weapons like the Gatling gun he has in his possession, or in Kaoru's words, being a "merchant of death". He says that Kenjutsu means absolutely nothing and that money is the true determinant of power.

He then fires at Aoshi for insulting him earlier, but Shikijo shields him and is killed in the process, but satisfied that he was martyred protecting his Okashira, telling him not to be sad. Hyottoko then dashes towards Kanryu, but is shot too. He smiles, however and Beshimi jumps from behind him throwing a dart towards Kanryu. He is shot, however and the dart ends up in the middle of his bullets. Aoshi is devastated at the murder of his loyal followers. Han'nya then tells Kenshin and his allies where Megumi is being held and tells Kenshin to get his Sakabatō, still in the middle of the battlefield, while he covers him, knowing that he will die in the process. It happens just as Han'nya plans and Aoshi is once again broken to bits as he sees his best disciple die, right in front of his eyes, straight after the others.

Kenshin, now wielding his Sakabato, is the prime target of Kanryu, who fires towards him. Kenshin charges straight forward and jumps. Just as he is about to be shot like the others, the bullets stop. It is the result of Beshimi's dart, which is stuck in between two bullets, causing the weapon to jam. Kenshin then cuts through the handle of the Gatling gun. Kanryu, seeing Kenshin right next to him with a devastating look in his eyes, begins pleading for mercy and Kenshin tells him to ask his money, hitting him hard in the face with his Sakabato, knocking him out.

The group then heads for Megumi. As they do, Kaoru looks at Aoshi and the Oniwabanshu with a sad look on her face and Kenshin tells her that they were truly the ones who defeated Kanryu's Gatling gun. Aoshi clenches his fists in anger and sadness, having lost everything and everyone he cared about. Aoshi then roars, although the sound is muted.

Meanwhile, Megumi decides to end her life to make amends for all her crimes, thinking to herself that she was glad at having met Kenshin and the others.

Just as Megumi is about to stab herself, Sano grabs the knife with his hand, asking her what in the world she's doing, pulling it off her and causing her to fly back. She says that she deserves to die for all of her horrible deeds and Sano shouts at her in anger, mentioning how hard Kenshin and the rest of them worked for her sake and how she was willing to let it all go to waste. Kenshin then tells her that killing herself won't make amends - the only way to do that is to help save people, as he does, using his Sakabato, to atone for his own crimes.

At the end of the episode, Kaoru tells Megumi that she is welcome to visit the Kamiya Dojo whenever she pleases and Megumi thanks her and bids farewell to Kenshin and the others, as she goes off on a journey to become a Doctor, under the guidance of Doctor Oguni Gensai. It is revealed that Kenshin was able to use his trust with the Police Chief, to clear Megumi's name, despite the truth behind Kanryu's accusations. It is also revealed that Aoshi and the corpses of his followers were nowhere to be found on the crime scene, when the police had arrived.

Aoshi is then shown standing before the tombstones of his followers, telling them that someday he will place flowers on them, but that he cannot do so now (since he still has not defeated Kenshin and so has not earned the title of "strongest").


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