Ki is an important aspect and vital force found in all things. In the context of Shounen and Martial Arts themed stories, the usage of ki or a similar power is often used by its cast to perform amazing abilities and actions.
Ki is a Japanese word that mentions the aspects of Qi, a universal life force that all things inherits, exudes and consumes. In its dynamics and phenomena, Ki is said to be prevalent in all things, living or inanimate, and comes in different affinities and types. In the context of martial arts, the usage of ki is found to be one that exercises in exuding such a force from one's self, an ability to give a psychological impression, both onto oneself and to their opponent, and gained from training and disciplining oneself mentally.
In Rurouni Kenshin, the same dynamics can be applied to its cast and their own skills. The usage of ki in Rurouni Kenshin is not that of being able to draw upon an energy force to fire projectiles and cast magic found in many other series, but instead is an invisible but felt flow of energy that one exudes within and comes about when displaying skill, emotion, will, spirit, and strength, and can only be harnessed by having undergone years of intense training and experience of battle. The use of ki in the series is just like that of real life exercises, to send one's presence to know of their intentions or to intimidate opposition, hiding it to be unsuspecting to the enemy, ensuring one's body flows in efficient motion to strike with all of their full strength, and being able to sense the vicinity of others.
There are few mentioned varieties:
Ki of Occupation and BeingEdit
- Kenki - A kind of ki exuding from a swordsman, also known as "Swordsman Spirit"
Emotion Exuding KiEdit
- Sakki - A kind of ki that exudes when one is in a state of murderous intent or is to deliver a killing blow. It is said that lesser skilled (ie. second rate and third rate swordsmen) fighters exude this sort of ki.
- Touki - A kind of ki that comes about when fighters engage in battle.
Elemental Resonant KiEdit
In series, it is also shown that one's Kenki can manifest and harmonize with elemental phenomena that is closely in affinity and symbolic of their own aspects; Himura Kenshin's has been shown to manifest through the winds and nature based things, like leafs and flora, representative of the swords that save lives and the will to live, while Shishio Makoto's has been shown to resonate greater with flame, representative of his lust of destruction and only the fittest survive. Not just symbolic, this variation of elemental ki has been shown to have its own effects when they manifest; Kenshin's has allowed his team members to regain a second wind and be rested back to consciousness, while Shishio's allows him to will himself back just as strong as he was at a beginning of a battle. This phenomena appears to occur however, when one is at a state of great emotional intensity and motivation of what they believe in.
Styles and Abilities that use KiEdit
- Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū - The legendary Kenjutsu school has long trained its students in reading emotions of others. From the first duel with Sojiro, it is proven that the school specializes in "soft aspects" of martial arts, reading the dynamics and emotions of their opponent's ki and being able to react fluidly in turn.
- Shin no Ippo - A technique allowing its user to project ki with their eyes and using it to stop their opponents in place with such dread that comes from an incredible emotion and power filled ki.