The first major step into the Kyoto Arc, following the catastrophic arrival of Saitoh, and Kenshin's subsequent abandonment of his gang. He meets his first companion, 16-year-old Misao Makimachi, a member of the Oniwabanshu who has been searching for her friends--the same crew Kenshin obliterated in earlier in the series. Tensions are high as Kenshin knows Shishio could very well strike anywhere at anytime.
To recap for newbies, the Rurouni Kenshin series follows Himura Kenshin, once the most feared Hitokiri or assassin of the Bakumatsu, a violent era in feudal Japan where power was up for grabs. He has and continues to wander Japan keeping his vow not to kill and fighting with a reverse-edged sword.
This is the first dark step in the series as the chance upon the bloodied corpse of a man, his unconscious younger brother in his arms. Kenshin, Saito and Misao get to confront Shishio, but only get to fight the beast left in the village, a tights-clad, axe-knuckles-wearing hulk named Senkaku. We are also first introduced to Shishio's right hand man, and perhaps the most dangerous of his Ten Swords, Soujiro.
This is a complete emotional volume from a complete series. The light-hearted moments in the beginning are tempered by the serious and heartbreaking scenes in the middle; the tension is on a constant high throughout all the episodes featured here. Kenshin's urge to return to his darker, killing side doesn't quite surface yet, but the young, talented Soujiro, will create a tremendous obstacle during their first swordfight.
Highly recommended and necessary for Kenshin fans; there's also enough of flashbacks and information for you to view this DVD on its own, and have some, but not a complete idea, of what is going on. Get the series if you can.