Customer Reviews: Rurouni Kenshin, Vol. 5 (VIZBIG Edition)
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on April 16, 2012
Warning: SPOILERS!!!!

This is the volume that opens the battle with Shishio on Mount Hiei and takes the reader up to Kenshin's fight with Seta Sojiro. There's some comedy in the beginning when the people at the Aoiya see Sanosuke for the first time and don't believe he's Kenshin's friend, and a nice interlude the night before Sanosuke, Kenshin, and Saito leave for Mount Hiei. Kenshin tries to spend some quiet time on the roof of the inn, only to be joined by all his friends, and it's good to see all the people, both present and in his memory, who are behind him. The volume covers Sanosuke's battle with Anji, Saito's sword fight with Usui, and Kenshin's challenge to Aoshi. There's a light touch when Shishio's girlfriend refuses to guide Kenshin's group farther into the maze and Sanosuke picks her up and carries her, and a really funny moment when Kenshin thinks he hears Kaoru's voice and Sanosuke and Yumi both feel his forehead to check for a fever. The volume ends in the middle of the fight between Kenshin and Sojiro.

As always, the edition is big, with lots of room for the beautiful artwork, a complete cast of characters in the beginning, and a full table of contents. There are two full-color chapters. The first is in the beginning of the book and is just a few pages dealing with Kenshin's return to the Aoiya. The second details the ultimate confrontation between Saito and Usui, and it is spectacular. Lots of secret life of characters and musings by Watsuki, a glossary at the end with more terms of the Meiji Restoration, and a section on religious belief in Japan.
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on January 19, 2015
Rurouni Kenshin is arguably one of the best pieces of fiction ever written. It's a damn shame that it's held back by both it's genre (shonen) and it's medium (manga), both of which keep it from reaching scholarly acclaim.
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on June 20, 2013
A great story. A classic for sure. My only real complaint is sometimes the volumes are hard to find. That could be a good thing however as it means people find the story worthwhile enough to hold onto the copies they have. :)
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on December 3, 2014
An action packed 3for1 volumen
Its the fight against the Jippongatana
Sano fights the priest and we get a bit of backstory, great fight.
Saito fight the blind swordsman, actually this fight is nos as good, but it is spected after hearing the backstory.
Kenshin fights Aoshi, the final battle among the two, and Kenshin manages to keep his promio not to kill.
Meanwhile on the Aoiya, Yahiko fights the flyig ninja, nice to see Yahiko has been learning from bot Kaoru and Kenshin.
Kaoru and Misao fight Honjo in a great team fight.
The rest of the Aoiya "fight" the fat guy, really this fight is avoided, why it would have been interesting, instead the big gy takes them down and decides to scape, really waned to remove a star for this, but better not.
Then we have Kenshin teacher fight the big guy.
At the end we see the start of the battle beetween Kenshin and Sojiro
Cant wait to read the next one and see Sojiro fight Kenshin
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on April 3, 2009
NOTE: *I'm not actually reviewing the series, just the VizBig re-releases*

I've been buying every volume of this new re-release of the great manga series Rurouni Kenshin. Buying several volumes for $12-$18 each is much cheaper than almost 30 volumes for $8 or so each!

That being said, this is a very nice release. The "fake slipcover" is a nice touch, and the paper is printed on very good, heavy stock, which is quite a surprise judging from most collected manga (Del Rey's Tsubasa and xxxHolic Omnibuses being prime examples.) It's not simply just three volumes stacked on top of each other and rebound (again, like the Tsubasa and xxxHolic ones,) it actually puts a combined cast of characters in the front, all the chapters in the middle, and full-color textless covers (a great, great feature) and author's comments at the end. In addition, it contains one (or occasionally 2) full-colored chapters. These look simply glorious. It's almost kinda mean, because after experiencing one of the full-color chapters, all of the other black and white ones feel so dull.

Overall, I highly reccomend the entire VizBig series of re-releases (which only include Rurouni Kenshin, DragonBall, DragonBall Z, Fushigi Yugi, and Hot Gimmick at the moment.)
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on April 18, 2013
Rurouni Kenshin is one of my favorite mangas ever. Action and drama with a little bit of romance. The manga surpasses the anime. As a fan of both anime and fans, I would highly recommend this manga series. The quality of story and artistry surpasses most others I have come across. While it’s a series that’s been finished for over a decade, it’s amazing by any standards.
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on February 4, 2006
I give rurouni kenshin on the whole 5 stars. Given the nature of the beast (This is a series, and you are going to end up buying all the volumes, no matter how good each individual one is), it seems a little pointless to write an individual review for this one volume in the series.

However, I feel the need to proffess that both vol's 5 and 6 have a nice bit of character development, but in terms of plot, it just doesnt FEEL like it goes anywhere. Watsuki himself states that this volume is slow and that the series will pick up(Boy, does it...).

The volume takes us through a story involving Yahiko first. This is a nice story, as it really does show us how little yahiko is evolving as a swordsman (He just seems useless compared to the uberpowerful baddies sanosuke and kenshin are always schooling) through Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. Yahiko was in need of some panel time, as he always seemed from the beginning to be a gimmick character created by Watsuki. It also shows that Kaorou is not the wimp she's made out to be (Again, she suffers the same problem as Yahiko, she just doesnt seem strong compared to the Sano and Kenshin calibur).

So a little over the first quarter of the book is devoted to some character development. After that, we have the entrance of the next arc, the Raijuta arc.

The Raijuta arc is particularly interesting, simply because it causes a further linkage coming up. And it introduces Yutaro, who becomes Yahiko's rival. Their exchanges are particularly funny. Anyway, Raijuto is a high calibur swordsman who just seems to go around bullying dojo masters into accepting challenges from him, for no other reason than to be a jerk and get said masters to shut down their dojos. Yutaro seems to be his annoying twerp of an apprentice. Of course all of this makes an odd twist midway through, which I wont spoil for you. While not really left at a cliff hanger (Unlike volume 7, grr), you will still want more (and i mean more than usual) because this volume seems to not tell much in its 200 pages. The overall plot moves along maybe an inch as we see the little sub plots of yahiko's battle, yutaro v. yahiko, etc move. It's simply unfulfilling by the end. This is easily avoided though, by purchasing volume 6 with 5. Volume 6 "suffers" from the same problems (takes a while to get somewhere, but we do get a conclusion, a satisfying one at that), and it delves into a rather interesting side story involving sanosuke.

In essence, volumes 1-6 are all just the calm before the storm. They compromise the first main arc (there are 3) of the RK series, the Tokyo Arc. The Tokyo Arc is personified by the little individual adventures that dont seem to have much relation to each other. Volume 7 is where the series really picks up, as it goes full blown into the Kyoto Arc, one full of awesome political intrigue, awesome sword fights, and more revalation into Kenshin's mysterious past. The Kyoto arc will connect all these little stories the Tokyo Arc told you, and it will get the MAIN plotline chugging along.

But I really digress. 5 and 6 seem almost meant to be purchased in a pair, so i recomend you do as such. This one vol by itself isnt filling enough to satiate your RK needs, trust me.
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on June 22, 2004
Seriously, how can anyone not like Rurouni Kenshin? I mean, it's got something for everyone-romance, comedy, action, history-what's not to like? The plot of these books is extremaly interesting, you never get bored and I am DYING to get the next one as soon as it comes out!
This series is about the swordsman Himura Kenshin, formerly known as Hitokiri Battosai (Battosai the Manslayer) As a hired assasin, he helped bring about the Meiji age and end the Bakumastu. Now, however, he uses no sword but a sakabatou (reverse blade) that can't kill anyone. He took to living as a rurouni (wanderer) but all that changed as he was confronted one day by Kamiya Kaoru, female instructor of Kamiya Kashin-ryu. Want to know what happens? You'll need a lot of commitment and a lot of money to find out, because the only downside to this series is that the whole story totals into a whopping 28 books! But if you're going to get into manga at all, this is definately a series worth buying!
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on July 4, 2013
Looked forward to reading this and adding it to my expanding library. Excellent book and the storyline is one that grabs you and keeps you interested. A great gift for anyone who likes manga. Looking forward to more volumes
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Yahiko has mostly been used for comic relief and background, since he's a tiny prepubescent kid who doesn't have any exceptional strength or sword skills (yet). But that changes dramatically in the fifth volume of Nobuhiro Watsuki's "Rurouni Kenshin," where a subtle focus shift shows that Yahiko is growing up fast. The second half of the volume is a bit weak compared to the brilliant stories that came before it, but it's still worthwhile.

Yahiko keeps mysteriously missing out on his training sessions, and his friends guess that it's because of a girl (Sano), food (Kaoru) or sword training (Kenshin). They end up following him the next day to a part-time job at a restaurant, where it turns out that he's defending a pretty young woman from some thieving thugs. And though he's no match for the thieves, Kenshin starts to teach him how to fight his own battles without help.

Then a trip to another dojo goes horribly wrong when an old friend of Kaoru's is taken down by a vast savage-looking man, Isurugi Raijita -- he's incredibly powerful (able to split the floor with a practice sword), and insists that he wants to give kenjutsu back its "purity" and strength. And after a brief bout with Kenshin, Raijita is determined to have the powerful rurouni as part of his "revival" movement -- and apparently "no" is not an option.

"Rurouni Kenshin Volume 5" is rather weaker storywise than the volumes that precede it, mainly because the second of these two stories centers on someone less imposing than the assassins and onmitsu of prior stories -- namely, Raijita himself. That said, the second half of this volume seems like a slow windup to the conclusion in the next one, so it's a good idea to have the sixth volume close by.

But it also serves as a bit of a growth experience for Yahiko, who suddenly graduates from being the Comic Relief Squirt to a young man who's honorable, passionate, and becoming stronger by leaps and bounds. Additionally, the little guy also gets a love interest of sorts. He also gets a rival in swordsplay: a young apprentice of Raijita's, who comes across as an annoying little runt who squabbles a lot with Yahiko (but will presumably get fleshed out later on).

As for Raijita, he seems like a megasized fanatic, who wants to kill or humiliate anyone who doesn't join his little self-glorifying crusade. And he doesn't care who -- or how many -- die to get his sword-revolution moving.

And in the middle of these two stories, Watsuki weaves in his usual web of razor-edged action scenes filled with pale angry eyes and swinging swords, a hint of romance, and plenty of comic relief (including Kaoru strolling out of her room with a tied-up and knocked-out Yahiko hanging from a stick). And as always, there's the underlying message of Kenshin and his world: that glory, power and strength aren't worth killing for.

"Rurouni Kenshin Volume 5" is a bit weaker than its predecessors, but it's still a solid story-and-a-half about swords, love, and more swords. And this one wonders where the story of Raijita and his apprentice will go next.
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