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Samurai X

Season 1 Episode 3

Swordsman of Sorrow

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Mar 19, 2003 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
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46 votes

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Episode Summary

It seems Yahiko is having some trouble adjusting to his new sensei - Kaoru. The reason for that is that he wants to learn swordsmanship to defeat his enemies, not to protect others, which is the main point of the Kamiya Kasshin Style.

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  • Nothing really happened

    On the beggining of the episode, nothing really happens, it only shows the way Yahiko and Kaoru are angry at one another, Kaoru is angry on Yahiko for him calling her ugly and Yahiko is angry at her, because he doesn't think that her way of swordsmanship is good. But later on there come some police officers, looking for Kenshin, who at that time was fighting some mean officers in the city, they were making a disaster, using their higher ranks and the ability to use swords, however Kenshin teached them a lesson and then came the Grand Chief of the Military and invited Kenshin to work for the goverment but Kenshin refused, because he said that he doesn't want to work for the military and wants to forget the past. Well I didn't really like this episode, as nothing really happen or changed, but maybe you will so make sure you can watch it!moreless
  • So Kenshin was a man slayer...

    Ah, this episode revealed a lot. It showed that Kenshin really was a man slayer in his past and is trying to settle down somewhere and stop wandering to preserve peace and protect people. Kenshin had another really "cool" moment in this episode again! Somehow, I just love his eyes! They are so cool. Anyway, the rest of this episode was cool. I thought the part where Kaoru and the boy(I keep forgetting his name...) were talking and they found they had things in common there conversation was so funny! Ha, so this epiosde was another great one can't wait for the next one. End review.moreless
  • Myojin truly begins his training to become stronger. Myojin at first wanted to learn in order to defeat people and become as invincible as he believes Himura to be. But that sort of thinking leads to corrupt men like the police swordsmen of Satsuma.moreless

    Aritomo Yamagata, Lord of the Meiji Imperial Army, makes his first appearance in this episode and asks Himura to become a key officer in the Imperial Army, but he declines. Himura did not fight in the revolution for power or for glory, but to bring peace to the citizens of Japan. We learn of some of the rumors that circulate about Himura’s disappearance. That he killed someone that he shouldn’t have or that he knew to many secrets. The truth is he did kill someone that he shouldn’t have. And sadly it haunts him to the day he dies.moreless
  • Kaoru wonders why caused Kenshin to walk away from the Revolution become a wanderer... and gets her answer sooner than she expected! (NOTE: this review was originally written after watching the subtitled version, with the Japanese voice actors)moreless

    Episode 3: Swordsman of Sorrow:

    The Man Who Slays His Past

    EPISODE SUMMARY: Himura Kenshin and the two little girls are busily making riceballs. That first scene is so cute it's painful. Kenshin is so good with kids it's a wonder he was able to become a mass-murderer. Kamiya Kaoru is trying to school her new student Myojin Yahiko in the ways of her family's style of kenjutsu. Yahiko is having none of it, though, and wants to know when he can learn to beat up his enemies. Kaoru retorts that he's not thinking the right way, that he should learn how to fight in order to protect people, not to beat enemies up. He scoffs at this -- and plunges right through the door into the room where Kenshin and the little girls are making riceballs. Yahiko promptly lambastes Kenshin, saying he came there to get stronger, not learn how to protect people. He wants to learn Kenshin's fighting techniques (which is weird, since he hasn't seen Kenshin actually fight with his sword -- he's only seen Kenshin plant a thug into a roof -- See Episode 2). Kenshin replies that he has no intentions of ever passing his techniques on to anyone. When Yahiko whines, Kenshin kindly reminds him that his teacher is Kaoru. Yahiko is indignant... and trips over the hem of his hakama, landing on his chin.

    A little later, Kaoru and Yahiko are taking a break and eating riceballs. They have a communal bonding by ranting about Kenshin. Then they carp at each other a bit more, before complimenting each other in a left-handed sort of way. Kaoru comments that he reminds her of herself and that he's like a little brother to her; he admits she is strong... but not like Kenshin (o_O Again, he didn't really see Kenshin fight!) And for good measure we get a flashback of the thug-planting incident. Tres cool. XD

    Yahiko then wonders why someone as strong as Kenshin is at a rundown no-name school like Kaoru's. Kaoru spazzes a bit and nearly loses her riceball. (Probably because she knows who he really is and is a little concerned as to what Yahiko might think of Kenshin if he were to find out what Kenshin once was.) Then Yahiko asks what Kenshin is (this freaks Kaoru out pretty good) and says that the way Kenshin fought seemed like he'd once killed a lot of people (you got that right, Kiddo, but you ain't seen the half of it!) then he decides he's figured it out (poor Kaoru! She's so worried, for nothing, too!) Kenshin is a....gangster! (...okwtf?...) Kaoru's reaction is pretty funny -- she almost loses the riceball again.

    Meanwhile police officers march down the street with a carriage in tow.

    Kaoru watches Kenshin wash dishes (or something) and starts to wonder about him. She ruminates on the fact that without him (well, without Hitokiri Battousai) the Revolution wouldn't have happened (hmmm... I'm channelling Methos.... "It is the ultimate in arrogance to think that *one* *person* can alter the course of history!") and that it's unclear why he suddenly walked away from everything. She reflects on rumors that he'd killed someone he shouldn't have, or that he knew too many secrets and was wanted by the government.

    Then, while she's watching Kenshin, he's interrupted by the cat, who's grabbed the fish he's apparently preparing for Kaoru's lunch or something. Kenshin tries to get it back from the cat, and apparently spills the water... Kaoru, meanwhile, starts to get angry because (she thinks to herself "Kono *baka*! (That *moron*!)") she thinks he's keeping a secret from her, and that it's something she should be worried about, and she yells at him to fess up.

    While he stares at her dumbfoundedly, obviously completely oblivious to her train of thought, she spins around and rebukes herself for prying (after all, she said before that she wouldn't question him), but decides she has to know...

    Meanwhile the police arrive at the Kamiya dojo...

    Kaoru has to know about Kenshin's she starts to ask him if he'll tell her.... and she turns around to find the good doctor there, not Kenshin. She spazzes out in the funniest way and demands to know where Kenshin went. Gensai-sensei tells her that Kenshin went to the market to get tofu for the meal he's preparing (funny, I thought Kenshin proclaimed to be a bad cook!)

    Outside, Gensai-sensei is accosted by the police, who demand to see the headmaster. Kaoru quickly takes control of the situation, and the police tell her they have heard that one Himura Kenshin, aka the Battousai, is within the grounds. Kaoru is caught speechless. Yahiko, who is behind the shrine, steps out and overhears the conversation. At first he wonders who Battousai is... then realizes they mean Hitikiri Battousai... and realizes that Kenshin is none other than the infamous Hitikiri Battousai. The police say that several "witnesses" in the "fake Battousai" case have "confessed" that the real Battousai is here at this school, and that it is a grave crime to hide him from the government. Kaoru buys time stupidly by saying "What are you saying that Kenshin has done?"

    The police start to inspect the grounds, and she tries to impede them (even though she knows he's not in the building? o_O She knows he went to the market...) and gets shoved to the ground. She sees Yahiko and calls to him, telling him to go find Kenshin and warn him. Yahiko hesitates and she yells at him to hurry up. So he runs, and the police give chase. (What the HELL was she thinking, saying that right in front of the police? She KNOWS Kenshin isn't on the grounds right now... and pickpocket though he was, Yahiko may not be able to evade the police long enough; he might escape capture himself, but he could lead them right to Kenshin)

    Inside the carriage, a cigar-smoking guy with a big fat mustache sits and mulls that "Soon I will see you.... I finally found you..." and it's pretty obvious that he's talking about Kenshin... even before he says "Himura... Battousai."

    Three big mean-looking police officers walk along a street, pushing people out of their way, when Kenshin and the two little girls cross their path. The girls are being impatient with Kenshin, wanting him to hurry; Kenshin sagely advises them to be patient, that fretting will cause the tofu to crumble. They notice the police officers and stop. The police officers note with some pretty sadistic pleasure that Kenshin is wearing a sword (reminder: It's against the law for anyone to wear a sword unless allowed by the government) The police rudely lambaste him for breaking the law right in front of them, and one challenges him to a fight, saying they'll let him go if he wins. Kenshin declines, stating that there are children present. Then he draws the Sakabatou a little bit from its scabbard and explains that it is a reverse-bladed sword. The police scoff and say that a sword like that couldn't kill a mouse. Then they knock the tofu out of Kenshin's hands and push him out of the way. Kenshin takes it all in stride. The girls are indignant.

    The police officers proceed to go into town and *pwn* *the* *crap* out of everyone. By everyone, I mean innocent and shoplifter alike. The local police try to stop the police swordsmen (apparently Imperial police?) but get themselves pwned too. The police swordsmen casually mention that they are allowed by law to kill people.

    The police swordsmen arrest the shoplifter and the old man who defended him, and the old man's daughter for good measure.

    Yahiko gets his hero pants in a knot and decides to save them all... but remember, he's just an untrained kid. Big heart, but no skill. Still, he gives a good accounting of himself. Of course, one of the other officers kicks him into the wall, effectively stopping him. So he gets arrested too.

    The police swordsman leader orders the "criminals" executed. The people murmer amongst themselves that this is beyond cruel. As one swordsman draws his blade to kill Yahiko, the crowd roils and parts, revealing a rather pissed-looking Kenshin. Yahiko tries to warn Kenshin away because people are after him, but he is silenced by the sword being thrust mere inches from his nose. He and the police leader square off eye to eye, and Kenshin affirms his identity. Then he says he will pay penantance for the people who are being restrained (and sentenced to execution). One police officer says Kenshin is just bluffing, a wimp. The other says that he can smell blood from him (How, I dunno. Kenshin hasn't spilled any blood in a long time, I believe -- I assume it's just a phrase. He probably could see in Kenshin's eyes what the Boss in episode 2 saw -- the eyes of a Manslayer who has killed many, many people)

    Then he draws his blade and puts its tip inches from Kenshin's forehead. Kenshin doesn't even flinch.

    Another police officer informs the chief, who's standing guard over Kaoru (for some idiotic reason) that he's found Himura Kenshin, and that Kenshin is fighting the police swordsmen. Kaoru gets angry and bolts. They try to restrain her, but she pulls a few nice little moves and drops them all like stones.

    Meanwhile, back at the town, the policeman orders Kenshin to draw his sword. He declines. The policeman shows his true nature by ordering the people to be executed one by one (until Kenshin capitulates and draws his sword). The crowd reacts violently to this oppression. The policeman gets all Hitler-ish and orders every single person arrested, and orders the other swordsmen to use their swords to do so. He says "I don't care about people who resist arrest. Slay them all."

    At this, Kenshin draws his sword. He says that if the police want someone to fight, they should fight him. The ringleader then decides they will now fight him in self-defense (Ooookay.... well, whatever floats your boat, dudes) and then says, in what sounds remarkably like English (considering this is the original Japanese -- I'm watching the subtitled version) "Kill him!" (NOTE: I've since learned that "kurosite" sounds remarkably like "kill him" when spoken)

    What ensues can be succinctly called a rout. Kenshin seems to vanish and his sword flashes. When he reappears, he lands in front of the leader swordsman, swings his sword up casually (but he still lookes *pissed*) and waits as the other swordsmen, in a delayed reaction, fall into a heap.

    Yahiko doesn't know what to think of all this (he probably thinks the swordsmen are dead and this would probably be the first time he's seen someone he knows kill someone).

    Kenshin demands the police officer swear to not be oppressive again, and then, inexplicably, he offers to allow the officer to arrest him afterwards. The officer screams at him and raises his sword. Kaoru arrives on the scene, sees the damage, and wonders what the hell she should do. She recognizes the form used by the police officer as he charges Kenshin. It is the Jigen Satsuma (?) style, which is said to never need a second strike....

    ...cut to the person in the carriage, who carries on the narration about the Jigen Satsuma style, commending its strength, but noting that against Kenshin's style, the Hiten Mitsurugi style it is entirely useless. As he's saying this, we see the police officer slash at Kenshin with his sword, but Kenshin banks off a wall, vaults over him, and slashes him in the back. The moment Kenshin lands, he sheathes his sword, and for a moment there is hesitation, but as he slides the sword up to its hilt into the scabbard, he is swarmed by the crowd, who are ebullient about his display of swordsmanship and his succinct defeat of the officer. Kenshin seems overwhelmed by the adulation (he's got the funniest look on his face, and we can hear his trademark "Oro!" But then Kaoru "glomps" him and tells him to run. Yahiko likewise tries to get to him, telling him the cops are after him. They yank him from the crowd.... only to be accosted by more police officers. The officer in charge (not a swordsman police officer, a regular one) orders them arrested, but the man we saw in the carriage halts everything.

    The man approaches, ordering Kenshin and his friends be released at once. He then orders that the police swordsmen be severely punished for their oppressive behavior. The man then looks Kenshin over and says he's been looking for him for ten years now. Kenshin smiles and greets him, noting that Yamagata-san has grown a mustache since the last time they met. One of the officers takes umbrage that he is not respectful enough, but Yamagata-san yells at the officer. Then he explains that Himura is a hero who saved many Imperialists with his sword ( o_O;; that's a new one!) Kaoru, meanwhile, figures out who this guy is -- Yamagata Aritomo. Yahiko -- remember, he's just a kid! -- asks if the guy is important or something, and Kaoru gives him an earful, informing him that this man is the Lord of the Imperial Army, Japan's top politician. Yahiko has no intelligent response.

    Yamagata-san requests that Kenshin join him in the carriage to discuss something. Kenshin declines, asking him to just say it right there where they are. Yamagata-san then says that without Kenshin the Revolution probably wouldn't have happened (oy. can ya hear me channelling Methos again? -_-;;) and then he offers Kenshin a place as a ranking officer in the Imperial Army. Kaoru and Yahiko look at Kenshin with awed eyes. Kenshin doesn't respond. Yamagata-san adds that Kenshin's old allies are awaiting his return.

    Kenshin pauses a long time, hiding his eyes in his massive forelock of red hair, but then he responds (and his response is worded in a way that reminds me of Sesshoumaru declining the Shikon shards from Kagura in Inuyasha episode 66!) that he is not interested in being rewarded with an officer position, as reward for manslaughter. Yamagata-san is taken aback, but then announces that this confirms his belief that Kenshin's disappearance ten years ago was his way of avowing to never kill again.

    Yamagata-san tries to convince him by saying that what he did was for the good of the Revolution, and that he will use his power to "convince" nay-sayers otherwise. Kenshin points out that thinking like that leads to men like the police swordsmen. He then says something that is worth quoting. "We once fought with our swords. Not for power or glory, but for a world where people could live in happiness. And if you forget that, you're [no different from those we fought]." Then, having stunned Yamagata-san to silence, he starts to walk away.

    Yamagata-san reminds him that the world has changed, that with the sword prohibition and the dying-out of samurai, there isn't much he can do with only one sword, without power. Kenshin replies that he can protect the people near him with only one sword. He puts his hands on Kaoru and Yahiko's shoulders as he says this and grins at Yamagata-san. Then they leave without another incident.

    As they're walking home, Yahiko reflects on what Kenshin said, and finally begins to see the sense in Kaoru's training. So Yahiko decides he'll become Kaoru's student... and Kaoru bonks him, reminding him he's been her student all along. As she and Yahiko brawl on the bridge, Kenshin looks out at the setting sun and we hear Kaoru voice-over about what she's learned about Kenshin, and why he became a wanderer -- to not be bound by society, to be able to come and go as he pleases and protect people when and where he can.

    THE GOOD: Kenshin is teh awesomez when it comes to fighting. Man, that little bit I saw in the first episode was nothing compared to what he can do when he gets enough room to maneuver.

    THE BAD: Why is it that everyone says a reverse-bladed sword is so useless? It still has a blade on it, it's just facing the opposite direction. Turn it slightly in the hands, and the blade WILL cut. Hell, a wooden or bamboo sword must be pretty good for fighting, if Kaoru uses them and can kick butt with them.

    THE UGLY: The bucktoothed police officer is just.... gah.

    THE PRETTY: The animation sequence as he draws his sword is effing cool and superdramatic. Especially when the blade-edge flashes as he cocks it at the ready.

    THE CUTE: OMG it's so cute that the girls call him Ken-nii! I just love seeing the interactions of Kenshin and the girls.

    OTHER GOODIES: After the first knockdown with his attacks, Kenshin swings his blade up and cradles it in the crook of his arm. He has such a "well, are you going to fight me or not?" look on his face.

    BEST MOMENT: I'm partial to the symbolism of Kenshin drawing his blade and facing this threat from his past. There's just something uber yummy cool about the animation sequence as he draws his blade.moreless
Philece Sampler

Philece Sampler

Misao Makimachi

Wendee Lee

Wendee Lee

Yahiko Myojin

Derek Stephen Prince

Derek Stephen Prince

Beshimi, Gekki, Cho Sawahimojo

Lex Lang

Lex Lang

Sanosuke Sagara

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn

Shura/Soba Waitress (English)

Richard Barnes

Richard Barnes

Yohei Senbonya

Bob Papenbrook

Bob Papenbrook

Police Chief

Guest Star

Kirk Thornton

Kirk Thornton

Hajime Saito

Recurring Role

Wendee Lee

Wendee Lee

Yumi Komagata

Recurring Role

Steve Kramer

Steve Kramer

Sakata/Dr. Gensai/Cop

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (12)

  • NOTES (7)

    • Original Air Date: January 24th 1996

    • The policeman that Kenshin fights is from the Satsuma province on the island of Kyushu. The sword style he uses is the Jigen Ryu. The Jigen Ryu is a real style and the Satsuma province is famous because of this style. Even in the present, the training is very brutal. The practioner does not wear protective gear. After about ten years of training the swordsmen can make deep cuts into trees with just a wooden sword.

    • Aritomo Yamagata is a real figure in Japanese history. He will be one of several characters in the show who were actually real people.

    • Actually, Kenshin's reversed-blade sword is still illegal. He just carries it around anyway (to be able to help people, presumably). If you think about it, all he has to do is flip the sword, and it is no longer a reversed-blade one. He does get into trouble for carrying it later.

    • The Sword-Squad was an actual fixture of the Meiji police force. The squads were a bit of a compromise, due to the outlawing of sword ownership, the policemen that were part of these squads carried the swords mostly for show, as they'd be more obvious and recognisable than firearms. People would logically associate the sword-carrying police with the recently dismantled samurai class, and in general, had no trouble treating them respectfully... provided they didn't abuse that authority.

    • Although it is technically illegal for civillians to own swords at this time in Japan's history, Kenshin's sakabatou isn't considered a sword, since it's blade is reversed.

    • This episode is a combination of two chapters in the manga, chapters 2 and 4. Yahiko made quite a jump in his first appearance, being that he didn't appear until chapter 3. Chapter 2 is where the Sword-Squad appears. Chapter 4 is where Yahiko starts to respect Kaoru. In chapter 4, the Hishimanji, who will appear later in the anime, intended to get even with two of the students who left Kamiya Dojo while Gohei was killing people.