Okita Sōji (
Okita has a very youthful appearance, looking several years younger than his actual age. He has straight brown hair done in a short ponytail and large brown eyes. He wears a traditional Shinsengumi uniform.
Although he only appears in the flashbacks, he is one of the best swordsmen of the Shinsengumi. He created his own move called mumyō-ken (aka sandanzuki) derived from Hijikata Toshizō's hirazuki which is a move involving hitting three parts of the torso simultaneously in a single strike. In the OVA he was able to hold on his own against Kenshin temporarily until Saitō told him to step back and resumed the battle in his place.
Okita is kind and respectful to both his fellow Shinsengumi members and his enemies alike. He is usually shown with a confident smile and takes his fights seriously, despite his childlike appearance. Although he respects all Shinsengumi leaders, he shows a particular respect to Saitō Hajime who was also considered on an equal level with him in terms of swordsmanship (both being leaders of the first and third squads of the Shinsengumi, respectively).
- Shinsengumi - Bakumatsu faction
During the Bakumatsu, Okita faced Himura Kenshin shortly at the Battle of Toba-Fushimi. Despite wanting to continue even though he was coughing up blood, he was stopped by Saitō Hajime, who wanted to face Kenshin himself. Sometime that year, Okita died due to tuberculosis.
Okita appeared in the prequel to the Rurouni Kenshin films The Beginning. He faced off Kenshin at a a stairway few yards from Ikedaya to prevent Kenshin from aiding the Chōshū clansmen. Just like the historical Okita, he developed tuberculosis ending their fight before Saitō and other Shinsengumi comrades and Chōshū clansmen arrived. Saitō then wanted to face Kenshin himself after Okita coughed blood but Kenshin was forced to retreat. Unlike the anime/manga portrayals, he is seen to have a bald pate with a ponytail and a hair bun. He is played by Nijirō Murakami.
Development and Reception
- Okita bears a striking resemblance to the Juppongatana's Seta Sojiro due to the fact that Sojiro was based on Okita.
- In reality Okita suffered tuberculosis during the Ikedaya Attack. But in both the Anime and OVA, he suffered the disease during the Battle of Toba Fushimi when he confronted Kenshin. Historically he was never present in the battle due to being forced to recuperate from the illness (but dies later that year).
- He was played by Tatsuya Fujiwara (who portrayed Shishio Makoto in the live-action Rurouni Kenshin movies) in 2004 television series Shinsengumi! which also featured Yosuke Eguchi (whom portrayed Saito Hajime in the live-action Rurouni Kenshin movies) where he played political figure Sakamoto Ryōma.