due to significant differences from the manga storyline, although it served as a finale to the TV series.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The OVA starts out as a montage of singular events surrounding the life of Himura Kenshin, told from the point of view of Kamiya Kaoru. Then the remainder of it involves Kenshin, who becomes tortured anew by the guilt of leading a happy life after such a destructive past. He makes the decision to wander again, and Kaoru strongly supports him, promising to welcome him home with a smile and their child. For fifteen years, he wanders, returning every once in a while. However, this leads his son, Himura Kenji, to hold resentment towards Kenshin for leaving them. Now in his adolescence, Kenji leaves for Kyoto hoping to learn Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryu from Hiko Seijūrō, hoping to be as strong as his father and create his own legend. Soon however, Myōjin Yahiko tracks him down at the request of a dying Kaoru. Yahiko duels him to show him the delusions of achieving his father's greatness.
Yahiko admits that Kenji is a genius and has natural talent as a swordsman. However, he knows that neither passion, discipline, nor skill would make Kenji superior to his father. So, in a final strike, Yahiko lets Kenji experience the full brunt of Kenshin's Sakabatou, allowing Kenji to experience the strength of his father's philosophy firsthand. Falling to his knee, Yahiko presents Kenji with the Sakabatō as a late genpuku gift, hoping that now he'll realize that Kenshin's strength lay not in his ability to kill, but in his appreciation of life and his devotion and self-sacrifice to those in need.
Meanwhile, Kenshin eventually becomes ravaged by an unknown disease. To share his pain, Kaoru convinces Kenshin to infect her with the disease through sexual intercourse. Kenshin then leaves to go assist in the First Sino-Japanese war (primarily over control of Korea) as he had promised the Meiji Government, not fighting and killing, but instead helping people. After the war's end, Sanosuke discovers a very ill Kenshin sometime after he had fallen overboard on a ship. Sanosuke arranges Kenshin's return to Tokyo by boat. Upon arriving, a bed-ridden Kaoru, almost on instinct, gets up to walk outside the dojo on the cherry blossom path, seeing her husband struggling with each step to meet her. The two finally meet after four years, and Kenshin collapses into her arms as he clutches her to him. Kenshin tells Kaoru that he returned for her, and Kaoru quietly greets him with his old name, Shinta, as per his request the last time they met. Soon, they end up beneath a cherry blossom tree, where Kaoru tells him that they will invite everyone for a cherry blossom viewing, and continue to gather in the years to come. With the silence growing stronger, Kaoru realizes that Kenshin has died quietly in her arms. Upon brushing his hair off his left cheek, Kaoru notices Kenshin's scar has faded away, signifying an end to his life of pain and bloodshed as well as the start of a life of peace. In the final scene before the credits, she holds his head in her arms and weeps.