Takani Megumi is a secondary character in the Rurouni Kenshin series and the main cast's primary physician after her appearance. Born into a prominent and dedicated family of doctors in the province of Aizu, Megumi was left alone after the death of her father and the disappearance of her mother and older brothers. After becoming a medically proficient in her own right, she became the assistant of a doctor secretly making drugs for the industrialist Takeda Kanryū. Attempting to escape, Megumi was tailed by Kanryū's men and fled to the protection of Himura Kenshin and the Kamiya dojo. Though hoping to journey back to Aizu to find her family, Megumi remains on call in Tokyo after her freedom is restored in order to support the people who rescued her.
A very lovely young lady, Megumi carries herself with a womanly grace. She is always seen wearing red lipstick in contrast to her pale complexion and her shiny black hair hangs straight and neat to mid-back length with layered, shoulder-length strands hanging casually around each ear. When out of her doctor's outfit and cap, Megumi dresses in plain but pretty kimonos, usually in pastels of blue and/or violet.
Megumi is known to act flirtatious around men she is attracted to, such as Kenshin. Due to this, Sanosuke and Kaoru call her a "vixen" (or Fox Lady in the anime). However, when the situation becomes serious, she casts aside her playful personality and puts all her focus on the task at hand, as seen when treating her patients. While held captive by Takeda Kanryū, she had a solemn, almost depressed disposition. She holds guilt for the lives she indirectly killed or destroyed because she was forced to make opium for Kanryū, to the point she attempted to murder him and then herself to atone. She has a strong love for her family, which was her only motivation to keep on living when Kanryū held her captive. Due to the years of slaving under Kanryū, she held a negative outlook on life, doubting Kenshin and Sanosuke could defeat the Oniwabanshū but at the same time was grateful for their help and never let go of her strong dedication to being a doctor, using her knowledge to save Yahiko from poisoning. She has since become a doctor to atone for the lives she indirectly killed. After being saved and freed from Kanryū's control, she develops a more positive outlook on life and becomes dedicated to saving the lives of others. She also has a strong loyalty to her friends, often being there to tend to their wounds and worrying for their well-being. Her love for Kenshin is deep, as he helped her become a doctor, but understands that her feelings won't be reciprocated
- Himura Kenshin - Seen constantly flirting with Kenshin, Megumi has very strong feelings for him. The source of her affection is revealed when she says that it was Kenshin's life-affirming words that led her to become a doctor to atone for the lives she took as an opium producer.
- Kamiya Kaoru - Although the two constantly compete for Kenshin's attention and affection, Megumi realizes soon enough that Kenshin chose Kaoru over her. As a result of her strong feelings, Megumi tells Kaoru to ensure that Kenshin doesn't overexert himself because all the injuries he accumulated and will accumulate will add up and take their toll on his body, leading to a premature death.
- Sagara Sanosuke - Megumi's abrasive personality puts her frequently at odds with Sanosuke, who perceives her as being far too cunning and sneaky to be completely trusted, while she abhors his thickheaded nature and apparent lack of intelligence. Despite the fact that the two are constantly snipping at each other with harsh words and rude gestures, their relationship appears to be only pseudo-antagonistic, as they seem to enjoy the unfriendly back-and-forth. At times, Megumi and Sano inadvertently call attention to what may be a small romantic tension between them by simultaneously bringing up the topic of their pairing and then subsequently dismissing the notion as preposterous. Even so, they become closer over the course of the series as Megumi focuses much of her time and attention to dealing with Sano's self-inflicted wounds and the physical stress of his Futae no Kiwami technique.
- Shinomori Aoshi - Since his days as Takeda Kanryū's chief enforcer, Aoshi has always been a source of terror for Megumi, who held his skills in much higher esteem than those of the other Oniwabanshū. Over the course of her captivity, the two had only a few opportunities to speak, but those instances revealed a somewhat deeper dynamic than merely that of jailer and captive. Aoshi noted his admiration for her courage and his lack of malice toward her. Their similar carriage makes for a slight sense of romantic tension, but this is overshadowed by Megumi's fear of Aoshi's sword and her disdain for his coldness.
- Gein: In the live-action film, Gein was Kanryu's henchman, who saves him from Megumi as she is about to kill him (which differs from the Manga, where Aoshi saves him and the anime, where Han'nya saves him).
- Takani family: She is very close to her father. Megumi eventually returned to Aizu by the end of the series, possibly to re-unite with her family.
- Takeda Kanryū: Ruthless opium dealer and Megumi's boss, who tries coercing her into producing the Spider's Web opium for him, which she refuses, because of the devastation this would cause to society. Though Kanryu holds her hostage, she is eventually rescued by Kenshin and his allies.
In Live-action filmEdit
She played by Yu Aoi who is best known for her role for playing Hagumi Hanamoto in Honey and Clover, thumb|174px|link=File:Aoiyu.jpgand as Hana in Hana and Alice. In the movie, she worked with Takeda Kanryū as doctor after witnessing her co-workers' murders. She was pursued by Kanryū for her abilities to create opium and managed to flee to the Kamiya Dojo, where she met the Kenshin-gumi. While at the dojo, she headed the efforts to heal those affected by the poisoned well water.
Megumi is an extremely skilled physician trained in both classical Japanese medicinal practices like moxibustion as well as, more impressively, modern Western practices like toxicology. She is very adept at identifying poisons and determining cures and can also treat broken bones and lacerations.
Creation & ReceptionEdit
Watsuki has claimed that his intent was to create Megumi as a "mature woman" character with whom Kaoru could interact and that he did not have any specific character model in mind at her inception. She first appeared in Watsuki's stand-alone End-of-Volume Special 2: "Rurouni Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story (2)" as "Kamiya Megumi", the elder sister of Kamiya Kaoru and Kamiya Yahiko, but her role in that piece was much smaller and Watsuki himself describes her as having a "lighter quality" than in the Rurouni Kenshin series, where her "earthy quality" would make more of an impression on the readers and her determination would be the vehicle for Watsuki's intended expression of "redemption for one's crimes".
Unfortunately, Watsuki felt some disappointment in the resultant character by the time Volume 4 was published, believing that he had failed to portray her in the manner he had intended.
- Megumi means "Blessing" in Japanese.
- The series' metaphoric joke of seeing her, Kaoru Kamiya, and Misao Makimachi as fox, badger, and weasel, all stems from a superstition based idiom, "The kitsune has 7 disguises, the tanuki has 8 disguises, and the ten/izuna has 9 disguises." Megumi fits as a kitsune, as she has "kitsune-gao" (lit. "fox-face"), which is often seen as attractive, and is something of a temptress around men she adores, with her cooking skills, medical skills, sense of womanhood and looks.