Kanryū has brown center-parted hair and light brown eyes. He wears glasses and a light green suit with white gloves, a white undershirt, and a purple tie. He keeps his eyes closed with a polite smile while keeping his composure, though when he shows his true personality his eyes open and he develops a wide grin.
Kanryū seems to care only for money, as seen when he used Takani Megumi for making opium and didn't care about killing the very onmitsu that he hired as long as he kept his fortune. Kanryu tries to address others with a smile and composed, peaceful look, when in reality he looks down on everyone and has a quick temper that becomes apparent easily whenever he is insulted. He is narcissistic but also cowardly when he realizes his enemy is more powerful than him, trying to buy them off with money or run away. He has no regard for human life, assassinating some of his own men simply because they failed and eating as he heard them scream, and doesn't understand the concept of honor, as he couldn't grasp why Kenshin went to great lengths to save Megumi since there was no monetary benefit for him. He has enough intelligence and cunning to run a successful opium business, and nearly brought down even Kenshin and Aoshi, failing only because of the sacrifice of the four Oniwabanshu. He is severely arrogant, thinking his wealth can protect him and as a result hated Aoshi for talking back to him and saying what a coward he was while not listening to his orders. He truly is a spiteful disgusting creature who holds grudges against those he feels has wronged him, as he kills the Oniwabanshu simply because they talked back to him and is sadistic, having wanted to kill them off slowly, which proved to be his downfall as it allowed Beshimi the time to jam his gun with his dart long enough for Kenshin and Aoshi to stop him. He even tried to drag Megumi down with him as his accomplice, but failed when Kenshin silenced him.
A cunning money-minded industrialist, Takeda Kanryū (武田 観柳) starts an opium dealing business in Tokyo and forces Takani Megumi to make the drug after the murdering his previous opium maker for refusing to continue making this drug of death. The opium is a stronger, faster-working recipe called "Spider's Web." The purpose of his opium business is to generate enough profits to bring in modern Westernized weapons such as the Gatling gun and become an arms dealer, becoming the most powerful man in the world in the process. He hires his own private army in Tokyo, as well as the infamous Oniwabanshū who left Kyoto in search of never-ceasing combat. He thinks he has the Oniwabanshū under his thumb but when Himura Kenshin shows up at his mansion to save Megumi, he finds that he is mistaken. Instead, both Aoshi and his four personal men regard him as trash who is merely scum who attracts enemies, enemies they can then vanquish to further their reputation.
He resorts to using his Gatling gun to kill all his enemies in the mansion. He manages to kill the four Oniwabanshu as they protect their leader Shinomori Aoshi with a suicide charge. In the manga Kanryu uses all of his bullets killing the four members, and Kenshin defeats him in a furious rage. As Kanryu is arrested, he tries to get the police to arrest Megumi, but Kenshin puts a white lie, telling the police that Kanryu had forced Megumi, The police leave her alone (though this deception was not unnoticed by Okubo and his spies), as Kanryu is taken away. He is never seen again, presumably executed.
In the anime, the feeding ramp of his gun is jammed with a dart thrown by Beshimi, after which Kenshin renders him unconscious to be arrested by the police.
In Live Action FilmEdit
He was played by Teruyuki Kagawa, but he had Gein and Inui Banjin as his bodyguards, rather than the Oniwabanshu. Originally the two characters were Enishi's comrades who appeared much, much later. In the film, he is shown to be Saitō Hajime's enemy. When Kenshin and Sano roll over his body guards, he starts firing at them with his gatling gun. Saitō then comes in and uses his Gatotsu to perform an aerial attack, dodging the bullets and capturing Kanryu. At the end of the film, he's seen laughing while being taken to prison, trying in vain, to tell the escorting police officers to join him in the opium business.
- Although he was an opium dealer, Kanryū's true desire was to be an arms dealer.
- Kanryu is one of the only enemies of Kenshin's whom he truly detests without even the slightest bit of respect, the only others being the Hiruma brothers (Gohei and Kihei), Isurugi Raijūta and Otowa Hyōko. This is most likely because of Kanryu's cowardice, narcissism and complete disregard for human-life, as well as him having the nerve to ask Kenshin for mercy, after coercing Megumi into manufacturing opium for him and murdering 4 of the Oniwabanshu in cold blood. In fact, Yahiko considers him lucky that Kenshin had now swore off killing people, otherwise he apparently would have killed Kanyru on the spot.