Yukishiro Enishi (
Enishi is described by Watsuki as very handsome, probably “too beauty for a villain”. He has black eyes (highlighted with a blue hue) and spiky white hair, which occasionally casts a shadow over his eyes. He wears a Chinese-made outfit consisting of orange pants with a blue line running down each outside leg, a skin-tight dark blue tank top, and an orange jacket with blue running down the middle, blue cuffs, and a blue-lined collar. He also wears a blue half-cape and slings his watō over his back in a light brown bag. The trademark feature of Enishi, however, is the small round sunglasses he wore until they broke in his final fight with Kenshin. It is possible that Enishi wore his sunglasses to contend with the sensory overload caused by the Nerves of Insanity, which increased his sensory perception, even in its non-active state.
As a child, Enishi wore a basic outfit for a commoner of the era, and his hair was black and shorter. When he was seen by Kenshin at Toba-Fushimi, his hair had turned completely white and his clothes and body had been considerably damaged and worn. He was also in possession of a sword.
When he was younger, Enishi was mostly indifferent to all except his older sister, Tomoe, whom he deeply loves and respects. As an adult, he is also shown to care no less for his dead sister than he did as a child, which is seen when he laments her death and wishes to see her "smile" in his mind, hoping that his Jinchū appeases her spirit. He usually wears a façade of polite happiness while talking to the Six Comrades or others he wishes to gain the trust of, though in actuality he cares little for those around him. He acted the same toward Kenshin at first in an attempt to spite him. However, his true feelings are soon revealed, as Enishi shows himself to utterly despise Kenshin with his entire being, wanting nothing less than to make Kenshin go through the same living hell that he himself went through.
After Tomoe's death and before his defeat, time "stopped moving" for Enishi, shown by how he harbours an extremely vengeful and anger-fuelled personality as well as being short-tempered, unstable, delusional and incredibly ruthless. However, despite these many flaws, Enishi is also quite strategic, elaborate and extremely persistent, with how he develop a complex plan to make his worst enemy suffer. Above all, Enishi is shown to be very obsessive, as his entire life since his sister's departure has revolved around avenging her, to the point where his desire for revenge kept him alive in the harshest of conditions and that carrying out Kenshin's torment was stated to now be his only joy in life. Enishi has been mentally tormented after witnessing Tomoe's death, his existence since her departure having been described as a living hell. His somewhat softer side is also shown when he is seen communicating with his dead sister.
After being defeated by Kenshin, his spirit is broken and he goes through a similar state of hopelessness and depression as his brother-in-law, though his father states that he would find new purpose in life someday and would recover like Kenshin had.
- Yukishiro Tomoe (older sister)
- Tomoe was the one to take care of Enishi, as their mother passed away shortly after giving birth to him. Enishi saw Tomoe not only as a sister, but also as a mother figure, and he grew to love her dearly. He left his home as a nine-year-old boy just so he could help complete her revenge and to be near her again. After her death, Enishi began seeing illusions of her and constantly wished to see her smile, believing he was capable of doing anything and was doing the right thing if she did, Enishi believed that he didn't need anyone else in his life, so long as he had her. In the end, he was given her diary in which her true feelings for Kenshin were recorded in and he was shown to be unable to throw it away. Tomoe was definitely the most important person in Enishi's life, even after her untimely death, and was stated to be the only person Enishi cared about protecting.
- Geezer (father)
- Enishi met Geezer in Rakuninmura and although noting he looked familiar, he didn't recognize him, since they had last seen each other when he was a child. Their relationship when they were still a family is unknown, though his father was supposedly a kind man who treated his family well.
- Enishi disliked Kiyosato's proposal to Tomoe at first, supposedly having a hard time with the news, but he was all too quickly killed by Kenshin, leaving his sister devastated. After Tomoe left to avenge her fiancée, Enishi followed soon after, wanting to help her.
- Himura Kenshin (rival/jinchū target/brother-in-law)
- He was Enishi's brother in law and Tomoe's husband. He is the one who murdered Kiyosato Akira and Tomoe in cold blood. Enishi admitted to Tomoe that he worked with the Yaminobu so he could help her in her revenge. Enishi witnessed Kenshin's accidental killing of Tomoe, which left him traumatized and in a state of perpetual shock, resulting in his hair turning white. It is fair to say that Enishi despises Kenshin wholeheartedly, wanting nothing more than for him to suffer and go through the same living hell he himself had been through after his sister had been killed before his very eyes.
- Kamiya Kaoru (victim)
- He kidnapped Kaoru as his hostage to a remote Island. Despite wanting to kill her, he could not, for the shock that had turned his hair white from seeing his sister die had remained as a wound in his soul, leading him to see part of his sister in every young woman. After Heishin tried to shoot Kenshin, Kaoru tried to protect him by using herself as a shield, very similar to how Tomoe put herself in between Kenshin and Tatsumi. Enishi then saved Kaoru by knocking Heishin out. Kaoru was ultimately the one to give Enishi his sister's diary, believing it was appropriate for him to have it and know the truth.
- Woo Heishin (subordinate)
- Heishin was Enishi's second in command. The two were supposedly a famous ruling pair in Shanghai, with Enishi ruling directly with power whilst Heishin specialized in management and planning. Enishi disliked Heishin for his continuous persistence that he destroy Kenshin immediately rather than waste time facing him in combat. On the flipside, Heishin was shown to harbour similar feelings towards his own boss, irritated by Enishi's belief that he owns him as well as his general mishandling of the organization itself. Despite this, they are usually shown addressing each other in a polite manner.
Born in May of 1855, Enishi was the younger brother of Tomoe by roughly nine years. Enishi's mother died giving birth to him, which left Tomoe to become the motherly role in his life. He loved his sister greatly and was devastated when she accidentally died at Kenshin's hands. Because of this, Enishi hated Kenshin with an almost inhuman passion ever since Tomoe's death, though he did hold great animosity for him even before then for destroying his sister's happiness by killing her fiancée, to the point of joining the plot to kill the Battousai as a nine-year-old boy to help his sister. In his eyes, Kenshin had murdered Tomoe intentionally, not by accident. Because of his rage and extreme emotional pain, his hair turned white and his eyes turquoise. It is unknown what Enishi got up to between his sister's death and fleeing the country, however, the rest of his family was sundered sometime during the war. After encountering Kenshin again at the battle of Toba-Fushimi, Enishi left the now changed Japan for Shanghai, not wanting to live in a country created by the revolutionaries and the one who killed his sister.
Enishi's life in Shanghai was an incredibly difficult one; he frequently found himself stricken with disease, starvation and physical injuries, being on the brink of death many times and barely surviving each time, as the desire to avenge Tomoe was the only thing left in his heart. However, at some point, a wealthy Japanese family took Enishi in and nursed him back to health. He claimed that once he was healthy again, he murdered the family in cold blood and robbed them of their fortune, as the sight of a family living in happiness was unbearable to him because his own had been destroyed by Kenshin. While looting, he came across a book known as Tantō Hōsen, which laid the foundation for him to learn Watōjutsu, a combination of both Japanese and Chinese sword arts studied by Ming Dynasty-era generals.
According to him, Watōjutsu was key in rising to the top of the Shanghai underground. At some point, he established an organization that specialised in illicit weapons manufacturing and trafficking. It was Enishi who sold Shishio Makoto the Rengoku class battleship and he claimed to own at least ten more. He did this to both sustain himself in Shanghai and acquire the funds and forces necessary to plan and carry out the Jinchū.
After spending over a decade in China, Enishi decided to return to Japan to begin his revenge on Kenshin. He recruited the help of five others: Inui Banjin, Otowa Hyōko, and Gein (who were simply mercenaries), as well as Kujiranami Hyōgo and Yatsume Mumyōi (who also held grudges against Kenshin), who all met together in a mansion in Yokohama. Enishi then set in motion the plan to avenge the death of his older sister, and his own torment. He orchestrated attacks against acquaintances of Kenshin; his comrades destroyed the Akabeko, the Maekawa Dojo and the Uramura residence, injuring several people as well. After the attacks, Enishi met Kenshin on a bridge, revealing that the weapons used by his comrades were provided by him through his syndicate and declaring his intent to attack the Kamiya Dojo with them ten days from then. He informed his comrades of his plans back in Yokohama and was seen lamenting Tomoe's death, wondering why she had to die out loud. After the ten-day waiting period, Enishi supplied his allies with new and improved weaponry, provided by his organization directly and the attack began
After all of his comrades were defeated, Enishi came down to confront his brother-in-law directly. During Enishi and Kenshin's first battle, Enishi was able to counter the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu ōgi (Ultimate Attack), Amakekeru Ryu No Hirameki with his own Watōjutsu Zetsugi (Ultimate Attack), Kofuku Zettōsei, after being able to find a weakness in the ōgi, which Kenshin used in his battle with Gein. However, he claimed that the important part was that his sister was smiling for him, which allowed him to overcome his enemy. Afterwards, he announced the true intention of his revenge, to take the person Kenshin holds dearest away from him. Kenshin and company were separated by a smoke cloud caused by Gein. Upon seeing Enishi make his way towards Kaoru, however, Kenshin suddenly leapt at him and began beating him to a bloody pulp, but when Kujiranami suddenly attacked Kenshin by surprise, Enishi was able to continue making his way to Kaoru. He came across her, and when she was next seen, she had Enishi's sword impaled through her heart, with a cross scar on her left cheek resembling that of Kenshin. Seeing Kaoru dead, Kenshin was broken and lost all will to live. He went into a state of recluse in an area called Rakuninmura, thus completing Enishi's plans for revenge.
However, the Kaoru with the cross scar was nothing more than an elaborate doll created by Gein as discovered by Shinomori Aoshi, who made his way to Kyoto along with Makimachi Misao. The real Kaoru was at an island house alone with Enishi, who was recuperating from his injuries after his battle with Kenshin. Filled with glee and joy at avenging his sister, Enishi was soon shocked to see that the image of her in his mind was no longer smiling at him. Confused and startled, he desperately tried to choke Kaoru to death as he believed Tomoe was disappointed that Battōsai's replacement was still alive. However, he was ultimately unable to do so, being violently sick after attempting to kill her. This is because Enishi saw some of Tomoe in every young woman as a direct result of him witnessing her death. Soon Kenshin learned that Kaoru was indeed alive, and at that point, Enishi announced that it was not enough to send Kenshin to a living hell and that he would send him to the true hell shortly after, believing that the Tomoe in his heart would smile for him if he did so.
In their second battle, Enishi brought out more of his Watōjutsu techniques and was able to completely block Kenshin's Kuzu-ryūsen. The battle appeared to be in Enishi's favor, especially after he used a technique called the "nerves of insanity" to increase his speed and power multifold. However, Kenshin used a Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu technique called Ryu Mein Sen, which created a sonic boom that travelled deep into Enishi's ear, affecting his equilibrium. Kenshin notes that Enishi's fighting style and personality are all centred around offense, to which Enishi replies that he has no need for defense as Kenshin had already stolen the only thing he ever wanted to protect from him. They exchanged their respective succession techniques once again (i.e. Amakakeru Ryu No Hirameki and Kofuku Zettōsei). This time, it was Kenshin who got the better of the exchange, as not only had Kenshin also seen his opponent's ultimate attack and was without doubt, but Enishi had lost his confidence at a critical point in the clash, where he called for his sister to smile at him which she did not, resulting in Enishi letting go of his own sword. Kenshin broke Enishi's sword and defeated him.
After the battle, Enishi saved Kaoru's life, who had thrown her body in front of Kenshin's, ready to take a bullet from Heishin, an associate of Enishi. But before he could kill Heishin, Kenshin intervened and prevented him from doing so, stating that he would no longer let anyone die if he could help it. He also told Enishi to put an end to everything, and that he would lose Tomoe's smile forever if he continued with his ways, to which Enishi appeared to be very shocked. After letting go of his fist, Kenshin thanked Enishi for saving Kaoru's life, which resulted in Enishi collapsing to the ground, beginning to weep like a baby and lamenting the fact that she was not the person he wanted to protect.
Defeated, a now broken Enishi was cuffed and taken by the police, but before he was taken away from the Kenshingumi to never see them again, Kaoru gave him his sister's diary. He and the diary disappeared sometime before they landed in Tokyo Bay. Saitō Hajime considered the search for Enishi a waste of manpower as he was no longer capable of harming even a fly, so he transferred to a new assignment.
Sometime after the incident, Kenshin and Kaoru decided to visit Tomoe's grave in Kyoto whilst he was still recovering from his wounds. They noticed that Enishi had since left flowers at her grave. Kaoru pondered the fate of Enishi, saying that he claimed the only punishment for murder is death, but that he too had taken lives and sold weapons to people who had done the same. She asked if Enishi killed himself, to which Kenshin responded that he thinks he's still alive. He claimed that when time stopped moving for him fifteen years ago, he never would have figured that out, but now that time had resumed moving for him it wouldn't be like that anymore. Kenshin declared that Enishi would also pay for his crimes and seek atonement, that if he didn't do that and smile himself, the Tomoe in his heart would never smile. However, he stated that the real Tomoe was kinder than anyone or anything, so she would watch over Enishi forever.
Enishi was last seen in the Kyoto equivalent of Rakuninmura, clutching his sister's diary and with the same void expression Kenshin had when he thought Kaoru dead. Geezer eventually arrived (who is actually Enishi's father) and asked Enishi if they had ever met before. Enishi confirmed his suspicions, stating that he had seen his face before. Geezer was amused by the fact that they recognized each other and went to say that because he could not let go of something (the diary), he would someday leave that place as Kenshin did and find a new purpose in life, but that for the time being he should think of the scenario as a kind of fate and simply rest.
A highly skilled swordsman more than a match for Kenshin, Enishi is the master of the Watōjutsu, a sword style that he taught himself. It is composed of the speed and slashing style of kenjutsu and the strength and flexibility of the typical Chinese sword art used in conjunction with the Watō, a Chinese-made Japanese tachi. His Watōjutsu style is entirely based on offense and power, heedless of defense; he rarely attempts to block but rather counter-attacks his opponent to utilize his superior offense. Enishi's Watōjutsu, combined with his command of speed and height, proves effective in matching and perfectly countering many of the techniques in Kenshin's Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū. Consequently, he is the only person to ever fully block a Kuzu Ryūsen; when Kenshin attempted the technique again, Enishi prevented him from even finishing the first strike. Enishi's ultimate attack, the Kofuku Zettōsei (虎伏絶刀勢 Crouching Tiger Severing Sword Rush), was even able to counter the Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki, Kenshin's own ultimate attack (although this was mainly due to Kenshin being unable to execute it perfectly - when performed to perfection in their rematch, the Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki defeated Enishi's Kofuku Zettōsei).
In addition to his Watōjutsu, Enishi possesses the "Frenzied Nerves" (狂経脈 Kyōkeimyaku, "Nerves of Insanity"). When using this ability, the nerves throughout his entire body bulge and he becomes super sensitive to everything around him. In this state, Enishi's senses, strength, speed, and reaction time dramatically increase, enabling him to immediately react to attacks before they are performed. Consequently, his opponent is completely outmatched in every way offensively. Enishi developed this ability as a result of a continually active brain state, even when sleeping, born from Enishi's hatred for Kenshin and desire to avenge Tomoe's death. He claims it is a gift given to him by his sister to take revenge on Kenshin. However, it is a double-edged sword that lowers his defensive capabilities of being struck physically, increasing the pain greatly due to his increase nerves, as well as through his extremely heightened senses, thus it can be used against him.
- The dichotomy between him and Kenshin has often been compared to that between a tiger and a dragon. It is quite a fitting comparison, seeing as Enishi's fighting style relies on straightforward attacks that emphasize power, while Kenshin's put more emphasis on speed and agility, much like the broad, muscular build of a tiger compares to the slim, slender build of an Oriental dragon. It also can be seen in their swords as well as where they spent much of their time before the Jinchū arc: Enishi in the West, and Kenshin in the East, much like the cardinal directions that the tiger and dragon respectively represent. Even their hair shows this, Enishi's white hair, and Kenshin's crimson hair.
- Enishi's concept/model is 'revenge', and was designed as a depressive and emotional villain who was to fall deeper and deeper in contrast to Shishio, who climbed higher and higher. However, Watsuki admits that because Shishio's influence remained, Enishi came out sort of 'wishy-washy'. Watsuki has also stated that in hindsight, the obsessive nature of the character would have been fit for the terminator-type character he has always wanted to depict and has stated in interviews that if he were to re-draw the arc he would make Enishi the sole antagonist, fighting Kenshin for what he had lost. Watsuki has stated that Enishi's obsessive personality, admiration and deep feelings for his sister and extreme hatred of Kenshin are a reflection of his dark side and that whilst Shishio represents aspects he considers positive, Enishi represents the things he believes are negative and destructive. He mentioned that even though he fell into bouts of self-disgust whilst drawing him, he felt attachment to Enishi and that he would like to use him again in a later work, much like Tomoe.