If you’ve clicked here dare say you were sent over by owls member Shay, Jolly good. It’s the start of my group Owls Otaku Warriors For Liberty and Self Respect blog tour for March. Our group spreads the message of acceptance in all forms through our in depth analysis through anime. Make sure to go check out our February blog tour on the theme of “Flight” relating to Yuri On Ice Click here for all the posts from my fellow members.
“A sanctuary is a place of safety and stability. In anime, there are several different places and environments that characters call “home.” For this topic, we will be discussing various locations and settings within certain anime series.”
For this March blog tour Owls group will be focusing on the theme of Sanctuary, looking in different lights of how places, people, surroundings affect characters mentality and emotionally. Sanctuary I find is a very sacred word because for whatever situations you can face in life, being allowed to not have to fight and feel free, is what you should see in this meaningful word. The many paths of direction sanctuary can take is endless, the character I’ll be focusing fully on this entire post is someone who had a long journey till he could find sanctuary within himself and his valued conviction he wished to carry out.
Stained Kyoto, But The White Plum Bloomed
A character with the most burdens they carry has you entranced of how this man did a 180 wishing to change his way, a clearer conviction to carry out, never to kill again. Kenshin is a conflicted man, all starting from a childish, justifying plea to his master of wanting to do something now, with the on going shogunate war. This time period, world of politics, governing was at it’s breaking point, that weight of thinking a young Kenshin, blinded him of what his master was trying to teach him. Following his selfish decision to go into the chaotic war taking place in Kyoto, not finishing his teachings of the hiten mitsurugi, he ventured, adding to the blood shed.
Young Kenshin such full of innocence became easily tainted in the Kyoto setting, becoming a assassin known as battousai manslayer. He became a killing machine without feeling. Explaining Kenshin’s past roots is vital to make you see how in the beginning he had nothing put noble intentions, but would slowly become aware of the heavy burdens. He placed upon his well being. One of those burdens had the ultimate effect that brought a newly decided way he would live his life. Among those who he killed was a young woman’s husband Tomoe.
Of when these met Tomoe was sent by a opposing group to kill Kenshin but the two fell in love. Her falling in love with her husbands killer was not planned, if that had not occurred Kenshin may have remained a tainted soul. In the series she was referred to as a “White Plum” someone pure and innocent, she touched a part of Kenshin, noone seemed had been able to yet. Kenshin experienced calmness for the first time in his life, living with Tomoe in secret pretending to be husband and wife. The shift of change is unpredictable, meeting of who you don’t know, Kenshin experienced real living of how normal people do. Not like before, following orders, never questioning. He was convinced killing off all these politicians would rid the negative and bring relief, was blinded by his own selfish judgement.
The change in his conviction of living, way of life all came to the moment when Tomoe was a caught in the cross fire accidentally, loosing her life. The meaning of me explaining all of this to you is the effect of decisions Kenshin made, great impact it had on those around him without realising the implications. We all believe at many times in something were doing is right?, but was Kenshin wrong in his selfish decision? I agree to disagree as being young, witnessing his first bloodshed at a very young age. The mental effect of a kid witnessing someone being killed in front of you, it made teen Kenshin restless, leading to selfish thinking but with noble intention. The tainted setting of Kyoto, Kenshin found a new path through Tomoe, Should you think her of a shell of a woman for falling in love with her husbands killer? I did at first, she was a lost woman but her calm domineer, subsided a small fraction of linger doubts he had of what he had been doing all this time was right?
New Conviction: To Never Kill Again
Now that we have explored Kenshin’s past roots you’ll have a better understanding in the choice he made vowing to never kill again, becoming a wanderer. Wanting to help anyone he could, saw as penance for the lives he took beforehand. Making this decision for a new path for him to take, still was conflicted, more so than before. From his past self and the current wanderer he is now, How can a person like that mentally find any peace within themselves? Have no freedom from past mistakes?
Kenshin find minor solace in the chaotic, bloody war in Kyoto but not enough to let himself feel free from his past mistakes. People, how they effort us with their devoted support, passionate pleas has the greatest impact ever in life. The reason Kenshin began to believe in his conviction at the beginning was meeting upon Karou who welcomed him to stay with at her Dojo. She never judged Kenshin learning of his past, her kindness set alarm bells off to Kenshin. As he became a wanderer to avoid causing anyone trouble.
The developing relationships with Kaoru and others he meets Sanosuke a man for hire and young pick pocket Yahiko, In this group of people they alone had the greatest imprint on his well being, Kenshin at points in the series was ready to throw is life away. How conflicted he still felt inside of his past mistakes, carrying only a backward sword to save any soul he could, was it enough to repent in the truest sense?. Mentally he must have asked himself those sorts of questions over and over, How can you find comfort in yourself, your decisions all alone? Kenshin thought there was no away for him to find peace in himself or repent for his sins but to have his life thrown away.
Kaoru, Yahiko and Sanosuke’s belief and devoted support led Kenshin to finally learning that he did not have to take everything on alone. All his life up until now, he had never depended on noone, he ignored his masters teachings to venture on his own. The moment Kenshin realises of how blind he’s been towards his surroundings, is when he asks his master to teach him the last sword technique in the hiten mitsurugi style to defeat Shishio Makoto. I remember in the final moments Kenshin was ready to give it up all up, frustration driven of what it was he needed to learn to master the technique. There is that one thing deep inside of him he blind sighted. It’s what keeps us going when we are on the brink of hopeless, is the will to live, keep going. Kenshin was afraid to keep going, as he felt it was not right that he continued being alive, to feel selfish about it, that he should die for the lives he took.
From old enemies he befriended, battled, going back to Kyoto where it all began for him, the strong bonds he made with Kaoru, Yahiko, Sanosuke’s and others he had helped. The overwhelming feelings just rushed over Kenshin like a tidal wave, erupting all at once. After such a struggling journey, questioning his conviction to never kill, should he have the right to live? Kenshin after learning the attack. His divided conflict going on within himself was finally put to rest, he’d found sanctuary in his conviction and reassurance he would never return to the man he was once known as battousai manslayer.
The people he had come to known, who refused to give up on him were the sole reason Kenshin was able to find solace, comfort in the choice he made. To never kill went from burden to being his greatest strength, was amplified a fold of the desire to protect those who protected him. The other touching bonus in all this Kenshin being a wanderer, nowhere he had to call home, it took a long time but he found that home with Kaoru. Everytime he’d be off she would always say “Come Back Home”. Do you realise how strong of an impact those words can be for someone like Kenshin for anyone? It’s an indescribable feeling, of belonging like i said it was an extra bonus for dear Kenshin. So you see? The power of those in your life who refuse to give up on you, give you all the reassurance you’ll ever need in any decision you make. Kenshin’s learning his selfish desire to live, to feel allowed that, the belief from his those he came to wish to protect was Kenshin’s sanctuary.
I hope you all enjoyed this post, was great to be able to talk about one of my favourite male characters, his journey is inspiring to me. Felt this was the perfect time to express that. Please be on the look out for upcoming posts from my fellow Owls members This March:
If your interested in joining us click here !!
I’ll see you all in the next post !!