Episode 1 - Return of the wolf; Prologue of blood war


Under the red moon of the Tokugawa era, the Shinsen-gumi led by one of their leaders, Saitou Hajime wiped out a group of Royalists who were plotting to bring down the Meji Government. 2 men tried to escape but were cornered. Hitokiri Battousai appears and slashes some members of the Shisengumi. One of them, by the name of Okita challenged Battousai to a duel but was stopped by Saitou because Okita is too sick to fight. Saitou and Battousai launched towards each other.

Back to the present, Kenshin Himura (Hitokiri Battousai) awakes from his dream and looks at the storm. He has been having these dreams for some time and he is worried about them. Could they mean something?

At the Kamiya dojo, Doctor Genzai offers to treat them to a meal since one of his patients have successfully given birth to a baby boy (with Megumi's help, of course). On the way, Kenshin becomes distracted and looks at the river that is carrying the fallen Sakura petals. The river becomes red like blood. Kaoru sees him and tells the others that she will catch up them. She asks Kenshin what is wrong with him. Kenshin tells her about the Shinsen-gumi who were his greatest rivalries and how each of them tried to kill him. Even though, he doesn't hate them, the reason that they killed was that each of them was fighting for their own beliefs. Kaoru comments that it is odd that Kenshin recalls things that he doesn't want to remember. Kenshin is stunned by her remark.

Sanosuke mops around the Kamiya dojo, moaning that he could have missed a free meal. An herbal salesman enters and offers to sell some of his products. Sanosuke politely rejects but stops at the sight of the salesman's hand. The hands are not those from a salesman but those of a swordsman. The salesman says that Sanosuke Sagara is correct. Sanosuko leaps away. Who is he? How does he know his name? The salesman continues to say that he is looking for Kenshin but since he is not here then, he will leave a message behind.

Sanosuke makes the first move, punching the salesman in the face but to no avail. The salesman comments that Sanosuko may survive in this Meji Era at his level but will definitely die in the Tokugawa Era. He strikes with his sword, stabbing Sanosuke in the shoulder. He knocks him through the wall and into the dojo. Sanosuke fells while the sword breaks off. The salesman observes his sword and comments about getting a real Japanese sword since the new kind of sword is too brittle for a fight. Sanosuke gets up, heavily wounded and challenges him. The salesman obliges him by injuring him even further.

Kaoru and Yahiko observe that Kenshin is not his usual self as he was poking around his food the entire time. Megumi appears from nowhere and offers to 'treat' him. Kenshin tells himself that he has to stop getting distracted before it becomes too obvious. They entered the dojo and see a huge hole in the wall. Kenshin smells blood and rushes in to see a bleed Sanosuke.

At another restaurant, Saitou is having a mini conservation with his employer, Shibumi who was once a Royalist. Saitou pretends to be not interested in politics but rather in living comfortably. However, he is interested in why does Shibumi want to get rid of Kenshin who posed no threat, Shibumi's bodyguard, Akamatsu shuts him off. Shibumi quietly tells him that it is top secret and offers him something to eat. Saitou politely apologizes and prepares to leave. He walks away dressed as a policeman. Shibumi finds it that he is living in an ironic world and never thought that he would hire a Shinsen to do his dirty work. After the Tokugawa Era, Saitou has disappeared but resurfaced as a policeman. He believes that Saitou could finish the job. Akamatsu remains skeptical.

While Megumi treats the unconscious Sanosuke, Kenshin examines the damages. There is no doubt that Saitou Hajime was the one who attacked Sanosuke. This was the favourite trick of the Shinsen-gumi - to enter somebody's house as salesmen. The wound on Sanosuke is caused by Saitou's favourite move - the Fang thrust. It seems that Saitou has come back to settle old scores with him. His skills are still as sharp as ever. Can Kenshin defeat him and yet uphold his oath never to kill anyone?

Saitou walks down the street, knowing that Kenshin has probably figured out that he was the one who did it. Can Kenshin defeat him without killing him?