Episode 21 - Anji's awakening
Sanosuke sees Anji as a man who has lost his way. To his surprise, Anji gets up, taking out a memorial tablet (which took most of the impact from Sanosuke's Futae no Kiwami) from his inner clothing. The memorial tablet represents the souls of the children that he wasn't able to save 10 years ago, when the Meiji government has this anti-Buddhist campaign.
10 years ago, Anji (who was a lot thinner and less muscular) was a monk who adopted children whose parents were killed for opposing the Meiji government. The villagers considered them as troublemakers and want to get rid of them in order to gain some funding from the Meiji government. Anji decided to take the children to somewhere else where they start all over a family. At night, Anji was medicating at the waterfalls when he sensed something. He ran back and found the temple in flames. He was knocked unconscious by one of the villagers. He prayed that Buddha would protect the children. The next morning, all he found was their burnt corpses. Since then, he vowed to cleanse the world from corruption so that when the souls of the children are reborn, they are able to live in a 'pure' world. After mastering the Futae no Kiwami, he had his revenge on the villagers by smashing their skulls with his bare hands.
The battle still continues between the teacher and the student. Sanosuke understands the rage in Anji since he too has lost the people that he loved - especially the Sagara forces. He knows what it is like to live in anger everyday with bitterness. He was almost destroyed by his own hatred if he hasn't met Kenshin. Blood spattered across the ground. It seems like both fighters are determined to win.
Saitou notices the sword around Anji's waist - an unusual weapon for a monk. Sanosuke remembers Anji had used the sword to disintegrate the stone statutes to dust by stabbing it into the ground. (Somehow, Anji has mastered the technique of transferring the Futae no Kiwami through objects to the target) He tries to leap away but he is too late, he is thrown off by the impact. Anji stabs the sword into the ground again. Sanosuke recovers and leaps high up. Both men punch.
Sanosuke hopes that Anji will let go his hatred and stop blaming himself for the deaths of the children. While both men are temporarily unconscious, Anji dreams about the children who had died in the fire. One of them, Subaki, hopes to stay with him forever even when she has grown up. Tears flows down Anji's face, what has he done? Remorse consumed him.
Kenshin kneels next to the exhausted Sanosuke who weakly tells them that they should go ahead without him. He will catch up when he has recovered. Anji informs that the trio that they have to return to Aoiya. The rest of the Juppongatana will be attacking them. Kenshin and Saitou decide to continue with the battle since they have no choice. They would just have to hurry. Anji volunteers to take care of Sanosuke for them. Kenshin hands him the bottle of medicine that Megumi had made.
Shishio's men are surrounding Aoiya and Usui is waiting for the trio in the next room.
Anji with the orphans
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