Rurouni Kenshin 26 by Nobuhiro Watsuki: C+

From the back cover:
If there’s one thing tough-as-nails street brawler—and ex-Sekiho Army cadet—Sagara Sanosuke can’t stand, it’s hypocritical, loudmouthed braggarts who talk the talk but are incapable of walking the walk. Finding himsef in the middle of a provincial squabble between an old man and the local yakuza, Sano returns to his old “fight merchant” ways and agrees to do some ad hoc butt kicking for pay. But the old man he’s hired to tangle with might be his strongest foe to date.

Review:
The majority of this volume involves Sanosuke fighting to help protect a town from some yakuza creeps. It’s pretty durn boring. There are a couple of out-of-character references by the characters to the fact that they’re in a manga, which I didn’t find too amusing, and Sano seemed to be going a little haywire with the “giving people nicknames” deal. It does, however, introduce the character of Ota, who is totally lovable, even though he doesn’t say a single word. I’d like to see what becomes of him someday.

Finally, in the last few chapters, we return to Kenshin and the others in Tokyo, with the conflict with Enishi just about to come to fruition. Except, right at the end, it doesn’t happen! In fact, it doesn’t even not happen! What I mean is, something gets in the way between the gang and Enishi, and then we don’t see that fight because it’s going to happen in volume 27. I’d be more frustrated by this if I didn’t already have 27, courtesy of Waldenbooks getting theirs in crazy early.

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