Rurouni Kenshin 28 by Nobuhiro Watsuki: A

From the back cover:
As the feared assassin of the Bakumatsu, Himura Kenshin killed in the name of the new era. As the rurouni of Meiji, he wielded a sakabato to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves, all along holding true to his vow to never take another life. Now Kenshin’s fight with Enishi has entered its final stage, as has his quest for atonement. Will another life be required to complete the circle? The road of redemption has been a long one for the world-weary swordsman, but now that Kenshin has found the will to live, can he muster the strength to survive?

Well, Jinchu’s ending was not terribly exciting, and I thought the Ryumeisen was pretty silly, but whatever. The end of act 250 is nice, though, and just sets in motion a lot of sad chapters as the members of the group begin to go their separate ways. I like the little details that Watsuki remembers to include. For example, in act 255, one of the students in the dojo is Ota. Remember Ota? I’d also probably give the volume high marks just for Kenji alone. Could he be cuter? I think not.

Ultimately, the best thing about this volume isn’t the climactic finish to the arc, but rather the time Watsuki takes in letting things wind down and allowing the audience to get some closure on what’s happening with each character. I can’t think of anything left unresolved, and some things were even included that I didn’t expect to see—Yahiko’s fifteenth birthday was great and sniff-inducing.

So, even if I wasn’t wowed by recent volumes, I can at least avow that it was worth it to continue to the very end.

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