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Is the Battosai Beatable?

Yes
60%
 60%  [ 20 ]
NO. Hes INVINCIBLE
39%
 39%  [ 13 ]

Total_votes : 33

 
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Is kenshin Unbeatable? If yes Who!!
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slippy (#46880)
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Technically, Idolo is right. The "Ama Kakeru Ryu No Hirameki" is really just a generic Hiten term for "succession movement." There isn't any one correct technique, it's basically whatever you can do to beat your Hiten master's best move, which is usually their "Kuzu Ryu Sen."

In other words, the "Ama" move doesn't actually exist. (This is one of the neat philosophical aspects of the show.) Hiko teaches Kenshin his move, the "Kuzu", which is the "Ama"/succession move used to beat his own master. As he points out, he can teach Kenshin his move, but there's no way Kenshin can beat Hiko with the Kuzu. The Kuzu, in other words, reflects Hiko having arrived at the end of his journey in knowing thyself through martial arts. Kenshin is nothing like Hiko; not only his build, but his swordsmanship, although of the same style, reflects Kenshin's nature, not his master's. His "Ama" move, the ultimate expression of the sworsman's will, the final destination of knowing thyself, is simply different than Hiko's.

Thus since there is no move per se, the only way to teach "Ama" or the "trial of succession" to Kenshin is to present him the riddle, the underlying conflict of Kenshin's nature as swordsman. Hiko, being the master of Kenshin and the guiding principles of Hiten (everybody protects people for different reasons), understands that the internal conflict of Kenshin's nature (at least, the damage to that nature after practicing Hiten as an assassin) is in valuing life, his and others. If Kenshin solves his existential riddle, he finally arrives at masterhood of himself and his swordsmanship. He arrives at the move that best reflects his innate nature and will.

And when Kenshin truly comes to terms with himself as "battou-sai", he succeeds Hiko with his "battou"-jutsu. That is, the very sword-drawing technique that made him the legendary sword-drawing(battou) assassin(sai) arrives at the highest, most virtuous (or "heavenly") level.

To have the "strongest" style sort of represents a spiritual attainment that transcends technique, a higher spiritual level. Kenshin's swordsmanship/will defeats Hiko's swordsmanship/will. Seta (faster foot speed, unreadable), Shishio (reads moves the best), and Hiko (smarter, stronger) are all superior fighters to Kenshin. But if Kenshin taught his move to Seta Soujirou, Kenshin would still beat him because Kenshin's Ama move cannot reflect Seta's purest nature/will. And if Kenshin's best move wasn't his sword-drawing technique, then he would have to deduce a different Ama move. Everybody wants to say they have the strongest style because, essentially, everyone wants to say they and only they know and master the "true" order of the world. Kenshin as a boy wanted to be strongest because he saw the world as a bloody chaos needing decisive, speed justice. Saito wanted to be strongest (at least in his clan) to reinforce the Shishengumi dictum of "Kill Evil Now", the moral world defined between the primal connection between righteousness and death. Shishio wanted to be strongest to realize his Darwinian viewpoint of the world; his world was defined by ruthelessness and cunning. And so on. When the "age chooses Kenshin", basically they're saying that fate/determinism/the-gods/annals-of-history has said that Kenshin's world-view, spiritual order has won.

In that regard, it's not only that Kenshin's style beats everybody, but that the spiritual, moral universe of Kenshin's beliefs wins over all the other possibilities. The age chooses the dream of the Meiji.

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Abekith (#39669)
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Kenshin beatable

Wow! What a wonderful explination. I enjoyed reading it, and it was a nice background/philisophical point of view.

But, if I take your point totally for what its worth... then explain this to me. Later on, when Kenshin meets up with Amaksa Shougo (sp), how is it that he knew the Kuzu Ryu Sen, along with the Ama Kakeru Ryu No Hirameki, if his teacher didn't defeat his master... Hiko did. Using what you said, it would seem that Kenshin had to 'create' the succession technique, when, in fact, Hiko had to use it as well. Therefore, Amaksa wouldn't know the move. (he did 'create' the Rai Ryu Sen, but still...).
Hiko even said the Kuzu Ryu Sen is his most "stylish technique"... but it isn't the succesion technique.

Now, granted that Hiko/Shishio/Soujirou were either stronger, faster, or whatever (Kenshin could read/determine moves just as good as Shishio, btw)... and I agree with you that Kenshin's spirit/will were what allowed him to win (it was even shown it in one episode that they fight in)... but in skill, he's still able to defeat them. (thought w/ Hiko, he could possibly lose or end in a draw... same goes for any student and master).

:
The "Ama Kakeru Ryu No Hirameki" is really just a generic Hiten term for "succession movement."


That isn't totally true. It does have a name to it; a literal translation of "Heaven's Soaring Dragon Flash". Check out http://ruroken.8m.com/hitenmrhtm.htm for an explanation on each technique used.
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Mike (#43833)
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Yes, a very good explanation indeed, and the link to the Kenshin techniques is very cool, too. So, is Kenshins master better than kenshin? Hmmm..... that's a tough question because after he did teach him the ougi and other final techniques they would be equal, no? Kenshin was finally able to pull it all together and become stronger, like his master.
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slippy (#46880)
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Later on, when Kenshin meets up with Amaksa Shougo (sp), how is it that he knew the Kuzu Ryu Sen, along with the Ama Kakeru Ryu No Hirameki, if his teacher didn't defeat his master... Hiko did. Using what you said, it would seem that Kenshin had to 'create' the succession technique, when, in fact, Hiko had to use it as well. Therefore, Amaksa wouldn't know the move. (he did 'create' the Rai Ryu Sen, but still...).


Yeah, but the Christian arc used magic and has nothing to do with the manga and blah blah blah . . . Wink Plus the succession technique should have guaranteed only two people mastering Hiten (at that level) at any one time. My general feeling is, if nobody was better at Kuzu than Hiko, then nobody would be alive to tell it. Wink

:
Now, granted that Hiko/Shishio/Soujirou were either stronger, faster, or whatever (Kenshin could read/determine moves just as good as Shishio, btw)... and I agree with you that Kenshin's spirit/will were what allowed him to win (it was even shown it in one episode that they fight in)... but in skill, he's still able to defeat them. (thought w/ Hiko, he could possibly lose or end in a draw... same goes for any student and master).


In Shishio's case, the fight essentially ends in a stalemate. Kenshin's will didn't really defeat Shishio's; it was essentially luck, or rather the History that arbitrated which person's philosophy would win the battle. While one can argue, well, had Kenshin used his blade to kill, Shishio would have died. But I think that misinterprets the fight itself. Their fight arrives at an allegorical, figurative conclusion, one where essentially Watsuki is arguing against *who* is strongest, but *what* is right. Both Kenshin's and Shishio's philosophies are valid and have been used at some point in Japan's history; that is the spiritual force which drives men into creating history. The individual (and individidual will) is subsumed into a spiritual discourse on fate and history.

I'd say Shishio reads opponents better than Kenshin; it is both his fighting ability and his intellect to research and anticipate his opponents like a chess plan that keeps the Kyoto Arc moving. For example, he knows that Saito will strike for his head. He knows what and how his Battousai opponent will arrive. That in itself would be the only reason why Shishio could remain Soujirou's master. Shishio properly read Kenshin's succession move (albeit with the hint), but the nature of the movement still defeated him.

Soujirou is a unique fighter because he has god-given abilities and he, unlike Kenshin, killed the first time he held a sword. In other words, unlike Kenshin who could have been different things had history not impaled him, Soujirou was, essentially, *born* to be a great swordsman. There was some speculation that Watsuki had considered doing a 4th arc with Kenshin and Soujirou in the teacher/mentor relationship, and perhaps he'd explore that. Soujirou's footwork and sword-drawing was inbred, and he wasn't really taught a proper philosophy (as Shishio's nihlism isn't really a philosophy.) Kenshin only wins because he knows himself, whereas Soujirou doesn't. Soujirou's ability to clowd his face implies his naivete/ignorance of his darker nature, the very thing that most martial arts systems intends to master.

In a sense, Kenshin's "enemy" was really the Hiten style. At different times in his career, he was opposed to different aspects of the philosophy of the Hiten style. In the beginning, he let somebody else arbitrate who was good and evil, thus using Hiten recklessly. In the present time, he used a reverse-blade style even though Hiten was designed to assign judgement by killing. In the end, the Hiten style's more "divine" techniques were an ill match for his body and did irrecoverable damage to him.

Thus, in that regard, Hiko was a superior practitioner of the Hiten style than Kenshin. Not only did he have a stronger constitution, but he arrives at a spiritual point where there was no contradiction or hypocrisy to his philosophical and spiritual connection with his swordsmanship. He teaches Kenshin the style, not merely because he's brave, but because the Kenshin boy, when burying all of the bodies, seemed to already understand the elusive difference in good/evil men. He already had a Buddha acetism. But later on, that is far removed from Kenshin the adolescent, who sees the world in black and white, and is strayed by his passions. In letting Hiko down, he betrays the Hiten style.

:
That isn't totally true. It does have a name to it; a literal translation of "Heaven's Soaring Dragon Flash".


Yeah, I've been to that site before . . . and it leaves me scratch my head how the Hiten style is all that different from traditional kendo with a few jumps. Very Happy

Sword drawing is fascinating, though. Watsuki's idea of using your left foot, I guess, is based on the rotational speed gained by turning your hip. Problem being that you not only may cut into your leg but you're also lunging into your opponent.

Believe it or not, that idea of using a "rotational draw" is akin to what Barry Bonds does with his swing. Sword-drawing uses oppositional forces (the lead arm drawing against the sheath) creates a lot of torque. That's akin to what Bonds does with the handle of the bat. If you're interested in baseball, check out www.batspeed.com

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Caddberry (#27690)
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About Shishio VS. Kenshin.. Kenshin was in BAD shape before he met up with Shisiho.. So really.. You should take that into advisement before saying shishio winning was luck.. I mean.. It was luck, but if kenshin hadn't been through hell already it might have been more on the side of Shisiho getting nailed..

I also think that Kenshin's master might be able to take him.. His master said that because he had a bigger build than kenshin he had more power when these forces would meet.. I dont know really.. I suppose its however you want to look at it..
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slippy (#46880)
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You know, I think the fatigue/wounds must have really gotten to him. Kenshin did some really, really dumb stuff when he initially fought Shishio. I mean, he basically walked into his moves like a newbie!

Shishio's unique in that he's the most defensively adept fighter in the anime and, well, he cheats big time. If Kenshin had gunpowder in his wrist and a flaming sword, yeah Kenshin would have owned the mummied one. But if you take away Shishio's gimmicks, I didn't really see evidence that he could have really defeated Kenshin in a true swordsfight.

Ironically, though they shared a master and student relationship, Shishio and Seta are sort of the opposites in swordsmanship. Seta has god-given talent for the sword; it seemed he already knew how to wield a sword when he killed his first person. Seta is all offense and he even telegraphs his moves to Kenshin; conversely, he has no defense and expects to wipe out his opponent in 2-3 seconds. Shishio reads moves and uses his defense against his opponent. Shishio's style is mature because he's fought hundreds and hundreds of opponents in battle, whereas Seta has technique and still treats his style in the abstract. Which is to say, that Seta's swordsmanship lacks philosophy (or knowing of self.) That implies Shishio only taught him technique, and not how to become a true swordsman. Thus Shishio was a false master.

One of the things I love about the OVA is how the fight choreography is detailed and distinctive enough to give you an idea of what these specialized techniques and styles might have been like in real life. Although the Kuzu technique is impossible, we do see a sequence where Hiko seems to split a guy into three parts; it kind of looks like the "Kuzu" technique because he doesn't begin with any formal position to strike any point of the body. In other words, it's all of one movement.

Also the OVA really underlines the Hiten style's original purpose, which was to kill as many opponents as possible. In real combat, most fights were completed in a few swings, if that, and with a large # of people, everybody's positioning and point of attention is in a state of flux and attention. In other words, if you had 4 guys picking a fight with you, it's unlikely that all 4 -- if they were average fighters -- would be able to coordinate their movement together. One would attack you, and the other three would react. If your skill level is higher than each of the fighters, than mastering the Hiten style means you will be able to defeat all of the opponents around you by taking advantage of their "group chaos." There's various sequences where Kenshin plows through a group of people with almost seamless continuation, as if he is able to read every possible's moves and plot a continuous course from one guy to the next guy to the next guy. And because they're not reacting so much to Kenshin but the fight between Kenshin and "that guy", they're not properly set to fight him. In other words, his ability to evaluate everybody's positions and moves around him enables him to create a continuous parade of moves. This produces the illusion that he's reacting to his opponents moves before they do them, that he is moving at godlikespeed.

And at the same time, his style doesn't prove as advantageous when he's fighting another of comparable skill level. Against opponents where he can't strike down in one or two moves, he has to rely on more basic kenjutsu. If you have a chance, watch how he fights Okita, specifically Okita's (and Saito's) various stabbing moves. Kenshin has problems getting into Okita's space to swing at him. Instead he uses primarily two-handed defensive moves until he's able to get a proper angle and slide down Okita's own sword to strike. The brief fight between Saito and Kenshin also plays out the same way, where Kenshin primarily uses defensive moves since he's unable to properly strike after Saito's gatotsu.

That, in turn, gives context to Hiko's criticism about Kenshin relying too much on reading his opponents. Like a basketball player, Kenshin can read an entire room full of people's seemingly chaotic movements. This lets him plot his moves several steps away, provided he can wipe out his next opponent in a few strikes. Ergo, "godlike" speed. When he can't (fighting against a unique style, fighting against a superlative opponent), there's not that much he can do except play defensive moves. His ability to deconstruct another style (that is, to understand the "nature" or philosophy of opponent) was not as strong in his days as Battousai. If he couldn't beat you with his sword draw or pure sword technique, you could maybe fight even with him. As Saito did.

In contrast, Saito, Hiko, Seta, and Aoshi impose their will on others. In Saito's case, even though Shishio was clearly fencing his moves, Saito continues to attack offensively with the same set of moves, not really taken a defensive stance. Saito, in knowing himself, embraces his swordsmanship and has become one with its precision and nature. Seta, though lacking in self-knowledge, too goes on full-attack, forcing his style, which he created, upon others. Even when losing to Shishio and Kenshin, Aoshi also lives on his core style and refuses to play according to his opponent.

Against equal or "better" opponents, Kenshin doesn't attain this imposition of will until his second meeting with Hiko. Kenshin's final two moves becomes the basis for Kenshin willing himself over others. Because it is impossible (horizontally) to block or deflect the Hiten Succession Technique, Kenshin must master himself in order to master others. At the most critical juncture, he doesn't need to read his single opponent in order to win. Rather, he, like Saito and others, learns to rely on his innate swordsmanship to defeat others.

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Abekith (#39669)
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kenshin sword battles

the only thing i don't get is... where in the Christian Arc do they use magic? they never did. That was used at the end w/ the Wind and Water clans.
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slippy (#46880)
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I consider Shougo's blinding light sword tricks to be magical too. That he goes blind is a little iffy for a few days until he's released is iffy in my book. Sure they did a similar trick with Jin-eh, but that wasn't central to the story arc. Plus the flame trick on the boat seems kinda suspicious as well. Wink

I had some problems with the way they had the two Hiten practioners work out their styles against each other. I didn't even think it was nearly as well-thought out as the other fights.

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Blue-Jay (#65681)
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@ Slippy: wow, quite nice detailed posts, I really enjoyed reading them.

Well, for me Kenshin is definately almost unbeatable but there is no one no such thing as a"completely unbeatable fighter"... Razz
And I also believe that Kenshin is at the same level of his master.
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slippy (#46880)
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After rereading the manga, I've no doubt now that Hiko Seijuro is the best fighter in the Kenshin universe.

The thing is, if you read it closely, I'm not sure Kenshin was actually supposed to go through the succession ritual. Hiko describes the prerequisite for succession as having your student's 9-point attack defeat the master's 9-point attack. Of course, Kenshin never accomplished this, and even he was about to point out the obvious, but Hiko interrupted and pressed on with the ritual. The other thing is, the ritual pits Hiko's 9-point attack against Kenshin's Ama move. We never actually see Hiko'a Ama vs. Kenshin's Ama.

Which goes back to . . . why did Hiko insist on passing the rite to Kenshin, and what did Hiko see in Kenshin from the beginning?

Hiko, as dictated by the teaching of Hiten, would have been obligated to fight Shishio. (And Shishio probably would have been finished very easy.) But he didn't want to fight anymore; by the time he meets Kenshin, he has become a misanthropic hermit, a person so disappointed in mankind's ability to redeem itself, and in himself for believing he could be a god and save people's lives. Kenshin chose atonement; Hiko chose isolation. I think he put all his hopes of release from this burden into Kenshin; when he saw the same just fire in Kenshin, he made up his mind already.

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Thalan (#44961)
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That is the most detailed and most beliveable theory I've heard about this. And I must say the same thing about your theory/explanation for Berserk. Slippy I thank you very much for analysing these things for us. Arigato gosaimasu.
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Caddberry (#27690)
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Slippy I'm totally with Thalan on this.. You have a very excellent theory, and it is very plausible..

I think Maybe Hiko saw a student in Kenshin.. He saw how Kenshin made
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graves for everyone including the bandits and knew right from there that perhaps there was more to this boy than meets the eye.. Thats my theory anyway..


I like your theory a lot Slippy..
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slippy (#46880)
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That's how I see it too, Cadd.

:



Hiko sees in Kenshin, not only a brave boy who wanted to protect others, but understood good and evil men were still human beings in the end.

But, Kenshin doesn't grow up into that same belief. Kenshin, as a teen, views good and evil as good people and evil people. Hiko eventually regrets teaching Kenshin, who probably was given the wrong tool (godlike killing power) to save lives.

It's ironic then only after all these years, that what Kenshin says is what his master says. Good and evil is often subjective; we all live by our principles; people are still people, however evil, in the end.




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bluecrystal_19 (#77299)
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I think Saito can beat him. I think he would have lost to Saito if he wasn't stopped at that time.

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slippy (#46880)
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I think Kenshin would have defeated Saito in that match. Saito's sword was sliced in half, meaning that he would have had a severe disadvantage in his reach. That would have severely limited what he could have done with his Gatotsu, especially since he does not have a defensive style.
I'm collecting the manga, and it's really interesting watching the same fight again. Now they're up to the Seta vs. Kenshin fight, and I'm thinking "damn, how could he have possibly won?"

Anyway, I just found this site has a funny (yet thorough!) take on Seta's shukuchi/super-god-speed.

http://www.shininghalf.com/soujiro/shukuchi.html
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Caddberry (#27690)
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My god thats some depth on the speeds .. WOW.. LoL I just skimmed it but damn someone has too much time on their hands..
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bluecrystal_19 (#77299)
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Obviously the person who worked that all out was darn bored and had far too much time. It's really too long so i couldn't be bothered to read it, but that's some seriously through research.

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domond123 (#79905)
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Kenshin would kill if he became the man slayer again he holdes back alot and the begining of the series. I say Kenshin is beatable, but if he became the man slayer again he wouldn't be.

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project.D (#95140)
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the guy from bleach could beat him in a sword fight sousuke aizen

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Arilou (#34809)
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Silver Surfer could take him. *nods*.
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nauXolo (#69311)
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Haha that Seta site is very interesting, although in the end he basically proved himself that you can't measure it accurately. Is Kenshin invincible? No... he doesnt have any of that aura spirit shit that gives you nearly unlimited power. He can beat anyone that doesn't have aura shit flying out of them, that's what I believe.
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Arilou (#34809)
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A bit more seriously:

Given the things Kenshin does.... is it even fair to call him "normal"? IE: Is not his speed (and skills) on the level of "superpowers" anyway? (I certainly think he could take Jubilee, superpowers or no :p) Kenshin certainly moves way faster than any normal human could realistically hope to move. Is it not a "superpower"?

Essentially, putting Kenshin against any nonsuperpowered human is *cheating* because that means we're pitting a superpowered human against someone without superpowers :p
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