All right, to summarize this dj:
We start out with a splash page of a pretty, girlified Kenshin. I’m not a big fan of girlified Kenshin, personality-wise (OK, that’s an understatement), but in the artwork I don’t mind so much… still, as girlified personality tends to go hand-in-hand wis girlified art, it’s not a good sign for the beginning of a dj. His eyes do have a lovely piercing quality to them, though. Anyway. The story starts out with Katsura and who I believe is Iizuka talking. Battousai is sitting nearby, and he seems to be the topic of discussion. Then we’ve got Battousai sitting somewhere reading a book or something, and there’s a brief flashback to (I think) Takasugi holding a sword. Iizuka comes up to Battousai and talks to him a bit, then Battousai goes and talks to Katsura. He seems a little taken aback by something. Katsura looks sexy smoking his pipe-thing and Kenshin seems to acquiese. When he leaves the room he finds three Choushuu guys looking at him. One of them says something, and Battousai just throws them a look over his shoulder that kinda freaks them out, and walks away. The guy I think is Iizuka might be one of them; either way, he hears a couple of guys saying something about Battousai (apparently), and in a panel where his hand is frighteningly undersized doesn’t seem very happy about it.
Next scene inexplicably finds Battousai talking to some lady (might be the innkeeper, but I can’t tell; I can’t even tell if it’s the same inn) and then dressed up like a woman. I seriously cannot figure out why. Um, he’s also crying. He exchanges some words wis the lady, and then a whole bunch of Choushuu guys come in. Battousai freaks out a little, and then he’s talking to Katsura, who takes him into another room where they share sake and conversation that makes Battousai blush and freak out a little bit more. Apparently the other Choushuu guys are in that room wis them, and some apparently suggestive comment is made that makes Katsura blush. At this point he takes Battousai into a bedroom where he puts his arms around him and starts kissing his neck. Battousai seriously freaks out and strikes out at him, at which point Katsura forces him to the ground and gets on top of him. Battousai freaks out a little more, and Katsura kisses him, then apparently has his way with him. On the next page we find Battousai sitting with his clothing all fallen around him staring out the window as Katsura sleeps. He picks up a sword (not sure whose) and leaves the room.
At a later time we find Katsura sitting somewhere apparently staring at the wall (he’s wearing different clothes than he was in the previous scene, but when we see Battousai in a second he’s got the same fancy geisha kimono on). Anyway, Katsura hears a noise at the door, and we see a hand setting down a sword and what look like tears falling next to it and a dialog bubble that I can almost translate — something to the effect of, “I’m leaving this sword here.” Then we see Battousai weeping desperately elsewhere.
Next scene has Battousai awakening in his own bed as Iizuka enters his room. Apparently there’s some kind of job they need to do; the two of them and some half-bald Choushuu guy (half-bald samurai haircut, that is) head out onto the street to await some people they need to kill. Not sure why all three of them are required when they’ve got Battousai, but whatever. They talk a little, and there is some chagrin at something, and then the people they need to kill appear: a palanquin and its bearers and guards. They rush out and kill all these people, and Battousai gets a little sad/freaked-out, I think because one of the guards looks like Katsura. Then they all three run away, but Battousai is either too disheartened or too tired out to keep running, and calls after them; Iizuka tells the bald guy to go on, and goes back to find Battousai. The latter is weeping desperately into his hands at the side of a stream, bent over so far that half his hair is in the water. It would be a very pretty scene if it weren’t freaking Hitokiri Battousai crying. Iizuka looks all sad. Then Battousai sits up and…….. starts crying again. What is with him??
Iizuka, I think in response to this, goes and chews out some Choushuu guys, though I don’t know why. Then he goes to Battousai’s room and talks to him, I think trying to cheer him up. It’s this part that makes me a little dubious that this is actually Iizuka, because it’s pretty damn obvious what Battousai’s weakness is at this point, but in this style I can’t really tell. Anyway, after they converse for a while, the bald Choushuu guy comes in apparently to summon Battousai to Katsura.
Katsura gives Battousai a letter/written message of some sort. I have no idea what it might be. Battousai reads it and tells him “Hai” and gets up to leave, at which point Katsura says a bunch of stuff that involves a couple of flashback frames that I don’t understand. It must be sad information, though, because Battousai starts crying again. At least this time I think it’s because he feels bad for Katsura, because he does think, Kawai sou ni naa, but this is still his repression period, so he shouldn’t be crying at all. And that seems to be the end of this particular story.
Next we have an info page of some sort wis sketches of characters; the page after that is more info. wis an amazingly delicious-looking adorable irrelevant Sano.
I don’t know if the second story is connected to the first or not. The biggest problem I have is that I can’t figure out who the main guy is. I thought at first that it might be Takasugi because certain signs point to him, but his hair… I dunno. Anyway, it’s a hot guy. At the beginning of the story he’s walking down the street and there is some sort of commotion. He asks a bystander what’s going on, and that man explains. I can’t read the explanation, but it seems that some guys were making trouble in some establishment, and some kid with a sword is standing up to them. Possibly-Takasugi steps forward to watch. The kid is little Kenshin, and he’s scrawny as hell, but he totally kicks ass on the guys who were making trouble, and possibly-Takasugi is all amazed.
Then it seems we jump forward a bit to after Kenshin’s been recruited into Choushu; possibly-Takasugi and Katsura are talking, and in comes little Kenshin. Conversation and polka-dotted backgrounds… This story is not quite as serious as the previous.
Next possibly-Takasugi and little Kenshin are outside, and it seems like pTakasugi is admiring Kenshin’s underage ass — seems like he orders him to turn around specifically so he can look at it, but I’m not sure. *snerks* I think Kenshin’s doing laundry. Long conversation. Some embarrassment. Then we have a flashback to a very nice-looking Hiko, and apparently a flash-forward to dead Tomoe in the snow. So much sense.
Then Kenshin talks to Katsura briefly in some room, and upon leaving the room runs into a guy who’s completely bald. Something — I can’t tell what — causes Kenshin to do a freaked-out O_O look that we’re much more accustomed to from older Kenshin and go “?!” The bald guy is amused — oh, flash of inspiration, I think the bald guy might be possibly-Takasugi. That would explain everything. OK, going wis that theory. PTakasugi is amused, pats Kenshin on the head, puts on one of those bowly-looking hats, and leaves. Kenshin discusses this wis Katsura.
Sometime later we find Battousai doing his DESTROY thing on the streets of Kyoto for a couple of pages apparently somewhat pointlessly. Then he’s sitting on a porch somewhere — what else? — crying. Katsura is aware of this and doesn’t seem happy about it. Not sure what the purpose of these few pages is.
Then we’ve got cross-scarred Battousai, obviously even later, encountering possibly-Takasugi outside a shrine of some sort. PTakasugi’s hair is now just short of shoulder length and incredibly sexy. They talk and walk for a bit, about the war and Katsura apparently, and then all of a sudden, who should appear but the HOTTEST GUY IN THE WORLD. No, seriously, this Saitou is just fucking to die for. The close-up shot, anyway. So Saitou appears and is deathly hot, but for some reason Battousai decides to fight him instead of finding a secluded corner somewhere and playing wis different swords. The best part of the fight is when Battousai takes a hit on the arm and then suggestively licks the wound while staring Saitou in the eyes; Saitou smirks.
PTakasugi, who left while Battousai was fighting (for what reason I know not), is at some other place thinking about Battousai, who eventually shows up, covered wis blood. They converse for a bit. Then we jump scenes again and it’s pTakasugi conversing with some other guy while they eat, and either they’re talking about Battousai or pTakasugi is just still thinking about him. Switch scenes yet again to where pTakasugi is wearing just a yukata in some room and he invites Battousai in for sake. More conversation about the war and blah blah blah.
And all of a sudden, in a burst of the unexpected, pTakasugi pushes Battousai over and climbs on top of him. This time Battousai only seems a little startled, until pTakasugi kisses him and he totally freaks out. Then pTakasugi starts feeling up Battousai’s chest, and the girly-man freaks out even more. Then he seems to give in while pTakasugi kisses his neck and chest, and then gets whiny while pTakasugi fucks him. Still, he seems to be pleased wis the whole thing afterward, because as they are standing out on some mountain path later, Battousai is smiling and sweet-faced, then a little dejected-looking once pTakasugi walks off.
Next page looks like a what-happened-to-them page, the one that leads me most to believe that this is in fact Takasugi as he is shown coughing up blood.
After that (and I think it really is chronologically after that) there is a brief conversation between Battousai and Katsura, during which Katsura seems to say something that shocks Battousai a little, and Battousai leaves looking sad. He walks away through the moonlight and sees what looks to me like a lantern, but which apparently is significant to him somehow, because it makes him pensive and he — duhn dunna nuh! — starts crying again. The end.
The only extra artwork in the back is another very girly-looking Kenshin smiling sweetly.
I rate this dj a four out of ten. The Saitou cameo gets a bonus of ten million points. The average rating is therefore “four out of ten but worth it and I will scan the Saitou pages.”