I was reading the thread regarding the transition of a student from one level to another and I was actually surprised to know that it takes so much time to master a certain technique much more to become a master. But heck, RK is a manga to start with, thus, everything in it is just purely the mangaka's imagination.
Though unrealistic, I still love RK.
=)9/13/2006 #31 Report
hm. that's interesting about a student learning and while i don't take karate since really, the ones i've seen, they are all just for show instead of actual self-defence. i learn from a dojo that teaches a 2,000 year old form of Ninjutsu that has been pasted down through 35 generations of nine different families liniages. the grand master of this form has fought with it's techniques in the last Chinese war and came home afterward. he is very old. 78 i belive and he lives in Japan. my dojo is in the US.
my sensai is either a second or third degree black belt belt--they had to start using belts at a sertain time for a proper ranking system--maybe a fourth. i'm merely a white belt since i just started but i remember him saying that a person who makes it to enough classes, pratices and such can make first degree black belt in three to four years. after that i belive it's harder to reach the next level but that's just commen sense talking.9/13/2006 #32 Report
... STUPID MIS-MATCHING RK INFO ABOUT WHEN KENSHIN WENT OFF TO TRAIN WITH HIKO!
Though 6 sounded VERY young so... espeically since it said at 4 he was sold into slavery when truly that should have been only a few weeks apart not 2 years.... then again Hiden was written right when the first chapters of manga 12 *too lazy to see WHAT chapters those are atm...* were coming out.... so I guess we could have been supplied more info.
But, aghh, so muhc mis=matching info around. Though I specifically remeber Kaoru calling Yahiko 10.. o_0. Which means he's going by the Western system...??
*Hits head*9/13/2006 #33 Report
It would seem so since the Hiden lists Yahiko's birthday as August, 1868. However, if the HIden is wrong about Kenshin's age when he became Hiko's student, it could be wrong about other things as well.9/13/2006 #34 Report
she's not weak since after all she did run her own dojo for quite some time and she was determind enough to try and take on the battousai herself at the begining with just a wooden sword and she's generally ready to stand up for herself, she just doesn't get much of a chance since kenshin takes care of it before she can and then there's the whole attack on the aioya, she was more than ready and able to protect it until that giant came along
i think that watsuki just didn't spend as much time on her as he did with all the men so she probably has a lot more potential she just never gets to show it10/1/2006 #35 Report
Kaoru is a strong character, but she seems weak only because she's being compared to the superhuman fighting skills of all the rest!
Kaoru is strong! She had to grow up fast because both of her parents died before she turned 17! Now that there are guys around, she can let herself revert to a bit of childishness and cry a little. So what if she cried because Kenshin left for Kyoto? Any wife (or wife-to-be or girlfriend) would cry like that if their man left and might not return!
Kaoru had guts. Serious guts. Why? Like already mentioned, she's living in a man's world and breaking tradition by being a master of a dojo!
Kaoru jumped in front of the guns of Enishi's second in command to save Kenshin, that shows that she's also strong in love! Any good friend or lover would put themselves in danger to save a friend.
Kaoru is strong, people. She's one of the best characters in Rurouni Kenshin.5/2/2008 #36 Report
Amen, OrionArion! Kaoru is very strong. She was able to take out those Hishi Manji Gurentai guys with no help (until they showed up with the cannon). She was able to fight Kamatari. She deserves far more respect than she gets. Her love for Kenshin is so very deep. She was just as willing as Tomoe to give her life for his on Enishi's island. I think many people tend to forget that.5/2/2008 . Edited 5/2/2008 #37 Report
No doubt about it, Kaoru was much stronger than most people give her credit for and she matured as the manga went on. Which is as it should be, since a story where no one grows or changes get boring really fast.
To add to the confusion on mastering styles, it's historic fact that Okita Souji started in the Shieikan dojo as a child - possibly 8 or 9 years old. There's a story that he defeated a visiting master at the age of 12, and by the time he joined the group that would become the Shinsengumi, he was 19 or so and considered a master of Tennen Rishin Ryu. So, 10 years or less to be a master? Entirely plausible when you consider he did little but training and chores. We're not talking today's 8 hour work day (or school day). We're talking can see to can't see working or training, and highly possible they worked out in the dark, too, to add a level of complication to the training. It took me 4 years of twice a week classes to get my 1st dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I'd have done it a lot quicker if that was all I'd had to do all day. My 5th dan Master has been doing it for 20-25 years, and our Grandmaster (8th dan) for about 35 years, all while holding down regular jobs.
All I'm saying is, that even though there's a certain suspension of disbelief required for RK and many other manga, it's not entirely impossible for these kind of prodegies (Kenshin, Yahiko, Aoshi, etc) to exist because they had much more time to spend learning their craft. It was their "day job". Unlike the rest of us putting in our 40 a week and trying to work out around it.9/7/2008 #38 Report
An excellent point by Wandering. It's easy to forget that 100 years ago, people didn't have to work 40+ hours a week and actually had time to do other things.
When Kenshin trained under Hiko, he probably spent about eight or more hours a day rigorously training and then the few remaining hours doing various chores, such as his favorite fetching water from the river.
It's rather a shame that people can no longer excel like this with the prevalance of school and work in our lives. We have become slaves to a giant machine that sucks the creativity and originality out of life.9/7/2008 #39 Report
I totally agree with you. People before dedicated themselves in learning a certain craft, most especially samurai so it's really not impossible that some poeple at an early age during those days were masters of a certain technique.
In modern times, there is such a school in China where students enroll at a young age as early as 5 0r 7 and learn kung fu -- I think but it's martial arts (I watched this in national geographic). Students wake up at 5 to start their morning workout then sleep late night since they have other things to do (household chores, homework,etc). Some students even have midnight classes to train there senses in the dark. Students are only allowed to leave school during summer holidays although they have a choice to drop out of school. But for those who opted to stay, they become master at an early stage.
An about Kaoru, she's one of the stronger character in the manga. Being sorrounded by strong men somehow eclipses her strength.9/7/2008 #40 Report
My boyfriend mentioned that some children who learn Shao Lin in China are able to kill with their bare hands at age five.9/7/2008 #41 Report
i think Kaoru is strong.... I just think that Watsuki doesn't give the girls enough credit! i mean seriously Anji got like 2 chapters of backstory and Kaoru for all her screen time got a couple of lines at the beginning explaining Kamiya Kasshin Ryu! even Usui who got killed by Saito got more than THAT!!!! seriously USUI!!!
Fair enough that the Watsuki's general theme was "manliness" so i guess thats ok... it just leaves the girls and fanfic to pick up the slack on the missing female strength issue :)9/12/2008 #42 Report
I totally agree with you on his potrayl of female characters. The anime version is just terrible altogether. I really didn't like it at all. The only exception being Sanosuke's character in the anime because nothing really changed with THAT transition to animation. But anyway, I also think that what he did to the female characters was pretty acurate for that time period. I mean think about it, in Japan during the 1800's there really couldn't have been too many stubborn, headstrong females that had their own place to live. So maybe he was going for accuracy..?11/26/2008 #43 Report
Just because he was going for historical accuracy in the portrayal of the japanese female doesn't mean Kaoru can't have a backstory.
Kaoru's an important character! She DESERVES a back story! Megumi and Tomoe got bigger back stories than she did, yet Kaoru is the one with the most screen time! I mean what's that about?6/14/2009 #45 Report
I completly agrree. I find it so annoying when fic writters make kaoru the weakest person in HISTORY. I'v seen it done way to many times. Seriously, she is the master of a sword style! That does not happen over night people, nor does it allow for weakness of any kind. What kind of sensei would you be if you cried every time you got whacked with the bokken?
That being said she is also a woman and I personally think that this part of herself only starts to come to the surface when kenshin enters her life.
Oh if you're looking for some interesting fics with kaoru being strong, you could try This is forever(its AU though and kaoru is suposse to be a goddess from heaven. I haven't finshed it yet but it sounds interesting.) Or her exsistance,(this one has kaoru experiance rape by enishi. so far its a tear jerker.) both have her set as a very strong person who suffers quite a bit.7/16/2009 #46 Report
It does seem like Kaoru became emotionally dependent on Kenshin in the Tokyo Arc. She broke down when he left in Kyoto and then finally found the strength to stand on her own in Jinchuu.7/17/2009 . Edited 7/17/2009 #47 Report
this is true but you got to give her that, after all everyone has their weak moments and sometimes those moments only happen around the people we truly care about and have become emotionally involed with. Which is why I think she openly weeps when he leaves. She does cry in front of megumi and tae, but not as openly as she did in front of kenshin, There is a difference between the two. And either way you got to give her props for resovle and determintion.7/17/2009 #48 Report
That's true. When we let ourselves love others, we open ourselves up to pain.7/17/2009 #49 Report
Kaoru is strong! Yes, she does get kidnapped, but heck, it was by guys who gave Kenshin trouble. She is stated as a national level kendo champion by Watsuki himself, and the reason why she seems so weak is because of the other main characters (i.e. Kenshin and Sano. But then, they are superhuman/demi-gods. Especially Kenshin.) Yahiko did develop too fast, but then again, he had Kaoru as a teacher. Look at the way she took out Kamatari. Yes, Misao helped, but in the end, it was Kaoru who did the dirty work. All Misao had to do was throw kunais (Sorry, Misao-fans! I love her too, but...). Not to mention the way she dealt with those Hishimanji thugs in the manga.
Kaoru may seem weak emotionally sometimes, but it's only under great pressure. I, too, would fall apart if a man like Kenshin left me. Maybe she did overreact by becoming a vegetable, but Megumi sorted that out. Anyway, she's horomonal. She's only 17, for crying out loud! Nowadays, some girls fall apart if their cell phones stop working. (I am not exaggerating. I saw this happen. Which led me to think that some men had some reasons to be sexist.)
All in all, Kamiya Kaoru is a force to be reckoned with! Kind, beautiful, a horrible cook, and a great fighter to boot!9/6/2009 #50 Report
Aw, i like Kaoru. I don't think she's weak or anything, at least not in the manga, anyway. They portray her pretty badly in the ova and the anime, but it's the manga that counts in the end really. :) I think that in that time period (when women were pretty much just 'things') she has to be considered incredibly strong. She has huge ideals that she sticks by, loved ones that she fights hard for, and shes as stubborn as a mule. Personally, I can't help but admire her personality and the way she grows throughout the story.10/21/2010 #51 Report
I see Kamiya Kaoru as being very strong.
Physically and emotionally.
Yes compared to Sano and Kenshin she is weak physically however they are the exceptions. She is a kendo teacher after all and maintains her own school. She is not a force to be reckoned with. Kaoru also has that strong swordsmen spirit. During the fight with Jin-e she broke his spell on her own.
Emotionally her strength is not to black and white. Yes she may cry and depend on the company of Kenshin but like I said she has that strong spirit. When Kenshin left it broke her, which I do not blame her for. The man she loved walked away. Megumi helped to learn a much needed lesson. It makes her appear more human. As a character she grows from that and becomes stronger for Kenshin. If she was not emotionally strong her and Kenshin would not work. A great example of her emotional strength is in the manga when Kenshin tells them all the story of his past. Kaoru did not judge, cry or discourage Kenshin. she stayed strong for him and showed him she would be by his side.
Personally I also see everyone's reaction to her death in the manga as a testament of her strength. She was the glue that held them together. Without her Yahiko was abandoned, Sano was left angry and resentful and Kenshin was utterly broken. A weak person would never have such an effect. After losing both mother and father she showed that she was desperate for companionship however that she is also strong enough to stand up for her beliefs even against the odds.
I love Kaoru. In my opinion the Manga is much much better than the Anime, movie and OVAs. The Manga did Kaoru justice and was an over all better telling of the story. Plus the story was just over all better.10/29/2010 #52 Report
The one thing I thought the anime did better with Kaoru than the manga was it gave her more fight time (fighting the yakuza for Yahiko and going with the guys to Kanryuu's mansion). Other than that, the manga's the thing.10/29/2010 #53 Report
The beauty of Kaoru is that her strength is conveyed to the reader without her having to sacrifice her femininity or vulnerability. Yes, she cries when Kenshin leaves and why shouldn't she? Here 's a man she is in love with, and she is probably never going to see him again. I would be in shock for a week too. But she pulls herself together abd does the only thing she can think of. She goes after him. To a city she doesn't know, circumstances that are unfamiliar to her, all for a man who may well tell her to leave him alone. That takes courage. And yes, She really didn't get enough chances to show her sword skills.12/20/2011 #54 Report