Hey guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve updated Hiten Enecylopedia and it’s time we start wrapping up the small fry for Hiten and start moving to the big fan favorites! For this one, I elected two smallfry techniques, based on the fact that they are both long range Hiten moves. Enjoy!
HI RYU SEN
Hiryūsen (飛龍閃, Flying Dragon Flash)
Every once in a while, we get a technique from Hiten that wows and dazzles us. We rave about it, some of us imitate it and people like me write about it and we all rejoice in the majesty of that technique. This is not one of those techniques.
Hi Ryu Sen is easily the most impractical *canon* (wait til we reach the end of this series with Shogo Amakusa to see what I mean) technique in Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryu, even more so than the Ryu Kan Sen variations. So let's take it from the top and determine why this technique is so impractical that it was only use ONCE in the entire series.
The Hi Ryu Sen is a technique that was used against Isurugi Raijuta in the manga and only the manga. It is generally (and loosely) considered a Battojutsu technique since it does involve the usage of a sheath. The Battojutsu stance is assumed and Kenshin prepares to draw the sword. His left hand grips the scabbard (Saya) and his thumb lightly pushes upward on the hand guard (Tsuba) of the Sakabatou to loosen it from the sheath.
He then turns his body, much like he would in a regular Battojutsu strike except this time, his left hand, still gripping the sheath, thrusts forward with enough force to send the sword flying out of the scabbard and, ideally, striking the opponent who is several meters away from him with the sword’s buttcap (kashira). While it functions very much like the poor man’s, non-lethal Gatotsu Zeroshiki, this technique is far less practical and even more so implausible.
Pros (if any)
This is one of the few long range techniques of Hiten Mitsurugi and arguably a very powerful one if it lands
It shows how good Kenshin’s aim is?
First and most glaringly, Kenshin is THROWING HIS SWORD at someone. The longer the range, the higher the risk Kenshin faces of missing and even If he doesn’t miss, he is effectively disarmed and loses a major part of his offensive/defensive capabilities.
While it could be argued that he could use the sheath for defense, Aoshi has demonstrated that with enough power, a sheath can be cut to ribbons. It doesn’t even require a full length katana: Aoshi does it with a single Kodachi.
While there is a lot of things in RuroKen that require suspension of disbelief, this really pushes the envelop: It’s almost up there with Fuji’s existence and takes an artistic license with physics. The strength required to actually send the sword flying like that is staggering, and even if it were to happen, the sword itself is freaking curved, which makes it’s trajectory difficult to predict AT BEST. While Kenshin manages to hit him on target, realistically, this technique would be hilariously comical.
This technique is the only RuroKen technique that is actually completely unnecessary. Kenshin has the Dou Ryu Sen, which functions better as it doesn’t require losing the sword. Better yet, he could very easily close the distance with his godspeed and use a regular Battojutsu strike against his opponent or lunge forward with the Ryu Kan Sen Tsumuji if one is so determined to close the distance.
In general fighting, especially with someone like Raijuta who has ranged techniques, it’s generally not a good idea to give them too much space, strategically speaking. If you’ve given them enough space to actually warrant the use of this technique, you’re already at a disadvantage. It’s more effective to remain in the area and control their space as much as you could while keeping enough distance to dodge any incoming attacks like Raijuta’s Izuna or close enough to prevent him from using it.
Anyway, the sheer uselessness of this technique outweighs its impracticality, making this one of the most illogical moves done in RuroKen, unfortunately. But the Do Ryu Sen will be better, right? Right…??
DO RYU SEN
Doryūsen (土龍閃, Earth Dragon Flash), much like Hi Ryu Sen, is a long ranged technique and is mostly used to quickly counter opponents who prepare techniques of their own. Kenshin dips the sword into the ground, preferably when it’s rocky, compacted dirt, and lifts with great speed and power, sending rocks flying at his opponent as the shockwave travels through the ground and causes them to fall, or large rocks traveling at incredible speeds to strike them.
This technique isn’t as impractical as Hi Ryu Sen. Mostly because IT’S IMPOSSIBLE. The best Kenshin, in a real life or practical setting like the LA, could hope for is to hit someone in the face with a pebble. But let’s go over some pros and cons as if it were possible.
This technique, as used in the anime and manga, can provide a shield for anyone who is trying to shoot Kenshin with guns or projectile based weaponry.
It can cause a loss in balance, which Kenshin can easily utilize to his advantage and close the distance between him and his opponent.
This technique is PURELY situational, meaning it can only be used when certain conditions. If he’s fighting in cement or wood, or if his opponent has the high ground or elevation to their advantage, this technique will not work as well or at all.
Hitting jagged stones can stress or damage the blade. Japanese swords are made of tamahagane, not adamantium; It CAN be broken, as Soujirou so willingly proved. Worse yet, if performed often enough, can rust the blade. The moisture in the ground could remove the oils from the blade and cause oxidation. This technique in real life, even if possible, would be horrible for the blade.
Shockwaves realistically do not travel in straight lines.
The range would be drastically limited as well, considering the fact that the further Kenshin wants the rocks to fly, the harder he needs to slash. This once again, creates a stress problem on the sword.
Overall, all though these are the only ranged attacks in Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryu, they are both incredible disappointments; not only are they awkward, clumsy, and impossible but even in a universe where they DID work, they are greatly eclipsed by other techniques in our Rurouni’s arsenal. All in all, neither of these are good techniques.
Special thanks for White-Plums and Kateviardo! Sorry this took me so long; I hope you guys like it! Expect more updates regularly and if you can, don’t forget to check out the new Rurouni Kenshin Live Action films: Kyoto Taika Hen & Dansetsu no Saigo Hen!
Battou Jutsu Battou jutsu is the most basic move of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu. It starts with the sword in the sheath, when the user strikes the right foot moves forward and the sword is drawin out at God-speed.