After foiling a robbery, Yoshi starts to develop an ego. This makes the first half of the episode rather hard to sit through as the already bratty and annoying character becomes even more so as a result of his arrogance and entitlement.
Not only does he decide that he should be teaching classes, but refuses to chip in around the house because he doesn’t feel that it’s worthy of a swordsman. Never mind the fact that Kenshin is more than willing to do his part, Yoshi won’t have any of it.
It’s the perfect flaw for Gohei to exploit as he hatches another scheme to get back at Kenshin for ruining his hand. He hires a pair of renowned assassins and sets events into motion so that Kenshin will face off against them unarmed.
In order to accomplish this, Gohei challenges Yoshi to a duel. Yoshi holds his own, but Gohei notes that it is only because they are using blunt weapons (Yoshi a bamboo sword and Gohei an umbrella of all things). After some amusingly childish taunting (your technique is lame and so are you!) Gohei goads Yoshi into a more legitimate sword fight.
As Yoshi doesn’t have a sword of his own, he decides to take Kenshin’s reverse edged sword…without asking. Oddly, Kenshin sees the kid sneaking off with his weapon, but doesn’t think anything of it.
Sure enough, the assassins are laying in wait and easily knock out Yoshi. With that taken care of, they send a note to the dojo calling Kenshin out. Despite being unarmed, the warrior accepts the challenge as Yoshi is in danger.
Kory comes along as backup, though she doesn’t really do anything. Kenshin insists that she stay out of it as it doesn’t involve her and her bamboo weapon is no match for the blades wielded by one of the assassins. Oddly, no one thought to contact Sanosuke. He’s pretty good in a fist fight and it would give them a numbers advantage.
As it is, Kenshin avoids what attacks he can, but it isn’t long before they have him pinned. This means that it’s up to Yoshi to save the day.
Here is where the episode actually starts to get somewhat effective, as Yoshi feels overcome with guilt and shame. Not only does he acknowledge that he’s been a jerk, but notes that he was an idiot for falling into Gohei’s trap. After seeing his negative traits hit new heights, it was nice to see him eat some humble pie. You actually start to feel bad for the kid as he knows that Kenshin is in mortal danger because of him.
It gives Yoshi the drive to break from his bonds and race the sword back to Kenshin so that he can win the day. Of course, Yoshi’s trip isn’t without obstacles, but he manages to make it in time.
Of course, Gohei isn’t so willing to let Yoshi hand the weapon over and we get a rematch between the two where the stakes are raised. Yoshi notes that Gohei has the strength advantage. Luckily, Kory taught him ways to combat such enemies. Yoshi’s choice move, kick to the crotch.
It was an odd choice, but it did the job (as it usually does) and puts Gohei down for the count. Still, it isn’t the sort of maneuver you would expect from Samurai warriors who engage in honorable combat.
This episode was uneven. As noted, seeing Yoshi learn his lesson was good and Kenshin was in legitimate danger, which added some tension to the episode. Sadly, the first half is hard to sit through and the dialogue and voice acting are still rather weak. It certainly isn’t the worst episode, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.