|Yukishiro Enishi (雪代 縁)|
|Rurouni Kenshin character|
Yukishiro Enishi on the cover of Rurouni Kenshin Kanzenban Volume 21
|First appearance||Rurouni Kenshin Act 152: Cross-Shaped Scar|
|Created by||Nobuhiro Watsuki|
|Voiced by||Japanese |
Brian Gaston (child)
Bill Wise (adult)
|Title||Master of Watōjutsu|
|Relatives||Yukishiro Tomoe (sister) |
Himura Kenshin (ex-brother-in-law)
Hong Kong Mafia
The Six Comrades
Yukishiro Enishi (雪代 縁) is a fictional character from the Rurouni Kenshin universe created by Nobuhiro Watsuki. In the English language OVA dubs, he is known in Western order as Enishi Yukishiro. Enishi is the main antagonist of the Jinchū Arc, the final arc of the series.
As a young boy during the pre-Meiji period in a fictional version of Japan, Enishi witnessed the (accidental) killing of his older sister, Yukishiro Tomoe, by her then-husband, Himura Kenshin. Filled with grief and anger, he swore to bring jinchū (人誅, lit. "judgment from man")[note 1] to the man who killed his only sister. Ten years later, during his introduction in the series, a now-adult Enishi encounters Kenshin once again, ready to complete the jinchū. Enishi also forms "The Six Comrades", a group of six men (himself included), to assist him in his revenge against Kenshin.
Enishi, while not featuring in the anime television series, appears in both of the original video animation (OVA) series relating to the franchise. A popular character, he has been mostly well received by manga critics and readers, ranking highly in the popularity polls. His character is featured in various types of merchandising developed for the series, such as figurines and key-chains. Several anime and manga publications have commented on the character of Enishi.
Conception and design
Watsuki used "revenge" as Enishi's "model or concept." Since Watsuki created Shishio Makoto as a "manic-type" "going higher and higher and higher," the Rurouni Kenshin author wished to paint Yukishiro Enishi as a "depressive type" "falling deeper and deeper and deeper." Watsuki added that Enishi became "sort of wishy-washy" as Shishio's influence remained. Watsuki said that he could see the "obsession" within Enishi; therefore it fits the "Terminator-like" character that Watsuki intended to depict.
The author wrote that Enishi's admiration for his sister, obsession, and hatred for Kenshin reflects "Watsuki's dark side"; the author added that he has no older sister and no people that he feels a need to take revenge on. Since Shishio has aspects within Watsuki that the author considers to be positive, Enishi has Watsuki aspects that the author feels are negative.
During the series' climax, Watsuki kept listening to the song "Hurry Go Round" by the late musician hide which he felt suited the relationship between Enishi and Kenshin's darker Hitokiri Battōsai persona. Watsuki said that he "fell into bouts of self-disgust" while drawing Enishi. The author added that he felt attachment towards Enishi and that he would someday like to use Enishi in a future work.
According to the author, Enishi's design model is "a slightly deviant, white-haired, pointy-haired, handsome young man, appearing in a fancy Kamijō Atsushi-sensei-like manga." In other words, Enishi had no specific design model. Watsuki said that, since he had "inadequate art skill," he could not portray what he intended to. The author added that some people mistakenly believed that Vash the Stampede of Trigun and Basara from Macross 7 were design models for Enishi. Stating that "models are strictly models," Watsuki "converted" Enishi to his style. The creator gave Enishi glasses since Enishi appeared in the mafia, "shady Chinese clothing" since Enishi lived in China, and a "half-cape" originating from Gambit of X-Men Age of Apocalypse. Watsuki believed that this is one of his "better" designs. The author felt that Enishi was "too handsome" for a final villain and that Watsuki tired of drawing "handsome types."
In the 21st volume of the Rurouni Kenshin kanzenban edition, Watsuki again redesigned Enishi's appearance in a draft version to show how he would appear at that time. In Enishi's redesigned version, his hair was longer and spikier than it was originally. His clothes were ragged and dirty and he also wore bandages and a torn worn-out cape. Enishi's shoes were replaced with boots. His weapon of choice was a shirasaya nihontō (a katana with a wooden sheath and hilt), which he carried by placing it next to his left hip.
In Rurouni Kenshin
When Tomoe became engaged to Kiyosato Akira, Enishi reluctantly accepted him because Kiyosato truly made Tomoe happy and she loved him. Kiyosato later joined the Mimawarigumi, believing that the somber Tomoe would be happy if he became a hero, only to be killed by Hitokiri Battōsai (Himura Kenshin) for the new era. Tomoe left her brother behind to seek revenge, working with spies from the Shogunate to do so. Enishi became consumed by his loneliness to bring her back to Edo (now Tokyo) so they could be together.
When he was about ten, Enishi ran away from Edo, disappearing for nine months. He discovered the location of Tomoe through the Shogun agency and soon appeared before her, revealing that he was the Shogun agency's contact sent to Tomoe. While he believed that he was helping Tomoe's revenge, he did not know Tomoe had grown to love Kenshin, despite the fact he killed Kiyosato. She sent him away, hoping to protect Kenshin, leaving him angry and confused by her actions.
He disappeared to China, where he was taken in by a kind and wealthy family after suffering months of hardship in the wilderness.
In addition, Enishi believes that Tomoe wants revenge as well and constantly sees the image of his sister smiling on him. The purpose of Enishi's Jinchū is not to kill Kenshin, but to plunge him into a living hell by taking away the person he cares for the most, just like Kenshin did to him. After having his comrades attack various acquaintances of Kenshin, Enishi reveals himself to Kenshin and declares that he will attack the Kamiya Dojo in ten days. In the attack on Kamiya Dojo, Enishi fights and defeats Kenshin shortly before delivering Jinchu. Enishi accomplishes his goal by leaving a life-size doll of Kamiya Kaoru, made by the corpse-artist Gein, to appear as though Enishi drove his sword through her heart, effectively driving Kenshin into a semi-comatose state of depression, much to Enishi's glee.
After Enishi completes the Jinchū, he takes Kaoru back with him to an isolated island with no plans of allowing her to return to Tokyo until Kenshin dies from his state of "living hell". He leaves his organization in the hands of his subordinate, Woo Heishin, a man who cares more about profits than anything. Enishi states that he only used the organization to obtain the resources he needed to actuate his revenge. As Enishi rests, he closes his eyes to see Tomoe again but is shocked to discover that his sister is no longer smiling at him. In a moment of madness, he attempts to strangle Kaoru, only to experience severe convulsions, which cause him to fall to the floor vomiting. Kaoru concludes that this reaction is a result of the psychological trauma of witnessing his sister's death; his subconscious cannot allow him to lay hands on any woman who (in his eyes) resembles Tomoe. This is why he instructed Gein to make the Kaoru replica.
After Kenshin recovers and arrives at Enishi's Island hideout, the two fight a final duel in which Enishi believes killing Kenshin will make Tomoe smile again. Kenshin retorts that he cannot die yet, and Enishi's answer is wrong because Tomoe does not wish for revenge. After Kenshin defeats Enishi (who is unable to win because Tomoe's smile is gone), he is arrested, given Tomoe's diary and ends up in the fallen village that Kenshin had been in during his depression. There he sees his father who had aided in Kenshin's recovery, though he does not completely recognize him. His father simply tells Enishi that for the time being, he should simply rest.
A highly skilled swordsman more than a match for Kenshin, Enishi is the master of the Watōjutsu, a sword style that he taught himself. It is composed of the speed and slashing style of kenjutsu and the strength and flexibility of the typical Chinese sword art used in conjunction with the Watō, a Chinese-made Japanese tachi. His Watōjutsu style is entirely based around offense and power, heedless of defense; he never attempts to block, but rather counter-attacks his opponent to utilize his superior offense. Enishi's Watōjutsu, combined with his command of speed and height, proves effective in matching and perfectly countering many of the techniques in Kenshin's Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū. Consequently, he is the only person to ever fully block a Kuzu Ryūsen; when Kenshin attempted the technique again, Enishi prevented him from even finishing the first strike. Enishi's ultimate attack, the Kofuku Zettōsei (虎伏絶刀勢 Crouching Tiger Severing Sword Rush), was even able to counter the Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki, Kenshin's own ultimate attack.
In addition to his Watōjutsu, Enishi possesses the "Frenzied Nerves" (狂経脈 Kyōkeimyaku, "Nerves of Insanity"). When using this ability, the nerves throughout his entire body bulge and he becomes super sensitive to everything around him. In this state, Enishi's senses, speed, and reaction time dramatically improve, enabling him to immediately react to attacks before they are performed. Consequently, his opponent is completely outmatched in every way offensively. Enishi developed this ability as a result of a continually active brain state, even when sleeping, born from Enishi's hatred for Kenshin and revenge for Tomoe's death. However, it is a double-edged sword that lowers his defensive capabilities of being struck physically, increasing the pain greatly due to his increase nerves, as well as through his extremely heightened senses, thus it can be used against him.
- Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal (Director's Cut) (DVD). ADV Films. 2003.
- Samurai X: Reflection (Director's Cut) (DVD). ADV Films. 2004.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "Glossary of the Restoration". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 25. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0407-0.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "The Secret Life of Characters (53) Yukishiro Enishi". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 28. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0675-3.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "Free Talk". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 28. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-0675-0.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2007). Rurouni Kenshin Kanzenban, Volume 21. Shueisha. p. 2. ISBN 978-4-08-874170-3.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2005). "Act 174: Remembrance 9: White Snow". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 20. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0064-5.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2005). "Act 163: Drawing to a Close". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 19. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-5911-6927-7.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2005). "Act 180: Night Fell...". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 21. Viz Media. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4215-0082-9.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "Act 201: Another Strength". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 23. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0276-2.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "Act 202: Tales of the Past". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 23. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0276-2.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "Act 245: Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū Defeated". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 27. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0674-6.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "Act 248: Fury". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 28. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0675-3.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "Act 205: The True Intent of the Jinchū". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 23. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0276-2.
- Watsuki, Nobuhiro (2006). "Act 247: Kyōkeimyaku (Frenzied Nerves)". Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 27. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0674-6.