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OP/ED of the Day #85: Sobakasu

Title: Sobakasu | Artist: Judy and Mary | Show: Rurouni Kenshin

Description: This is the very first opening of Rurouni Kenshin, a long-running show (nearly 2 full years in the initial sreies!) that began in the same year as the last one I talked about, Gundam 08th MS Team.


This one's about a troubled swordsman, set a few years after the beginning of the Meiji Era. Kenshin Himura was known during the war as the Battousai, a powerful, deadly warrior who slew hundreds of men at the behest of his lord. In the new, more peaceful era, he has come to regret his actions as the Battousai, and sworn never to take another human life. Part of this oath included commissioning the forging of a "reverse-blade katana", with the cutting edge on the wrong side; this ensures the normal ways of attacking with it won't harm anyone. He's unable to commit to complete pacifism, since many hold grudges against him and he has to defend himself, but he travels the land looking for people to help as his past chases him.


Why You Picked It: It's a pretty fun song, upbeat but bittersweet. It's mostly about facing your past and the parts of yourself that you can't change, and reconciling your mistakes. The tone of it tends not to fit the series very well as it goes on and gets bloodier, but for the initial segments where the romance, drama, and comedy are as heavy as the action, it's appropriate enough for both Kenshin and several of the goofy, standoffish, and sometimes violent friends he makes along the way.

However, this song has another meaning to me, because a while after Kenshin ended, I encountered it in a different, unexpected place. Late in high school and into early college, I had a brief stint with Dance Dance Revolution on my PS2. One of the games in the series actually had a remixed version of this song that it took me an embarrassingly long time to recognize! (One of my sisters immedately went "oh yeah that's the same song!" when I played her the full Japanese version of Sobakasu, and the other argued for a while until I played them at the same time.)

Needless to say, this ended up being one of my favorite tracks on that game. (I am not entirely certain this video is from the same DDR game, but the song matches my memory of it...)

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