Makoto Shinsengumi
Kenshin: Saitou Hajime

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TV: To Settle a Score
Source: TV
Layers: 4
No sketches available
Cel Number: A1/B1-tome/C1/D1
Oversize, 1W x 1H

Key Cel
End Cel
Original Matching Background

Added 6/16/2010
Updated 1/12/2014
Episode 62: Kyoto, the Engraved Memory

Fine, I admit that Saitou will always be on my wishlist. Anything of him, I can probably write something about. But even amongst wishlist, there are some that rise above the rest, either because of emotional attachment or scene significance or aesthetic beauty. This recent acquisition is all three for me so no wonder it's my most expensive cel to date coming from the most complicated deals I have attempted since I started cel collecting. However there was no way I would let this cel get away as it is one of those cels that my collection must have (eventually) to make it complete. So here's a step towards that... WHEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had admired this cel for almost a year in a Japanese collector's gallery. I would visit it many many times and had tried to strike a deal with the owner more times than I can remember or care to admit. I was probably embarassingly agressive and I can only thank the person for putting up with my inquiries and being patient as I try to come up with something suitable. Finally he agreed and I'm just so happy... I thank the previous owner from the bottom of my heart.

So what's the big deal about this cel aside from it being a fabulous pan cel that is almost life-size and has the matching BG? Oh yeah I'm pretty certain it's the only complete setup out there too due to the B layer being a tome cel... Hehe! Well as I said before this cel takes me a step closer to my goal and it had eluded my grasp for a year and made me work really hard to get it. But the major reason this was a BIG wishlist is because this is the last time we get to see Saitou Hajime in the TV series. Anyone who has finished watching the Kyoto Arc of RK, knows this guy at one point was thought of as dead by the Kenshingumi and for a brief time by the audience as well. Well... Call me stupid. Because I had completely missed out on this scene... After Saitou "died" on that bridge I was completely -devastated-. Now I'm used to death in anime, Tadao Nagahama's works which were one of the first anime's I have watched were riddled with self-sacrifices, untimely demise and just well -death-. I am rather immune to death anime-wise. But Saitou's "death" struck me very very hard, so much so that I spent the rest of the time searching the later parts of RK to see whether he comes back to life again... I sat down everyday and did the whole fast forward, rewind, slo-mo, etc. This was also the reason why I ended up watching the third season and other filler episodes of RK... I couldn't find him. He was TRULY dead... I had no closure so in the end, I ended up writing fanfic, learning more about the Shinsengumi and looking for other RK stories which led me to find out (months later) that there was an RK manga! After months of searching, I finally found out that in the manga he was alive. Saitou was alive!!! I was HAPPY!!! But still pissed off at the anime... Then one day, I sat down and watched Misao again as she ran after the train Kenshin and the others were on, I left the TV to run the ending song and then I heard his voice and my skin crawled... I ran to the TV and just stared at the screen... Rewind... Stared again.. I did that like who knows how much that day. There was my closure... After half a year of being angry that the anime for just leaving it at that... I found my closure. The funny thing is up to this day, I still have trouble locating this scene on my dvds... I always miss it. T_T

Another thing about this scene is eventhough it gave me closure, it also infuriated me. I was watching the dubbed version and I was like, why in the world did he have to be such an ass? Yes he was an ass most of the time but I always found a reason for it... But this last scene just screamed JERK!!! It didn't make sense. Just read the English dialogue, you know right away that he's just plain bloodthirsty and doesn't give a damn about it. I completely saw this scene as not fitting with the events that led up to it. Sure Kenshin and him are not friends, but gee this one took the cake. It violated his "mantra" and violated one of the major rules of the Shinsengumi, that there are to be no personal fights. It made NO sense.


Chou: you sure you did the right thing? Not telling them they were safe and sound on me? I could've sworn that some of them were worried about you.
Saitou: I was only temporarily joining forces with the battousai. when the mission ended so did our relationship.
Chou: Is that the god's honest truth?
Saitou: Hmph. He and i are both destined to return to the battlefield. we'll see each other again i'm sure it's only a matter of time. i have nothing to say to him since we may be enemies again. in that way, i can finally settle the score i have that dates back to the revolution once and for all.


Saitou: Both of us are destined to live on the battlefield. If the opportunity arises, I'm sure we'll see each other again. If we are enemies when we meet, then I'll have nothing more to say to him. That way, I'll be able to settle the score from the time of the revolution.

Now I re-watched this scene again and this time put on the Japanese audio and sub. What a difference that made! Just look at this dialogue and if you pay close attention, the meaning is now QUITE different. The keywords here are "If we meet again as enemies, then I have nothing to say to him." What's so different about this? Well first of all it reveals that Saitou isn't just out to pick a fight with Kenshin out of whim, but that he was cautious of him because he still thought that the Battousai in Kenshin still lived and that Kenshin's Battousai self will re-surface with that murderous streak. I'm not saying Saitou was completely devoid of that "want" to mettle with the Battousai, even in this dialogue he admits that he looks forward to it but I think that's rather normal for him as they are rivals in skill. Not something completely baseless since both are true warriors. But throughout the series, the point has always been his codes comes first before any of his desires. The Japanese dialogue clearly showed that he will only give in to his desire to settle the score from the Bakumatsu with Kenshin, IF Kenshin becomes an enemy (aka falls under the code: Aku Soku Zan). So you see if that fight ever happened it would no longer be personal either and Saitou would not have violated his code and the laws of the Shinsengumi.

This scene right here is probably the best insight one can ever get of Saitou's purpose in the anime. It's also the most telling description of his characterization. Anyone who writes fanfic about RK Saitou must have this scene and it's dialogue ingrained into their minds because in my opinion there is no other event in RK that captures Saitou so perfectly.

Of course, I should mention that he is so damn hot as USUAL and this particular one I can stare at for hours. LOL.... Sadly my scanning and stitching abilities could not do this cel justice. But that aside, this is probably one of my best cels of him and it will probably be a long long time before I can ever top this acquisition, IF I can ever through the rest of my collecting days find another gem like this one. There are many reasons why I love this character, none can rival his self control and discipline nor his staunch adherence to his beliefs. He said so himself to Usui, that he will hang on to them until the day he dies.

    Previous: TV Ep 49: Saitou's Gatotsu!!! *Dream Cel* Next: TV: Police Officer Fujita    

Curator: hajimenokizu
Gallery Created: 9/11/2006
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