Special : Saitou Hajime Hen Part 1
Text 1: Quietly telling the story of his life…
Saitou: I was born left-handed. // Because of that, I could never get a license, no matter where I went.
Text 2: While headed towards battle, knowing that it was a losing fight,
Text 3: Saitou-san sighed as he spoke
Text 4: under the beautiful night sky.
Text 5: He had the same expression as usual on his face,
Text 6: but it seemed to be really lonely…
Text: Leave your transient destiny to the cherry blossoms.
Text: Will it be the sword or dreams that I hold in my hand?
Saitou: I was born left handed. // Because of that, I could never get a license, no matter where I went.
Saitou: As soon as I held a shinai, I was called clumsy and my grip was corrected. // But I could never beat the guys who said that.
Saitou: Well, what is true strength? // A long time ago, that was all I thought about.
Chizuru: A long time ago… // Do you have an answer now?
Saitou: It’s simple. // The one who strikes decisively and wins is the stronger person. // That was what I thought.
Text 1: But…
Text 2: The truth was different…
Text 1: Before the Shinsengumi was formed, I challenged the apprentice of a hatamoto.
[Hatamoto – A samurai employed directly by the Tokugawa Shogunate.]
Text 2: Although I was sure I’d won, I ended being accused of a crime and forced to become a masterless samurai.
Saitou: It was originally a samurai’s job to kill people, / but if he actually kills someone, he’s a criminal. // Is there anything as contradictory as this?
Text 3: The word “swordsman” which appeared in Saitou-san’s conversation was extremely important to him…
Text 4: However, I don’t think there are many people that could share those feelings with him.
Text 5: While he had a rare style of fighting, he was denied by everyone.
Text 6: Saitou-san might be too concerned about “samurai” and “strength”.
Saitou: Then when I become a masterless samurai, I escaped to Kyoto where I finally // found a way to make use of my sword.
Saitou: The Shinsengumi are very similar to my image of samurai. // I thought that I’d finally met people I could talk to. // Until now, the blade I have kept on sharpening hasn’t been any use in this corrupt world.
Saitou: But this sword // is proof that I’ve kept on winning.
Box: Now time starts to go back a little…
Box 1: In the third year of Keio, power was restored to the emperor and the shogunate disappeared. / The Satsuma clan, who were supportive of overthrowing the shogunate, all gathered together when they heard this.
[Third year of Keio – 1867]
Box 2: The Shinsengumi, who kept order in Kyoto, had been observing the Satsuma clan and got involved in a dispute with them.
Shinsengumi: We’re back!
Chizuru: Ah, welcome back!
Harada: As usual, Kyoto’s winter chills me right to the bone.
Nagakura: Jeez…getting asked to lead the troops so early in the New Year…! // I haven’t even had time to eat zouni yet!
[Zouni – A New Year dish, rice cakes cooked with vegetables]
Inoue: Hahaha…you’re always saying things like that, Nagakura-kun!
In panel text: But going to sleep at New Year’s after eating rice cakes is the best!
Chizuru: How are things outside?
Saitou: There weren’t many problems just now.
Chizuru: I see…
Box 3: I don’t know what will happen from now on…
Box: But I’d prefer it if we could have a peaceful time on this special day…
In panel text:
Ah, the zouni is ready, Nagakura-san!
Really?! That’s great, Chizuru-chan!
It’s Edo style though.
Nagakura: What?! / It’s not like an earthquake happened all of a sudden! // What’s going on?!
Box: The roaring sound that echoed because of the ground breaking / was caused by the cannons that the Satsuma clan had set up at Ryuuunji next door.
Hijikata: It seems that the building is being quite badly damaged.
Hijikata: I’ve left the command of the main army to Kondou-san. // Now we’ll attack…
Harada: Now you’re talking!
Nagakura: We’ve got to try! // Sacchou had better watch out!
Hijikata: Gen-san, I’ll leave protecting this place to you. // I’ll be leading the troops to attack the stronghold.
Inoue: Ah, leave it to me, Toshi-san!
Text 1: The troops lead by Hijikata-san, Nagakura-san and Harada-san head to the Gokouguu, where the Satsuma stronghold is.
Text 2: Saitou-san went to Ryuuunji to try and stop the gunfire.
Text: And I…
Saitou: You stay here.
Saitou: We can’t guarantee that you’ll stay alive this time.
Chizuru: All I could do was pray for everyone’s safety…
Box 1: I wonder how long it’s been since then…
Box 2: The Satsuma army eventually attacked the magistrate’s office too.
Box 3: None of the units could be called back, and those who had stayed behind were unable to protect this place…
Chizuru: I’ll go and send a message!
Inoue: It’s too dangerous for you to go to the stronghold. // I want you to go to Ryuuunji, where Saitou-kun is and tell him to return immediately.
Inoue: You’ll leave through the back entrance / while we distract the Satsuma forces.
Text 1: I’ve got to hurry…
Text 2: to where Saitou-san is…!
Man: As you are human…
Man: I’m surprised that there is someone able to fight me. / It’s impressive. // But a human is human after all. // So this is your limit then?
Chizuru: Something bad happened! Satsuma’s army is at the Fushimi magistrate’s office!
Chizuru: Stop attacking Ryuuunji and return to the magistrate’s office! // Leave here for now…if you don’t hurry… // Inoue-san and Yamazaki-san will…
Man: Well… / Out of consideration for your strength, I’ll leave now. // But be careful. // Kazama wants that girl.
Man: Kazama is much stronger than me. // It’s impossible for a human to protect her. // I don’t recommend working together with her.
Saitou: I went up against an unarmed opponent…
Saitou: It’s nothing. We’ll return to the magistrate’s office with everyone. // We don’t have much time.
Text 1: After that, we hurried
Text 2: to everyone, who had been waiting for Saitou-san’s help.
Text 3: But…
Chikage: Where are you hurrying to?
Chikage: Long time, no see. / You’re still with those weak guys?
Chizuru: Why now?! // Y-You’re…
Saitou: Stay back.
Saitou: Just stay back.
Chikage: Oh? You’re thinking of fighting with me? Hehehe…very well… // I couldn’t wait to kill a rare female demon, so I came to take her away though…
Chikage: To think that // a weak human would challenge me to a fight. What a fool.
Chikage: You’ll regret pointing your sword at a demon // when you’re in hell!
Chikage: Behind you.
Chizuru: He’s gone?!
Chikage: I’m behind you // again.
sfx bubble: uhhh
Chikage: Well, well. // What a foolish and fragile creature. // What’s the matter? You look like you’re in pain. // Do you hate me?
Chizuru: Saitou-san!! // Please don’t stand up again! / I’ll // just have to go with him!
Chizuru: That way, you’ll be saved…!
Chikage: Well, well. // The female demon is trying to help you. // How about you be obedient and accept what she says?
Chikage: If you run away from here and keep quiet, no one will know…
Saitou: Even if no one is looking, / I don’t intend to give in to you!
Saitou: If I ran away from here, I’d be betraying what’s important in my heart. // This girl and my subordinates…I’ll use my hands and my sword…
Saitou: to protect them.
Chikage: Hahaha! // Protect? With your beat up body? // Very well then!
Chikage: What’s so important? Your insignificant pride? Your worthless honour?
Chizuru: No…please… // Stop… // Stop it already!
Chikage: Cutting up a motionless body is more boring than I imagined.
Chikage: Saitou, / can you beat me? Can you protect // what’s important to you? // Very well…
Chikage: I’ll give you one chance.
Chizuru: That’s… // Ochimizu…?!
Chikage: What will you do? // Will you drink that, become a false demon and fight me? // Or… // Will you die with the pride of a human in your heart?
Chizuru: You can’t! // Saitou-san!
sfx bubble: uh
sfx bubble: guh
sfx bubble: uh / ah
sfx bubble: ah
Box: Everything is to protect what’s important!