Last scene of Shouwa prequels

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Rina's picture
Last scene of Shouwa prequels

(Warning: Spoilers from the main story!)


First of all, time to send billions of thanks to Kuwabara-sensei for writing this amazing story! It seems that this was the last novel of Mirage. She did absolutely fantastic and amazing job during these 26 years. Thank you so much!!

So, yesterday I got the last volume of Shouwa prequels, and I couldn't resist myself of reading some parts of it already. :') Oh my gosh! I made a short summary and also translated the last scene for the fans that can't read Japanese.

This scene is after the last battle. Kagetora has slept in the darkness for many years before Kenshin wakes him up. Kenshin tells to Kagetora that Kagekatsu will born back to the Earth soon and that Kagetora needs to protect him since Kagekatsu is Miroku, and there will be bad people like Nobunaga who would like to use Bodhisattva's power. Kagetora hesitates to perform kanshou again because he feels that he just hurts everyone and doesn't deserve right to live. Kenshin shows a vision of young Tachibana Yoshiaki looking for Kagetora desperately. Kagetora's heart hurts seeing Naoe crying his name and trying to find him. It's painful since Naoe doesn't know the truth about Kagetora's true feelings.

Starting from p. 293:


I want to heal his sorrow. Like Minako did to me.

I'm the only one who can do it.

In this world, I'm the only one.

I can't let him to suffer eternally. That's why. 

I need to go to him.

One more time to that world. 

I want to start it over.

Resetting everything back to zero.

If we can't move forward in our relationship because of me, I'm ready to remove all my memories and even change myself. 

If he can forgive me, I would like to, one more time, with completely new myself, find the way to the future we could have had with Naoe without this tragedy. If it's the only thing I can do now, then I do so.

But I have one request Lord Kenshin.

I ask you to remove all my memories.

Please, wipe away my memories of these 400 years and send me back to the Earth.

But don't remove all. Leave a hint so that I can carry out this task. Imprint this hint into my soul so that I can protect Kagekatsu.

I promise to carry out this task, Lord Kenshin.

So please, give me one last opportunity to make it work with him.

Reset me back to zero and entrust the future to me.

The tangled knot we couldn't untie and the place we couldn't reach, too.

Entrust everything to new me.

I'm not going to abandon everything. Instead, this new change will lead me to the correct way. I won't give in despair. I bend my knee to hope, surrendering to it in order to step into new path. Once more.

Once more I'll return to my friends' side.

Once more I'll return to his side.


I won't have any memories of us, but please, find me.

I'm sure you can do it. 

You will definitely find my soul in the crowd of people.

And when you find me, let's start it over again. Once more.

This time we surely can reach it. You and me.

Our own ideal way to be together.


Kenshin, who accepted Kagetora's wish, leaded him.

A ray of light appeared into the darkness when Kenshin pointed his finger.

Go, Kagetora.

The path you have chosen is good. It's a path without regrets. 

My beloved son, the follower of northern guardian (Bishamonten), I show how you can leave this place. It's time to go. Follow the light.

Kagetora started to walk.

He lifted his chin, clenched his teeth and kept his gaze forward. 

A small life was waiting for him.

It was still dozing at it's mother's womb. 

Kagetora closed his eyes as his soul started to melt into the light.

He remembered the pure white snow field in Aso.

And in the light he saw the smile he would never forget.

"...I'll look after you two from the Heaven...."



After this there is a scene from vol. 1 when Naoe and Takaya meet for the first time in front of Yuzuru's home. The volume ends with words "The story begins now".

Oh my gosh, I totally melted. ;;__;; This was so romantic. 

Sankia's picture
Hi !

It's a beautiful and moving scene ! Thank you for sharing it with us. I did not know that Kagetora had seen Kenshin before remaking the kanshou. It's beautiful when he says he wants to go back to Naoe's side to make him happy. : '(

Rina's picture
Hi Sankia!

Until I read this scene I had always thought that Kagetora's number one reason to perform kanshou again was Kagekatsu and the mission to protect him. But this made me so happy that Naoe was actually the main reason, and Kagekatsu/Miroku second! ^^

sarah3161's picture
Happy new year

I knew Kagetora blamed himself for what happened with Minako but I never thought he came back for Naoe. I think he mentioned something in ,vol 20 i think, that he removed his memory to start from fresh with Naoe. Kuwabara-sensei  is my GOD. Thank you for sharing this ^_^

Rina's picture
Hi sarah3161

Happy new year! :)

Yes, that was quite surprising to learn! The main story gave sometimes pretty strong vibes that Kagetora didn't want to perform kanshou because of Naoe... Or at least Naoe kept thinking so! Kuwabara-sensei is my favorite too! And MoB is the best ever! ^^

Thank you for this!

You are doing more amazing summarizing and translating, and I am way behind in commenting and updating the translation communities. (Hopefully, I will start to get into the swing of the new teaching term soon and manage my time.)

My first impression of this scene is a little bit the opposite of yours, though maybe it will grow on me: Mirage is like that. It feels to me like Kagetora's attitude is coming from Kagetora in volume 25 or something. It's sort of, "Naoe, I'm so sorry for all I've contributed to what's gone wrong between us, but our love must find a way." And I'm glad they eventually get to that stage and glad they ultimately get beyond that stage, but it seems very strange to  see that stage so soon after Naoe has raped and impregnated the woman Kagetora loved, then forced him to be in her body while letting her die. The whole thing is horrifyingly terrible, very close to worst-possible-scenario terrible. This reasonably prompts statements like Kagetora's "I will never forgive you." And it makes every kind of sense that when Takaya begins to significantly regain Kagetora's memories in volume 8, his attitude is right back at "I'll never forgive you" -- ex. "Take your filthy hands off me" sort of thing. And it makes sense, and is very psychologically astute on Sensei's part, that by vol. 17, Kagetora is able to reflect that he was much (maybe more) to blame for what happened with Minako, that he goaded Naoe into it, that maybe he should beg Naoe's forgiveness. But to be at that point right after the events doesn't make psychological sense to me. And frankly, I think it cheapens Minako as a person and cheapens Kagetora's love for Minako and his own trauma, which is certainly equivalent to he himself being raped (and impregnated) by Naoe. (And I think it cheapens rape, in general, which is something Mirage is often on the edge of doing... I know, Japanese BL culture....)

At this point, I always figured, Kagetora's main motivation for coming back one more time was Kagekatsu/Miroku, that otherwise, he would simply say, "I'm done. I'm leaving this life," out sheer fatigue and trauma. To go straight to "I have to do this to make it up to Naoe," for me, actually cheapens Kagetora himself and the almost suicide-enducing struggles he has endured up to this point. It just doesn't feel like the right time in his psychological journey. (And it makes the Miroku plot kind of a second to his personal life when having to make personal sacrifices for the greater needs of the world is one of the main themes of the story. This also feels off.*)

All that said, I do want to reserve final judgment until/unless I can read the whole text myself in context and until I have some time to sit with this narrative and process how it might all fit (or how I might fit it in my head canon). The best explanation I can come up for at this point is that our characters in Mirage, like ourselves in real life, have recursive psychological patterns. There will be moments, for example, when Naoe thinks, "I have no right to be so terrible to him," and then he goes right back to being terrible. Or they will be in the upswing of their relationship, having great sex and talking about their eternal union, and then they'll start spatting again about how Naoe means nothing to Kagetora, etc. because thought processes and patterns don't happen wholesale; they happen in cycles and in waves. I suppose I could see this as an early wave in a thought process that will eventually become the dominant strain of Kagetora's attitude toward Naoe. I can make sense of that, but overall, it sits wrong.

But thank you very much for translating it. I hope they are able to do plays up to the end of this part of the saga, and maybe seeing it on stage will give me a different vantage point.

*And while I'm griping, a small older gripe. I used to think (given hazy summaries) that Kagetora came back because Kenshin told him he needed to look after Kagekatsu and didn't spell out the Miroku part at all (i.e. didn't really tell him why, just sort of said, "I need you to do this.") And honestly, I still wish it had gone down that way because it's damn good drama, putting Kagetora in the position of having drag out his last ounce of strength to once again protect the brother who had him murdered for no reason other than loyalty to Kenshin. I really like what that would say about Kagetora (healthy and unhealthy) as opposed to "I need you to come back one more time to basically help defend the world from apocalypse," which is psychologically a much less trying motivation. (Also makes me wonder about Kenshin's relationship with Kagekatsu. I've been getting the sense from these recent summaries that a lot of it boiled down to, "I needed to keep him close to keep an eye on Miroku," and again, it seems like it would be better drama if Kenshin really did love Kagekatsu and there really was that rivalry for fatherly affection between him and Kagetora on a deep level.) Okay, end of spilling out a lot of random thoughts. (Just to clarify, I do think Sensei is a bonafide literary genius. I am only being hard on her writing because my expectations of this story are about as high as for any story ever.)

Rina's picture
Hi labingi!

This love triangle between Kagetora, Naoe and Minako is a bit different from what the main story (especially anime version) makes us to think. I felt quite surprised about some plot twists. But I don't expose too much spoilers before a proper summary. :) 

I thought so too. In Universe arc (vol. 32) Naoe thought that Kagetora was so angry at him that he didn't want to perform kanshou anymore, but he needed since it was Kenshin's order to protect Kagekatsu. According to this last Shouwa volume, protecting Kagekatsu was Kagetora's mission for this life, but in his heart the main reason seems to be starting over with Naoe.

I'm curious about the twists!

Thanks for your reply to my rant. :) I'm curious about the unexpected twists. So far in the plays, the relationship between Kagetora and Minako is very different from what I had imagined, and I'm really pleasantly surprised and impressed. It's much more interesting and unconventional than the version I had made in my head. (By the way, I'm behind on the translation communities' updates, but I have not forgotten.)

Mirage-Trans Updates

By the way, I have now updated the Dreamwidth mirage-trans with your three Shouwa prequel links. (LJ is not loading, so it is not updated. I may take this opportunity to start focusing on maintaining the DW site.)

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