Blade of the Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc (無限の住人 ～幕末ノ章～, Mugen no Jūnin: Bakumatsu no Shō) is a Japanese manga written by Kenji Takigawa and illustrated by Ryu Suenobu and with the collaboration of Samura Hiroaki. It's a direct sequel of Blade of the Immortal manga, taking place in the Bakumatsu period.
Characters in Bakumatsu Arc
Characters in Blade of the Immortal:
The following plot information contains SPOILERS for both Blade of the Immortal and Blade of the Immortal: Bakumatsu Arc.
After living in America and learning English, Manji returns to Japan for ~14 years and teaches English to a young Niijima Shimeta in Tosa, Shikoku. While there, a young man named Ryouma Sakamoto comes looking for him. He wants Manji to accompany him to Kyoto, where political and civil unrest are occurring between the Imperialists and the Shinsengumi.
Manji reveals his immortality is still present even though he reached killing 1000 people thirty years prior. He is more than annoyed with Yaobikuni for apparently lying to him about how to atone for his sins. Ryouma suggests that helping people may be the correct path, since murder didn't work. When he hears this, Manji remembers Rin and accepts. He and Ryouma do not exactly share the same philosophy about the future of Japan, but they both want to help protect other people.
Manji and Ryouma go to Kyoto. Upon seeing his first Shinsengumi members, Manji is cut down by them because he is wearing a sword, but springs back to life and settles the score. Later, at a restaurant, Ryouma tells Manji they will be meeting the leader of the Tosa Imperialists (who are loyal to the Emperor and not the Shogunate) and one of Ryouma's old friends, Takechi Zuizan. When they leave, a dog walks up to them before running away. The dog runs to Kitami, a man with a dog muzzle for his mouth and nose.
A group of Shinsengumi men called the Itsuban Squad get a visit from a girl named Ayame Buran, the great-granddaughter of Ayame Burando. Using what she has learned of the old immortality experiments from Burando's notes, she says she can help the Squad member Yamanami to regain the strength in his left arm using a kessen procedure, as it was lost from a sword cut. Ayame and Kondou make the men swear the immortality information to secrecy, though Ayame promises that she will heal Yamanami's arm.
Manji and Ryouma meet with Takechi Zuizan, but Takechi does not want to wait to topple the Tokugawa Shogunate like Ryouma does; Ryouma is concerned they will have to kill many people who are still loyal to the Shogunate. Takechi reveals his plans to burn Kyoto to the ground. Manji bows out of the conversation, telling Ryouma there's no right answer and it's none of their business.
One of the Imperialists, Izou Okuda, follows them and starts fighting Manji because of his rude behavior toward his boss, Takechi. Ryouma is friends with the both of them and does not want them to fight, but they begin anyway, As they are fighting, more men arrive, but are quickly defeated thanks to Manji, Izou, and Ryouma's gun. They all return to Takechi's to find he has been kidnapped. Painted on the wall in the blood of the fallen is the "manji" symbol, and Manji finds a note addressed to him by a "relative of Ayame Burando", disclosing they have taken Takechi and if they want him back, Manji must meet at a bridge alone later that night. Manji remembers in horror all of the torturous experiments done on him while he was imprisoned underneath Edo Castle eighty years earlier.
While imprisoned, Takechi tells the Itsuban members with him of his plan to burn Kyoto. Manji meets Kitami (of the Itsuban Squad) on the bridge and defeats him and his pack of dogs. The next day, as Manji and Ryouma are discussing what to do, a woman working at their inn tells Manji there is a girl waiting outside to see him. The girl tells Manji she is Ayame Buran, and reveals that although it was she who told the Itsuban Squad about him, she did it because she is in love with him and wanted to meet him.