Despite hating the Meiji Government, Sanosuke becomes Kenshin's best friend and sees him as a gentle person. Sanosuke compares Kenshin to his former captain, Sagara Sōzō, whom he admires. Although Sanosuke may punch him occasionally for preventing him from fighting, Kenshin notes this makes Sanosuke his most reliable friend, always willing to help. Since Sanosuke stops working as a fighter-for-hire after meeting Kenshin, he usually does not have money, asking his friends to pay for him even though he never returns the money. His lack of money has resulted in large debts to a restaurant in Tokyo; this situation is a recurring comical theme. He also forms friendly relationships with other main characters, notably with doctor Takani Megumi. Because Sanosuke is injured several times throughout the series, Megumi usually takes care of him and warns him about the dangers of fighting, but he never pays attention to her advice, and has to ask her to treat him again.
Sanosuke enjoys fighting and always seeks strong opponents to test his strength, even if the opponent is a friend. Sanosuke admires several fighters throughout the series, referring to them as "invincible" and showing them respect regardless of their morality. He eventually starts a rivalry with the former Shinsengumi member Saitō Hajime when they first fight. Because of the fights he loses against him, Sanosuke sees Saitō as the person he has to surpass in order to become "really stronger".
Many characters refer to Sanosuke as a bird-head (tori-atama, meaning chicken/bird-head) as a reference to his hair. Whenever he uses the word "patriot" to refer to the revolutionary forces that started the Meiji era, he uses it in a disparaging manner.
Story Image Figure Ruroni Kenshin Best Selection: Sagara Sanosuke
PVC, ABS, Yamato
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Rurouni Kenshin Strap Designed by PansonWorks: Sagara Sanosuke
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