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In the OVA Rurouni Kenshin : Seisouhen, there was a scene where Sanosuke and Kenshin met each other again after a few years. Sanosuke tossed Kenshin a grilled fish on a stick and Kenshin wasn't able to catch it showing that the disease had slowed his speed and reaction time severely.

Kaoru seemed to have caught the disease from Kenshin after spending a night together which means it's some kind of an STD.

Is there any disease that's similar to the aforementioned, in real life?

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I found this on the Wikipedia page for Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection

Kenshin eventually becomes ravaged by an unknown disease that is much like leprosy (the writers have admitted there is no medical explanation for Kenshin's condition[citation needed]). To share his pain, Kaoru convinces Kenshin to infect her with the disease through sexual intercourse.

Leprosy is not an std but can be spread through physical contact with a person who is infected. Since it is said that the disease is much like leprosy it could have been transmitted to her when she stayed with him.

As far as canonicity the story was not written by Nobuhiro Watsuki. I'm not sure if this story was considered canon or not but the following is a quote from the Wikipedia

Although Samurai X: Reflection was not written by Watsuki, he stated that he "checked in on the script."[5] Watsuki mentioned not having input in it, and let the director "run wild with it." In response to Kenshin's death in comparison to the happy ending in the manga version, he felt that his own work eventually would have reached Kenshin's death had he continued writing. He had not wished to pursue that line because "Kenshin went through so much crap and deserved a happy ending." He felt that neither version was better than the other because "it's a personal taste thing."[5]

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    Can you talk about the canonicity of the OVAs? – Michael McQuade Dec 4 '15 at 1:14
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    After everything he had been through, it seemed unfair to him died like that. It's just so tragic. T_T – Anastasiya-Romanova 秀 Aug 30 '16 at 1:41
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What about Meningococcal disease? It makes skin get purple and it was deadly in the 1880's until penicilin was discoverd in 1945. Here the link, it's spreaded for spending time in the same room with a person who s sick of this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meningococcal_disease

  • Can you explain why you think this disease is the answer, given that it doesn't seem to match the description given in the question? – kuwaly May 2 '17 at 12:54

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