A story set in the mid-1800's about a young doctor who has been trained in Western-style medicine and a young samurai who is trying to live up to the old traditions of his class and culture. The story is actually based upon real people - the doctor, Ryo-an, was Tezuka's great grandfather. During the Second Year of Ansei (1855) in Edo's Koishigawa are two young men, Manjiro Ibutani and Ryoan Tezuka. Ibutani is a low-ranking samurai who is a gifted swordsman and has a straightforward and strong sense of justice. Tezuka has a more carefree attitude. He has an eye for the ladies, but he is passionate about becoming a doctor. The two opposite characters come of age during the backdrop of the turbulent end of the Tokugawa Period.