Welcome to the Meiji Era. Japan is a land experiencing times of troubled peace and renewal after a long and bloody civil war. Swords and killing are outlawed, but all is not as well as it would seem. Lurking in the shadows are many survivors of the revolution awaiting their chance for vengeance. Only the former government assassin, Kenshin Himura can keep the peace. Kenshin gives up the life of “Battousai The Man Slayer” and sets off as a lone wanderer. His travels lead to the Kamiya Dojo where he discovers the chance to start life over.
This is a new, revised version. This will not have spoilers and will cover 3 seasons of the anime.
Based on Nobuhiro Watsuki’s manga, the story of the wandering swordsman get’s an anime. The series is a classic Shonen Jump anime that is filled with samurai action, comedic situations, and real life drama. This anime is both English and Japanese Dub, but there was two studios who worked on the English version. According to Wikipedia, in 1999, Sony attempted the to do the Dub but failed and it was titled “Samurai X”. The anime was later licensed by Media Blasters and it successful complete the series and reaching to all 95 episodes. Sony English Dub called Kenshin, Battousai: The Slasher and in Media Blasters, it was named Battousai: The Manslayer).
Personally, I enjoyed the series. The animation is top-notched as a 90’s anime series and with an excellent cast of voice actors. I will admit, after some of the manga and watched the first couple of episodes of the anime, I noticed the slight changes in regards to characters, but they are tolerable. The characters are can either be your favorite good guy or bad guy, love them or hate them.
The protagonist, Kenshin Himura is a swordsman who was once a killer in a civil war and after the war, he vanished for many years. As years passed, Kenshin no longer kills but now fights to protect the good people from other swordsman who disregard the government or corrupt officers. Kenshin at first may seem like a gentle fellow who would not hurt a fly, but when someone really pushes his buttons (which it does happen quite often) he reveals his sword skills known Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū, a technique where Kenshin runs in godspeed and equipped with a reverse-blade sword. As you watch the series, Kenshin friends also get the spot light and reveal their pasts and their purpose to the series. I will not spoil the backstory, but it is quite interesting to learn from his friends.
Going back to the beginning of the post, Media Blasters split the anime in 3 seasons. The first two seasons follow the manga up to the point where Kenshin faces Shishio and his group of warriors at Kyoto. The first season has some minor filler episodes. Unlike the manga, the third season does not go into the Jinchu arc. Instead it is replaced with filler, filler arcs and comedy episodes. One of the filler arcs involves Kenshin going against a swordsman who uses the similar technique as him and goes around protecting Christians. His name is Amakusa Shōgo, voiced by Crispin Freeman (same guy who Itachi from Naruto and Shizuo from the Durarara!!). There are other arcs such as finding an elixir or dealing with Feng Shui. The comedy filler involves the group taking care of a dog and episodes that resembles The Prince and the Pauper.
If you enjoy good classic Japanese tradition anime, this is the anime for you. Rurouni Kenshin is an easy anime to get into and has many action you can’t get enough. The characters are quite unique when getting to know. The series is long but not like Naruto, One Piece, or Bleach. If you want to watch in English Dub or Subbed, you can watch them free on Crunchyroll; however, the last episode, episode 95, is not there. If you are fortunate enough, you might find it on YouTube or if want to own it, you can buy it from Rightsuf. If you enjoyed the anime, you will like Nobuhiro Watsuki’s other series, Buso Renkin.