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Rurouni Kenshin  
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From Viz:
140 years ago in Kyoto, with the coming of the American "Black Ships," there arose a warrior who, felling men with his bloodstained blade, gained the name Hitokiri, man slayer! His killer blade helped close the turbulent Bakumatsu era and slashed open the progressive age known as Meiji . Then he vanished, and with the flow of years, became legend.
Ten years later, a young woman's life is saved when she happens upon a strange wandering swordsman named Kenshin. The young woman accepts the wanderer into her dojo, despite his secretive past, and the two become fast friends. As their relationship grows, they meet and make more friends (as well as enemies), and they grow accustomed to their life together.
However, one man can only run from his past for so long, and it isn't long before Kenshin is forced to face the life he thought he'd left behind. Now, together with his friends, he must fight the ghosts of his past if he wants the people he loves to have any kind of future.

Contains a side story called Yahiko no Sakabato.


Related Series

Associated Names
Бродяга Кэнсин
るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚-
Kenshin (WATSUKI Nobuhiro)
Lãng khách Kenshin
Samurai X
Wandering Swordsman Kenshin

Groups Scanlating
Manga Downloads

Latest Release(s)
v.2 c.10 by HAO (1485d ago)
v.2 c.9 by Ascension (1559d ago)
v.1 c.1-8 (v2) + Special by Ascension (1616d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
28 Tankoubon Volumes (Complete)
22 Kanzenban Volumes (Complete)
14 Bunkoban Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at vol.1, Ch.1
Ends at vol.18 ch.151 (anime TV series only)

User Reviews
Rurouni Kenshin by Rashid

10 topics, 111 posts
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User Rating
Average: 8.8 / 10.0 (1723 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.76 / 10.0
 40% (682 votes)
 26% (444 votes)
 19% (326 votes)
 10% (165 votes)
 3% (53 votes)
 1% (18 votes)
 0% (6 votes)
 0% (6 votes)
 0% (4 votes)
 1% (19 votes)

Last Updated
October 8th 2015, 6:49am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (28 Volumes & 9 Omnibuses - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #591 (No change)
Monthly Pos #572 decreased(-29)
3 Month Pos #552 increased(+8)
6 Month Pos #514 decreased(-57)

List Stats
On 1181 reading lists
On 1107 wish lists
On 4364 completed lists
On 190 unfinished lists
On 489 custom lists

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Forum Posts
how does it hold up to today's shounen heavy hitters? 928 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes ago
NEW Rurouni Kenshin Anime!!?? 929 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes ago
Rurouni Kenshin Movie 1001 days, 10 hours, 45 minutes ago
Swift Death To Evil - A Saitou Hajime Retrospect 1291 days, 15 hours, 33 minutes ago
Manga series "Reboot"!? 1292 days, 7 hours, 1 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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This is a must read for all manga fans   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by unusuallove
November 3rd, 2010, 8:27pm
*If you don't want to read everything I wrote, then just skip to the last section. That's what's most important.

Rurouni Kenshin is a brilliant classic that will appeal to all types of audiences. It is well thought out, a perfect length, with interesting multi-dimensional characters.

This manga starts out taking place during the tenth year of the Meiji era (during the 1800s), when the carrying of swords just became illegal and the art of the samurai is on the decline. It is about an exceptionally skilled samurai who fought as war assassin for several years before suddenly, without warning, disappearing. The manga begins with the meeting of a young dojo master (Kaoru) and this mysterious wanderer (Kenshin) who has sworn never to kill again (ooo, I wonder who he could possibly be). They become friends and face many challenges together, along with the friends they pick up along the way.

The main characters are interesting and all very likable.
Kenshin: Appearance: Very kind, a little dumb, funny. Reality: Very intelligent and highly skilled, but still kind. He's the sort of character who is just plain good. He uses his powers (extreme skill, unbeatableness) for good and not evil
Kaoru: The female lead. She's been one of my all-time favorite characters for a long time, because she's so simple. By simple, I do not in any way mean stupid. She is actually very smart, and knows swordsmanship well. By simple, I mean that she always expresses how she feels. Whether she's happy, angry, jealous, frustrated, whatever, everyone knows it. Also, she's a horrible cook, which is an ongoing gag in this series, as she gets really angry when people insult her cooking.
Yahiko: Kaoru's student.Very stubborn and often argues with Kaoru.
Sanosuke: A fighter for hire who becomes friends with Kenshin and Kaoru. He's kind of your classic shounen male lead. He's strong (but not nearly as strong as Kenshin) and tough (way tougher than Kenshin) and a basic element to the story.
Megumi: A doctor who becomes friends with Kenshin, Kaoru, etc. She has a thing for Kenshin, but they don't make it into a big deal in the manga. She's your classic, beautiful/graceful japanese woman. However, she really likes to get on Kaoru's nerves, because she knows Kaoru is jealous of her cooking skills and elegancy etc.

The author spends a nice amount of time developing each of the characters, as they all are strong and want to help Kenshin in their own way. Sanosuke, especially, is often seen fighting alongside Kenshin.

Starts out pretty good for a shounen manga. Gets to be really good. Then goes down a little bit, but stays really good. If I were to grade it out of ten, I'd say: 8, 10, 9.

Here's why this manga will appeal to everyone.

It has all the basic elements. Comedy (which everyone likes), romance (between the two leads, and no, that is not a spoiler at all), history, really intricate battles with well-thought out techniques, and a journey. By this I mean, the characters are trying to reach a goal, not just loafing around aimlessly.

None of the characters are annoying, or a major liability.

The plot twists. The first arc is pretty straightforward, and is basically what you'd expect it to be. However it is done very well, so that it feels like a classic, rather than a copy of a classic. Then comes the second arc, and it throws you head over heals. Trust me, no one expected what the second arc brought. Surprise after surprise after surprise, and twists you never would have seen coming. It is very nice in contrast to the first arc, because between the two, all the basic elements that you could hope for in a story are covered.

Satisfying ending. Maybe you won't love it, maybe it won't be the best ending ever for you, but you'll be satisfied with it. You don't feel let down by the way this one ends.

The fights never get repetitive. Even for someone like me, who isn't all that into battles, the fights in Rurouni Kenshin were interesting. That's because there were always new techniques that were being used and you honestly couldn't tell how a battle would end up. And it wasn't just for the protagonist. His enemies always had new techniques as well. So the fights were very capable of captivating your interest, no matter who you were.

So check it out. It isn't the most profound manga in the world, but it is a classic, and it just makes you feel good to read it. And sure it's a little older, but in my opinion, it easily outweighs some of those most popular shounens of today, such as Naruto and Bleach.
By the way if you can, I would suggest reading it in volume form. It's just better that way.

... Last updated on November 5th, 2010, 8:48pm
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Brings Back Memories   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by P_O_C_K_Y
May 14th, 2013, 6:13pm
I remember watching the anime when I was younger and then discovering the manga which, of course, turned out to be even better. You grow to love the characters, the plot, the adventures, the love. This manga has it all, nicely woven together in a nice 28 volumes....

Haha, okay, it's a bit long and I read it sporadically, but liked it nonetheless! It might take you a while or you could be one of those people that reads a manga in one sitting (might not be possible for this one), but you'll finish because it's impossible to give up on.

You'll be satisfied in the end and you might not revisit it because you'll remember it's over 200 chapters long, but you'll always remember it. A brilliant, brilliant manga. Definitely an ace and a manga all should read at least once.
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Rare Gem   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Day Dreamer
December 26th, 2011, 11:48pm
I had started watching the anime a few months ago but never really had the chance to finish it, so I decided to read the manga instead.

The Rurouni Kenshin manga is definitely one of those rare gems---I am satisfied with the ending but I'll always desire more of this manga.Could the length of the fighting scenes have been shortened? Sure, but they weren't too bad and the fact that the characters were all very likeable made a big difference in execution of the storyline.

Rurouni Kenshin will be one of my most memorable reads for the simple reason that it's been one of the few captivating action/adventure/romance/historical mangas worth my time.
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Great manga! A classic!   
Rating: 8.7 / 10.0
by crazyboutcute
August 21st, 2011, 4:13pm
I love Kenshin! This was one of the first shounen mangas I read, so it's very dear to me. Unlike your typical mainstream shounen series, this manga not only attempts but succeeds in conveying a deeper meaning and in enlightening certain aspects of the human condition. The characters, I think, are RK's strongest point. They are well-rounded, likeable, and beautifully developed. The adorkable eponymous Kenshin is highly complex in terms of character and at the same time is very human and sympathetic. Each character gets his or her share of development, making for an extremely colorful cast.

One aspect of Rk that I particularly appreciated was Watsuki's portrayal of women. The heroine Kaoru is strong, independent, and genuine. There are no damsels in this manga. In fact, arguably the strongest character in the entire series is
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Kenshin's dead wife
Tomoe, and her direct role in the story isn't even all that big. As a feminist, I was very pleased with the number of strong and reliable women in this manga. Even Big Bad Shishio's lover Yumi, apparently a prostitute, proves to be a strong character with her strategic thinking and unwavering devotion. As a side note, the girls of RK all have relatively NORMAL body proportions. Thank God.

There are a lot of boring, drawn-out, and highly implausible fight scenes in this manga which could easily have been removed to create a better flow. I guess that's to be expected for a manga serialized in a weekly publication. Usually, they aren't too-too cumbersome, and since this is an older manga, I can forgive it its faults. The art is beautiful, and the character designs are generally very good. The lines are soft, almost wispy-looking, creating a nostalgic sort of feeling. I wish this were a style employed more often in shounen manga.

Overall, this manga is fantastic, certainly groundbreaking in its genre. I highly recommend this sweet story with its endearing characters. It's definitely a classic!

... Last updated on August 21st, 2011, 4:16pm
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Amazing comic/manga   
Rating: N/A
by Animeslayer31
September 3rd, 2011, 12:24pm
I loved this manga at first sight. I love it so much I keep on re reading and re watching it over and over again. I actually liked the author's art better in this than in his future look seems like it went from bad ass anime style to another One Piece style but oh well I love this manga in one of my favorite manga's of all time.
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The manga that got me into manga.   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by hairy bum
June 28th, 2010, 10:02pm
If you're a fan of any type of manga I would recommend this to you. It's got everything you could ask for and even more. Romance, comedy, tragedy, action, even history! What amazes me the most is that all of it fits together perfectly. Combine that with interesting and deep characters, fantastic artwork, and a deep and flowing plot and you get Rurouni Kenshin. I could probably write pages of praise for this and it still wouldn't be enough. This is the only manga I've taken the time to read through more than once and I can honestly say it's well worth it.

Anyways, don't waste any more time reading what I'm saying here and just start reading Rurouni Kenshin already.
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one of the best   
Rating: N/A
by konan45
June 7th, 2008, 1:02pm
i love Rurouni Kenshin it is one of my favorite mangas. The plot and story is one of the best i have read and the characters is awesome. the two first arcs is amazing and the third is good. everyone interested in manga should read this

... Last updated on August 5th, 2008, 10:06am
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by wewerethere1
October 3rd, 2007, 7:29pm
I thought that the anime was the best. Now reading the manga has made it even more perfect. It is the most beautiful story ever. I just cant say how great, wonderful, i dont know, this story is. There is no word. Its too great. Also is reflection real, or based on the manga. If it is i would be disappointed. If not then that is the greatest of all. PERFECT

... Last updated on October 4th, 2007, 7:58pm
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Really Great... Really, really!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by lover-fighter
December 6th, 2013, 5:12pm
I'm sorry my comment is long, but I really love this manga! I have not found a manga that really illustrates the complexity of the human being until RK. I have heard that the author was restricted in his development to comply with SJ and claims he was a little disappointed with the result but nonetheless he does a beautiful job!

The art extremely refreshing and unique. The lines are soft when needed to evoke a sensitive emotion, then are dark and angular during battle. The art itself reflects the situation and the conflicts of the heart.
The story artfully weaves romance, tragedy, action, and comedy into one, wonderful result.
I loved how the complexities of battle was eminent in the story. Making the decision to stay true to your ideals/values even if going against them and killing is what will keep the people important to you safe. That conflict was gracefully executed.
Personally, I think the romance could have been developed with more depth. It developed but it felt closer to friendship than lovers and then suddenly flipped to a "lover"-feel.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The development with Tomoe as a lover for Kenshin felt more realistic than the development with Kaoru. With TomoexKenshin, it felt pretty skin deep but it seemed like Kenshin was more invested in the relationship than Tomoe (since he could sleep in front of her even though he was always battle-ready). Tomoe seemed distant until she left him, but then she was willing to die for Kenshin. It felt kind of abrupt. Then with KaoruxKenshin, Kenshin never really shows any big interest in her other than valuing her company. That strikes me as more friend-zoned than "my lover" whereas it was pretty obvious Kaoru was crushing on Kenshin from the beginning (but you know, who wouldn't? <3Kenshin<3). Then when she's killed in the last arc he goes into this huge depression like he was her "lover" the entire time. Again, pretty abrupt. Plus I don't think there was one kiss, not even a peck. Even from Tomoe, HIS WIFE.
Though, despite my complaints, I think it was still very well done.
Also the comedy isn't "in your face" nor is it nonexistent/sparse. There is just enough that it keeps the story lovable since the story is pretty dark and would feel incomplete if it were excluded.
I liked that there wasn't the "damsel in distress" ploy either (thats really getting old for me). The women were strong and independent but sensitive and they weren't man-haters either. They were realistic (in shape and attitude), a good example for what real women are and should be.

A really enjoyable read. I fell in love with the characters. I actually got into the story where I couldn't just sit and read it quietly. I reacted like I was there experiencing the story with the characters. It felt like a story that could have been lived and though I do like the more radical/unrealistic stories that are common nowadays because I find them enjoyable, this was extremely refreshing.
I may be newer manga reader, but this manga will be one I reread and hail as a classic.

... Last updated on December 6th, 2013, 5:13pm
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The sentimental manga   
Rating: 8.9 / 10.0
by Cassiopea
May 4th, 2012, 9:05pm
I read this series awhile ago, at least a good few years by now (And I actually haven't finished it) it was back when I first started out reading manga.

It's a quality series, definitely a worthy one. It is legimately engaging and makes for a nice read.

It isn't my all time favourite manga, but it was definitely a likable one. Feel free to have a go at it!
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