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Ruroni Kenshin Vs. Vagabond

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Which do u like better?
Ruroni Kenshin
Dont like either
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Post #374121
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12:36 am, Apr 25 2010
Posts: 310

Vagabond hands down. In my mind, there's not even any competition between the two! Musashi the novel is my favorite book (with the best characterization I've ever read) so that's probably why I'm so biased. There's just more depth and realism to Vagabond than there is to Ruroni Kenshin.

Post #383279
user avatar

6:40 pm, Jun 4 2010
Posts: 21

Its very close for me but id have to go with Kenshin. I enjoyed the pace it moved along better compared to vagabond and if you include the samurai x ovas then read the manga it makes it much more enjoyable.

I devour the five lands
and drain the three seas
Yet, only the sky is impossible to reach.
With this body lacking wings, hands, or legs,
I am the World Serpent.
My name is Jormungand
Post #384327
user avatar

8:18 pm, Jun 9 2010
Posts: 974

RK tv series is a shounen it wouldnt make a good comparison, too much emphasis on fictional/unrealistic fighting techniques which makes it rather childish.

"we are people because of other people"
"I am who I am because of who we all are"
Post #387783

6:16 am, Jun 24 2010
Posts: 4

Well, I'm not completely caught up yet but fairly close on Vagabond. Will have to see how it goes. I've been curious about series comparison for a while over the years and I've concluded that there's nothing truly wrong with it as long as you can maybe explain why you think one is better in what way than the other(s). After all, when you make a best of list or try to discuss things with other people you already have some idea of the things you value over others.

Some spoilerish things ahead
So far...
Musashi has the better art. In that, I mean that its less shiny or moe than RK. It's more realistic in that sense.

Comedy is done well in both...but comedy is a bigger part of RK.

In terms of depiction of women, I have to say Vagabond is better by far. I like Otsuu and I've liked the depiction of other women. I've never particularly liked Kaoru who seemed kind of annoying in some ways and Megumi was okay and the ninja girl was also just okay as Aoshi-obsessed girl.

Vagabond's fight scenes are more "samurai" like or what I imagine samurai battles would be like. The fighters are generally speaking serious about the fighting they do. RK has all sorts of flashy glitzy names that are just not very apparent in Vagabond. The movements in general are drawn better in Vagabond than with RK. This goes along with the 'superior' or at least less moe art style. In terms of the special "weapons" displayed by the enemy and our hero's quick thinking and countermove, I think they are fairly even. With RK, there is greater need for innovative thinking because of the abundance of named moves but I've always liked some of the solutions offered like to Hannya or Aoshi. In Vagabond, our guy shows improvements in a number of ways such as mentality. In Kenshin there is no real improvement of mentality on the hero's part which makes him better. He was always the best ever since he descended from the mountain so....whatever. In Vagabond however, our guy not only stops the enemy's special attack by some kind of training or countermove but also some kind of mental improvement. In other words, RK seems to have more creative techniques but Vagabond has improvements against enemies through mental as well as physical training.

Liking of characters: In terms of characters, there are plenty of "cool" people in both series but to be honest, Vagabond has less reader attachment to the characters (I think). I think it is a part of its style but y'know...I don't really mind anyone falling or dying in fights, not even Musashi himself.On the other hand, male characters in kenshin are generally appealing in that way. I didn't want Saitou to fall nor Sano nor Aoshi. Vagabond is cooler in temperature while Kenshin is more full of drama and emotion.

Storyline:I really can't say too much about this. Both are quite good in their own way. Musashi is based on real events: you forgive many things once you find that its based on reality. Kenshin has a dramatic story. Kyoto arc, Bakumatsu flashbacks, or the Enishi arc. All quite well done in my opinion. While the best action arc was certainly Kyoto,especially the leading fight, the best comedy was the initial Tokyo arc, and the best drama was the Enishi arc. This kind of changing atmosphere was something I really enjoyed. On the other hand, Vagabond is consistent, very consistent. Unlike even some other vagabond likers out there, I never felt that the fights were drawn out, possibly because the art was really quite good.

Intellectual stimulation: Both give a lot for thought in their own realms. Vagabond is consistently focused on personal issues, as in , what's going on inside Musashi's head and also the relationship of man and sword and the value of the sword. But, on the whole, Kenshin covers a lot more ground externally, though not particularly in depth. It also treats some of same problems as Vagabond but not as deeply. On the whole, despite more depth in Vagabond's treatment of certain issues, I give the edge to Kenshin because it made me think a lot more. Of course, this may change since Vagabond is not finished but I do not think it will.

Atmosphere...: Kenshin takes a lot of elements from the era it is located in as the author has clearly researched or already had a working knowledge of the era. It pulls in many nice details from the era to form a more compelling background to the series. That is something quite enjoyable in itself. Vagabond does this as well, and works in a number of the more gritty details of society and the world that Musashi lived in. Despite the natural edge that Musashi has in grittiness and such, I'd say they are pretty good in using the historical and cultural background that the series are situated in. However,, Musashi has a more compelling "atmosphere". By this, I mean you have more of the sense that you can smell the things depicted therein and less so in Kenshin. Vagabond pulls you into its own atmosphere more than Kenshin. Perhaps, for that much, I'd give a plus to Musashi over Kenshin.

Visual and body reactions of characters:This is also directly related to the art style but I have to say that the facial expressions and what body cues there are, are better in Vagabond than RK which has more the big-eye more-moeish style of some anime. I kind of prefer Vagabond more in this sense.

Enjoyment: This is to round off my comparison. I have enjoyed RK to a greater degree than I have Vagabond so far. That is to say, despite the fact that about equal volumes have appeared of Vagabond as compared to Kenshin, (I don't know whether RK chapters and volumes were longer), Vagabond still has a fair portion of its story to tell. I don't know if there is anything after Kojiro, but there might be. Either way, I think in the end RK will "seem" longer than Vagabond and that is because it is more full of content (I think). My enjoyment of RK is more for the overall combination of comedy, character drama, and intellectual stimulation that I think are superior in it to Vagabond. I admit that I may be influenced by the anime (which I had watched first) and an abundance of decent RK fanfiction which possibly expanded my appreciation for certain characters. Well, that's all for now. Both are worth reading, so reading both is a good thing ^ ^

P.S. In terms of seinen, if you want to go that route, I still believe Lone Wolf and Cub is better. (story-wise, content-wise, variety)


Last edited by Pakuen at 6:25 am, Jun 24

Post #395194
user avatar

12:56 pm, Jul 28 2010
Posts: 307


Rurouni Kenshin is too childish and cartoony. It's really lame and the characters aren't developed a lot. Nor to mention the stupid Kenshin syndrome. "I can't kill, I can't kill". It's unrealistic and makes the fights really anti-climatic.

Seinen < shonen in most of these battles anyways

Post #422532
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12:55 pm, Nov 9 2010
Posts: 37

Rurouni Kenshin gets my vote because I like the story that expresses compunction. I'm a romantic.

Musashi and "the book of five rings" tells the story of a cutthroat pragmatic.... Btw, if you watched the Samurai trilogies, they are completely different from the way Musashi expresses the events in his life.

Last edited by DuckTales at 1:07 pm, Nov 9

Post #422533
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12:57 pm, Nov 9 2010
Posts: 51

Some things shouldn't be compared. These are two of em.

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