If you ask me what’s my all-time favorite hit anime, then you wouldn’t really find it surprising if I say it’s Rurouni Kenshin. Also known as Ruroui Kenshin Meiji Kenkaku Romantan (lit. ‘Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story’), Wandering Samurai or just plain Samurai X for short among English subs, this anime is adapted from a Japanese manga and the story is set in the time of the Meiji era. I love this anime because of its amazing plot structure, creative background story and the superb animation. I first saw the anime in AXN in original Japanese language (there was English subtitle then) and I was readily hooked to it that it’s excruciating to miss its anime episode.
The manga was originally written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki, and over time there have been lots of novels and fan fictions inspired from the manga. The anime adaptation was produced by Aniplex (like Fullmetal Alchemist, Girl from Hell, Blood+) and Fuji TV. It was also through Fuji TV that the anime was aired throughout Japan. The anime was animated by Studio Gallop and Studio Deen one after the other.
The story centers about Kenshin Himura, a former assassin (hitokiri) who vows to never kill anyone again. Thus, to atone for the murders he did in the past, he becomes a wanderer who readily helps those people in need with his reverse-edge sword. In Tokyo he meets the beautiful Kamiya Kaoru and saves her from imminent danger, in which Kaoru, who is a master of Kamiya Kasshin Ryuu, invites him to stay in her dojo because Kenshin didn’t have a steady place to stay. As time goes by Kenshin and Kaoru meet more characters like the Sekihotai former member Sanosuke Sagara (who later becomes Kenshin’s sort of right-hand partner) and an orphan Yahiko Myoujin – both of which stayed in the same dojo with Kenshin. Together, they battle again injustice, and all of them also establish a firm friendship with each other. And not to mention – love. Aargh.
My favorite character is Kenshin of course. But if I have to choose another, I would choose Shinomori Aoshi, the leader of the Oni Gang, or perhaps the superb Saitou Hajime. I love that episode when Saitou and Kenshin fought with each other. It so cool!