If you’ve been in the weeb community for even some time, you’ve probably at least heard of this manga. It is a rather old manga so I doubt that many people have actually read it. But Rurouni Kenshin is quite an iconic series regardless. Some aspects of it, have not aged quite well. But for what it’s worth, the manga has some really cool fights and a pretty interesting view on Japanese history.
So welcome back to another edition of our weekly manga recommendation series! Today we are talking about Rurouni Kenshin! Some people may even know it as Samurai X, although I’ve personally never seen that romanization being used. There is quite a bit to talk about in the manga, so let’s start right off.
Rurouni Kenshin is written and illustrated by Watsuki Nobuhiro. The manga originally ran from April 1994 to September 1999 and it is 28 volumes or 258 chapters long. About the average length for a shonen. It of course has a 90-something episode anime adaptation with multiple OVAs. One of those OVAs is particularly famous and is definitely worth checking out even if you’re skipping the main anime.
Rurouni Kenshin follows the titular Himura Kenshin. The story is set in the Meiji era, the era of long-fought peace after the revolution at the end of the Edo era. Kenshin was one of the most famous killers of the revolution in the Edo era. Now he just wants to enjoy the peace of the new era that he hard fought for. But, his past doesn’t want to let him go and even the new era isn’t as perfect as it seems.
Being a shonen, Rurouni Kenshin has a pretty simple plot. Now what I like about it is, the author clearly knows his history. And he tries his best to be as historically accurate as possible so you may learn a thing or two while reading this. Now to be fully clear, yes the plot kind of dies after the first arc and that past arc but those two arcs are more than worth the read if not the whole thing.
Rurouni Kenshin has some really good characters. Kenshin is one of my favorite Shonen protagonists of all time. He has a really well-fleshed-out character and backstory. Despite all the things he has done, despite all the blood on his hands, he is still an extremely kind person. That is why he took the vow not to kill again after the revolution. There are a lot of cool characters in this manga and quite a few of them are really well-written.
This part of Rurouni Kenshin has probably aged the worst. The art clearly shows its age in general. It’s like the fight scenes and serious moments and stuff look really cool. But when normal things are going on, the art looks rather goofy, this is the place where you realize just how old this manga really is. So it’s kind of 50/50 for me.
Why should you read Rurouni Kenshin?
Quick pointers on why you should check out this manga:
- Cool plot
- Great setting
- Good characters
- Awesome fights
Well, that is it for now. Let me know what you think in the comments. Rurouni Kenshin despite all its flaws has a special place for me. Because some of its fights and scenes are genuinely so cool that they’re really hard to forget. Well, this is finally my last article for the week. It was quite a long week for me and now I can finally rest. So yeah, I’ll take my leave here. See ya!