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Rurouni Kenshin: the Manga & the Anime


Rurouni Kenshin was one of the first’s anime I’ve ever watched and that I absolutely loved! It was also the one that introduced me to Manga, so I feel a deep feeling of thankfulness towards this anime, because if it hadn’t been for it I probably wouldn’t have become completely obsessed with manga and anime! Therefore, I give my solemn gratitude to Nobuhiro Watsuki for creating Himura Kenshin and his adventures.

As mentioned before in a previous post of mine I started watching Rurouni Kenshin again because I had one the OP songs in my head (the first one, by the way). Even though it has already passed so many years since I watched this anime I still had the fun I had when I was kid who wanted to get a sakabatou, go out and save people from evil (give me some credit I was 9 or less). However, I’ve grown and matured, and the only part really worth watching is the first half which is pretty much the same as in the manga with a few minor changes. The rest has some interesting stories (however there were others I just felt I was going to die of boredom), but it does not fallow the manga and in my opinion that is one BIG flaw. The second part of Rurouni Kenshin, even though is not as exciting as the first part with the antagonist Shishio Makoto, is an extremely important part in the manga. The second part is when Kenshin’s dreadful past physically haunts him and he needs to realize his true purpose in life. This does not happen in the anime! In fact, the anime just ends, just like that! Kaoru fears that Kenshin will become a Rurouni again and leave, but he says he will not and it ends (there are some other stuff in this episode but this is pretty much what happens). Although if you watch the OVAs you'll be a bit acquainted with what happens, but not much. The manga goes way deeper than the OVA.

Another thing that I didn’t like in the anime was Yahiko’s growth, which was close to zero. Yahiko’s most relative growth happens in the 2nd part of the manga. Kenshin starts relying more on him, believing in him and letting him fight a lot more than before.

And what the hell happened to Saito Hajime in the 2nd part of the anime?????

However, one of the greatest plus in the anime was Dr. Gensai’s granddaughters, Ayame and Suzume. It was rather joyful to see how much they like and played with Kenshin. It showed what a great person Kenshin is. Moreover, I also liked that in the anime Yutaro returns from Germany and, Yahiko and he can fight each other once again. Yutaro is mentioned in the manga 'Yahiko no sakabatou' however he never appears.

Although it may seem like I have quite a few critiques on Rurouni Kenshin’s anime I still believe it’s worth watching (and re-watch it a few years later, if you want). However, I strongly advise you to also read the manga so you don’t miss the REAL ending of this awesome story which I really liked and was somewhat bittersweet.

As final closure: ‘Oro!’

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