Originally released as a manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki throughout the mid-to-late ’90s, Rurouni Kenshin has become an enduring and beloved franchise that’s spawned multiple adaptations over the years. One of these was an anime series that ran between 1996 and 1998, and was comprised of nearly a hundred episodes. (I’ve only seen the first season, which I really enjoyed. I also really enjoyed the various Samurai X OVAs.) Back in 2021, Liden Films (Tokyo Revengers, Berserk, The Heroic Legend of Arslan) announced that they were producing a new Rurouni Kenshin anime series based on Watsuki’s original storyline.
Set during Japan’s Meiji era (1868 – 1912), Rurouni Kenshin follows the adventures of a masterless samurai, or rōnin, named Kenshin who has vowed to never take a life. With his reverse-blade katana, he instead wanders the land, trying to atone for his bloody past. But when he encounters a young woman named Kaoru who’s struggling to defend her family’s sword school from someone claiming to be the legendary assassin “Hitokiri Battosai,” Kenshin is drawn into a new community — one that he must now defend as enemies from his past begin seeking him out.
Liden Films’ Rurouni Kenshin series, which is directed by Hideyo Yamamoto (Darker than Black, Eureka Seven, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), is now streaming on Crunchyroll, and will eventually be released on Blu-Ray/DVD by Aniplex. Watch the first trailer above.