Rurouni Kenshin

The BEST episodes of Rurouni Kenshin

Every episode of Rurouni Kenshin ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Rurouni Kenshin!

"140 years ago in Kyoto,with the coming of the 'Black Ships', there arose a warrior called Hitokiri Battousai. Felling men with his blood stained blade, he closed the turbulent Bakumatsu era and slashed open the age known as Meiji. Then he vanished, and with the flow of years, became a legend. In the 11th year of Meiji, in the middle of Tokyo this tale begins..." Rurouni Kenshin (the OAVs and Movie are known as Samurai X) tells the story of a wanderer named Kenshin, who used to be called Hitokiri Battousai (Hitokiri means Assassin) during the Japanese civil war, and is now trying to make up for his past and all his murders by helping those in trouble with his reverse-blade sword and by using his powerful technique called Hiten-Mitsurugi Ryu to battle oppressors of freedom and justice, yet struggling with himself and his own murdering self. During the series Kenshin joins others in his quest: Kaoru Kamiya, a young orphan girl who became tutor of the Kamiya-Kashin Ryu Kendo style; Sanosuke Sagara, a mercenary who used to bear the name Zanza and fights just with his incredibly powerful fists; Yahiko Myojin, a young boy who was rescued by Kenshin from a band of thieves and now a pupil on Kaoru's dojo; and Megumi Takani, a female doctor who was rescued by Kenshin from a band which forced her to make a lethal drug. Together they all fight those who oppress the weak while they seek their destiny as well happiness and redemption. The series is based on a homonymous manga created by Nobuhiro Watsuki, which was first published in 1994.

Last Updated: 8/27/2022Network: Fuji TV
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Between Life and Death: Master the Ultimate Technique, Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki!
star
9.07
167 votes

#1 - Between Life and Death: Master the Ultimate Technique, Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki!

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired 3/12/1997

The episode starts off with Seijuro Hiko remembering the past about when he first met Kenshin and while they were continuing the training Kenshin finally proves himself worthy of learning the final technique, so Hiko begins to start by teaching him the Kuzu-ryusen, a technique where it will hit 9 targets of martial arts at one time. Then Hiko instructs Kenshin to try the attack. Kenshin uses the attack flawlessly but Hiko performed one of his own and the end result is that Kenshin lost this skirmish due to his lacking in weight and size. Then after learning this Hiko proclaims "you must defeat this technique with the ultimate attack". After much worry about his friends Kenshin finally looks within himself for what he was missing in life and learns the ultimate technique, the Amakakeru Ryu No Hirameki, which is the will to live, said to be "stronger than anything". Though he has to pay a very high price.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
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The Strongest Opponent From the Past: Merciless Fangs Strike!
star
8.96
173 votes

#2 - The Strongest Opponent From the Past: Merciless Fangs Strike!

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 11/6/1996

Sanosuke is beginning to recover from the wounds inflicted by Saito, but Kenshin's mind is greatly disturbed. Akamatsu, another assassin hired by the same man who is paying Saito fights Kenshin by drawing him out but loses to Kenshin while Saito arrives at the dojo using his status as a policeman to gain entrance. Kenshin and Saito begin to fight, despite Kaoru's attempt to stop them as she begs Kenshin not to revert to his Battousai persona.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
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Prelude to the Impending Fight: The Shadow of the Wolf Draws Near
star
8.96
233 votes

#3 - Prelude to the Impending Fight: The Shadow of the Wolf Draws Near

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/30/1996

The Kenshin-gumi's brief period of peace is interrupted by the presence of former Shinsengumi captain Saito Hajime - now using the name of Fujita Goro and working for the Tokyo police - stirs up some of Kenshin's bloodiest memories of the Bakumatsu. Saito arrives at the Kamiya dojo disguised as a medicine seller and fights Sanosuke, injuring him severely in the process.

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Kyoto... the Engraved Memory: Begin with a Wish
star
8.88
135 votes

#4 - Kyoto... the Engraved Memory: Begin with a Wish

Season 2 - Episode 35 - Aired 9/17/1997

Yahiko visits Mount Hiei, and Sanosuke shows him where that battle with Shishio took place. Meanwhile, Kenshin visits an unknown woman's grave, and places flowers by it. Also at this time, Megumi explains to Kaoru the severity of Kenshin's wounds, and that it is important to keep him from doing anything that dangerous again. Finally, the gang gets on the train to Tokyo, with Misao waving to them and telling them to visit again. After the train departs Saito is seen saying that he and Kenshin will meet again one day and settle the score that they have. When the gang reaches the road to the dojo, Kaoru extends her hand and welcomes Kenshin home. Kenshin smiles and says, "It's good to be home."

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Reborn to Salvation: The Beginning of Anji's New Life
star
8.84
167 votes

#5 - Reborn to Salvation: The Beginning of Anji's New Life

Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired 5/14/1997

Anji and Sanosuke continue their duel, and Anji is reborn to salvation after talking about his past and being convinced by Sanosuke and the memories from the people of his past that he was doing the wrong thing all these years by being a destroyer. Kenshin and Saito continue on ahead to fight Usui, the second challenger of the Jupongottana.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Watch Now:Amazon
The Formation of an Alliance: The Day When Aoshi Joins with Shishio
star
8.84
166 votes

#6 - The Formation of an Alliance: The Day When Aoshi Joins with Shishio

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired 3/5/1997

Misao is in denial after hearing of the deaths of Aoshi's men, and feels despair as she recalls her country-wide search for Aoshi, which ended without success. Meanwhile, Aoshi sends a letter to Okina and they meet in a Kyoto market, where Okina tells Aoshi that his desire to kill Kenshin has turned him into a demon, and that as the leader of the Oniwabanshu Okina cannot allow this to continue. Seta Sojiro and several other Juppongatana meet Aoshi and convince him to join them, as they share the goal of destroying Kenshin. After Okina mysteriously leaves with his shinobi uniform Misao realizes that the two will have a confrontation at the temple and runs to stop it, but proves to be too late as Okina falls to Aoshi's Kaiten Kenbu Rokuren, and is told by Aoshi that the next time they meet he will kill her.

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The Man Who is Chosen for Victory: Shishio Versus Kenshin, Finale!
star
8.79
162 votes

#7 - The Man Who is Chosen for Victory: Shishio Versus Kenshin, Finale!

Season 2 - Episode 33 - Aired 9/3/1997

Getting back on his feet after the Ku Zu Ryu Sen, Shishio gets ready to use the final and ultimate Secret Sword attack, the Kaguzuchi. Kenshin also prepares to use his ultimate move, the Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki. The attacks end up cancelling each other, but the resulting vacuum, temporarily immobilizes Shishio. Not missing his chance, Kenshin strikes. Shishio miraculously stands back up, but as it has been far longer than fifteen minutes, his blood starts evaporating. In fear of Shishio's life, Yumi rushes in, and begs Kenshin to spare him. However, Shishio stabs Kenshin through Yumi! He is determined to continue fighting, and Yumi dies, knowing she did something useful for once. The battle is once again at a standstill. Then suddenly, the scorching heat in Shishio's body causes him to end up being burned alive once again, this time fatally. Houji, refusing to accept Shishio's defeat, maniacally attempts to destroy the Inferno Arena to take out Sanosuke, Kenshin, Saito, and Aoshi.

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The Giant Versus Superman: Like an Arrow Shot at a Time of Despair!
star
8.79
165 votes

#8 - The Giant Versus Superman: Like an Arrow Shot at a Time of Despair!

Season 2 - Episode 26 - Aired 6/25/1997

Just when all hope seems lost, Seijuro Hiko shows up and fights Fuji. He talks to Fuji and makes he realize that he was being used and ask for a fair fight. He defeats Fuji with the Kuzu Ryu Sen. The Aoiya is safe from harm, but Kenshin still has to fight Sojiro in order to fight Shishio himself.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Watch Now:Amazon
The Wolf Destroys the Eye of the Heart: The Fierce Attack of the Zero Stance Gatotsu
star
8.79
163 votes

#9 - The Wolf Destroys the Eye of the Heart: The Fierce Attack of the Zero Stance Gatotsu

Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired 5/28/1997

Uonuma Usui confronts Saito while the others continue on through Shishio's mansion. Usui's claim to "True Vision" is put to the test by Saito, who sees it for what it really is - simply super enhanced hearing adopted by Usui to make up for his lack of sight. Saito realizes that Usui is in fact weak since his desire for revenge against Shishio has driven him to become a mere pawn in Shishio's game. An enraged Usui wounds Saito using the timbe, a tortoise-shell shield and blocks his vision, however, Usui is no match for Saito's Zeroshiki, a move Saito had been saving for a fight against Kenshin.

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Purgatory Bursts into Flames: The Destiny of Makoto Shishio
star
8.78
165 votes

#10 - Purgatory Bursts into Flames: The Destiny of Makoto Shishio

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired 4/23/1997

Sanosuke uses the Futae no Kiwami Anji taught him to stop Gatling gun bullets from hitting him. He then throws the bombs Katsu gave him before he left Tokyo right onto the Purgatory, damaging the engine and leaving a hole in the ship. The Purgatory eventually sinks, but not until Saito, Kenshin, and Sanosuke get off safely. Shishio issues a challenge; Kenshin can only meet him at his base and get to him by completing one-on-one fights. Kyoto is spared from the Kyoto Grand Fire as well, thanks to intervention by the Oniwaban, now headed by Misao.

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A Killer Without Mercy: Fight to the Death Against Cho of the Juppongatana
star
8.71
168 votes

#11 - A Killer Without Mercy: Fight to the Death Against Cho of the Juppongatana

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired 2/19/1997

Kenshin finds Sawagejo Cho has kidnapped the child of Shakku's son in order to obtain Shakku's final work for himself. Kenshin is forced to choose between keeping his vow not to kill and saving the baby, deciding to save the child and draw the sword he has been given. However, just when it seems he has broken his vow and killed Cho, it is revealed that the sword he is holding is Shakku's final work, Shinuchi, a sakabato, and Cho is merely stunned. Kenshin then leaves to find his master, Hiko Seijuro, in order to learn the final technique of Hiten Misturugi-Ryu.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
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As if to Fly: Stop the Launch of the Battleship Purgatory!
star
8.71
164 votes

#12 - As if to Fly: Stop the Launch of the Battleship Purgatory!

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired 4/16/1997

Sanosuke, Saito, and Kenshin go to Osaka to find Shishio and his men onboard a ship. They find Shishio, and Shishio launches the Purgatory, a steel-plated battleship he paid a fortune to get. Shishio plans to use the Purgatory to launch an assault on Tokyo.

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Crash! The Lethal Punch, Futae no Kiwami: The Fist of Sanosuke Screams
star
8.68
166 votes

#13 - Crash! The Lethal Punch, Futae no Kiwami: The Fist of Sanosuke Screams

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired 4/30/1997

Sanosuke, Saito, and Kenshin journey to Mount Hiei at the Shrine of the Six Arches to settle the score with Shishio. The first challenger of the Juppongottana in the shrine is Anji the Destroyer, the man who taught Sanosuke the basics of the Futae no Kiwami. Anji and Sanosuke duel, and Sanosuke uses a Futae no Kiwami attack at full power, called the Kiwami Hazuchi, and knocks Anji down. Sanosuke thinks he is dead, until he gets back up more angry than ever.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Watch Now:Amazon
The Promised Time Has Come: Aoshi and Kenshin Fight Again
star
8.67
162 votes

#14 - The Promised Time Has Come: Aoshi and Kenshin Fight Again

Season 2 - Episode 23 - Aired 6/4/1997

Kenshin senses something coming from Houji's room, and then senses that it is Aoshi Shinomori. He enters the room, and is determined to keep his promise to Aoshi Shinomori, and to Misao Makimachi by fighting, and bringing back Aoshi to Aoiya. Upon entering the room, Aoshi greets him, and he says that he has thrown everything away, including his four comrades, just for the moment of the duel with him and Kenshin. Aoshi is determined to win the fight and kill the Battousai, to claim the title of the strongest.

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Across the Boundary Between Edo and Meiji: Kenshin and Shishio Face to Face!
star
8.65
170 votes

#15 - Across the Boundary Between Edo and Meiji: Kenshin and Shishio Face to Face!

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired 1/22/1997

Kenshin and Senkaku fight, and Kenshin wins with ease. Misao and Eiji make their way up to the same mansion in an attempt to defeat Senkaku for themselves.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Watch Now:Amazon
Sanosuke's Secret Training: The Challenge of Anji, the Destroyer
star
8.61
166 votes

#16 - Sanosuke's Secret Training: The Challenge of Anji, the Destroyer

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired 2/5/1997

Sanosuke gets lost in a forest. He finds a monk there that goes by the name of Anji. Anji gives Sanosuke some food. Sanosuke ends up convincing Anji to teach him how to use the Futae no Kiwami, a very destructive punch (so destructive that it can completely pulverize huge boulders into dust with a single punch). Sanosuke has one week to learn it or Anji will kill him. Sanosuke finally learns it, and then leaves for Kyoto.

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The Juppongatana Who Remain: A Choice for Life
star
8.56
164 votes

#17 - The Juppongatana Who Remain: A Choice for Life

Season 2 - Episode 34 - Aired 9/10/1997

Sano and Aoshi drag an unconscious Kenshin as they run from the burning Building. They eventually escape, but Saito was left behind because his legs were too injured to jump the bridge/walkway that had collapsed. So Saito is now presumed dead. Chou the Swordhunter also appears to tell the group what was happened to the rest of the Juponggottana. The episode ends with Makoto Shishio, Yumi, and Houji gathering in hell, scheming how to take over.

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Hiten Versus Shikuchi! Sojiro's Inborn Talent
star
8.56
161 votes

#18 - Hiten Versus Shikuchi! Sojiro's Inborn Talent

Season 2 - Episode 27 - Aired 7/2/1997

Sojiro and Kenshin have their second duel, since the one in Shingetsu Village was never finished. Sojiro shows Kenshin the Shukuchi attack, an attack that brings him to his opponent in an instant, because he uses powerful legwork. Kenshin manages to get himself pretty wounded in the fight, and Sojiro hasn't even gotten hit once. He even dodges the Kuzu Ryu Sen, an attack Hiko said was unblockable.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
The Tragedy of a Stormy Night: Sojiro's Past
star
8.56
162 votes

#19 - The Tragedy of a Stormy Night: Sojiro's Past

Season 2 - Episode 28 - Aired 7/9/1997

While Sojiro is occupied by constantly re-tieing his shoe, he thinks of the moments of his past, and all of the bad stuff that happened in it. Sojiro's past is shown throughout the entire episode. Sojiro's family never loved him, and only wanted him so they could use him. They made him carry hundreds of buckets of rice, and when Sojiro returns a bucket of rice to his house, one of Sojiro's family members breaks the bucket on purpose. Then, another person who likes to cause Sojiro trouble and use him, named Yanosuke, calls out his father who is inside, blaming Sojiro for breaking the bucket. He then meets Makoto Shishio, whom spared his life. Shishio gave him a Wakizashi sword. When his family has cornered him, he murders them with this sword. Then, Sojiro follows Shishio, as Shishio tells Sojiro that he will become strong.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Watch Now:Amazon
The Devil of Vengeance: Makoto Shishio's Plot!
star
8.56
197 votes

#20 - The Devil of Vengeance: Makoto Shishio's Plot!

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 11/13/1996

The battle between Kenshin and Saito continues after Kenshin is stabbed by Saito's Gatotsu Sanshiki. Kaoru is frightened to see Kenshin's Battousai persona begin to emerge and begins to lose hope that she will ever see the gentle Rurouni again. However, one of Saito's superiors appears and stops the fight just as it is reaching a climax and Kenshin returns to normal after punching himself in the face. Okubo explains to Kenshin that Shishio Makoto, the man who took over Kenshin's position as the Shadow Hitokiri for the Ishinshishi survived being burned alive and has begun gathering an army to overthrow the government, and hopes that Kenshin can defeat him, with the threat of Megumi being turned in for opium manufacture unless he complies. Megumi states she would rather die that be used as a pawn against Kenshin, and he is given a deadline upon which to decide.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Watch Now:Amazon
To Make a Miracle: The Battle at the Aoiya
star
8.55
161 votes

#21 - To Make a Miracle: The Battle at the Aoiya

Season 2 - Episode 25 - Aired 6/18/1997

The battle at the Aoiya continues, as Iwanbo, Henya, and Kamatari fight against the Oniwaban Group and Yahiko and Kaoru. Yahiko manages to defeat Henya, after being almost killed by his Hikku Happa attack. After that, Kamatari, Kaoru, and Misao fight. Misao gets crushed ribs in the fight against Kamatari, and is unable to continue until she wakes up from a dream of Hannya, and she and Kaoru defeat Kamatari through a combined effort. It seems like they have won, until two other Juppongatana members, Fuji and Saitsuchi, appear. Things are not looking good for the ones who remained at the Aoiya.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Watch Now:Amazon
Not Out of Luck! The Revival of a Fighting Spirit
star
8.54
164 votes

#22 - Not Out of Luck! The Revival of a Fighting Spirit

Season 2 - Episode 32 - Aired 8/20/1997

After a short conversation between Aoshi and Shishio, they both engage in combat with each other. However, even with Aoshi's Kaiten Kenbu Rokuren, he cannot defeat Shishio. Suddenly, after buying enough time for Kenshin, Kenshin himself appears to be standing! Due to his swordsman spirit, he was able to survive the wounds caused by the Guren Kaina. Now round two commences. Just when Shishio is about to finish Kenshin off with another Guren Kaina, he remembers the promise he made to Kaoru to go back to Tokyo together. He then uses a five-hit combo on Shishio, and does the Ku Zu Ryu Sen, of the Hiten Mitsurugi Style. Shishio gets back up because of his swordsman spirit, and the final round is about to commence.

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There is a Himura Dojo in Shimonoseki? Another Battousai Appears!
star
8.48
122 votes

#23 - There is a Himura Dojo in Shimonoseki? Another Battousai Appears!

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired 2/10/1998

Kenshin and the rest are in the restaurant eating, suddenly a group called Tengu creates a disturbance, Yahiko and Misao take them outside and fight them. Then a man claiming to be the legendary Battousai arrives and scares them away. Kenshin and the rest are looking for a place to stay but they were all full, they make their way up to the fake Battousai's place and sees he's running a dojo. Kenshin and the others help out and have a place to stay. The Tengu group is getting restless and wants to kill the Battousai, a man named Anzai arrives and says he will kill the Battousai. He arrives at the dojo and wants to fight the Battousai, Kenshin came right on time and defeated him. Kenshin allowed him to keep the name and he and the rest set sail to go back home.

The Ultimate Technique of the Hiten Mitsurugi Style: Reunion with a Mentor, Seijuro Hiko
star
8.47
167 votes

#24 - The Ultimate Technique of the Hiten Mitsurugi Style: Reunion with a Mentor, Seijuro Hiko

Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired 2/26/1997

Kenshin finds his master Hiko Seijuro living as a potter near Kyoto, but Hiko is initially unwilling to take Kenshin back due to his walking out to join the Revolution. Yahiko and Kaoru meet Misao in Kyoto after learning that she saw Kenshin leaving, and later leads the grateful pair to him after they meet Okina at the Aoi-Ya. Kenshin seems initially upset at the sight of Kaoru, but later replies he is only "half" angry. They leave Kenshin to train, and on the way Misao's affiliation with the Oniwabanshu is revealed as well as the fact that she does not know of the fate of Aoshi's group in Edo.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Watch Now:Amazon
Shock! The Reverse Blade Sword Broken: Sojiro's Tenken Versus Kenshin
star
8.47
163 votes

#25 - Shock! The Reverse Blade Sword Broken: Sojiro's Tenken Versus Kenshin

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/29/1997

Shishio is then challenged by Kenshin, but Shishio refuses to accept, saying that Kenshin is weak as a wanderer, and that even if there were 100 of him, Kenshin could not defeat Shishio as Kenshin is now. Shishio tells Sojiro, his right hand man, to fight Kenshin instead. Shishio and Yumi leave the mansion. Sojiro and Kenshin both use the battojutsu drawing technique. Kenshin's sword is broken in two, and Shishio's Nagasoni Kotetsu, which he gave to Sojiro to fight Kenshin with, is also severely damaged. Sojiro leaves the mansion, telling Kenshin to get a new sword before they meet again.

Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto

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