The WORST Episodes of Rurouni Kenshin

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Network: Fuji TV

"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.

Revival of the Shinko Style

#1 - Revival of the Shinko Style

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Jul 10, 1996

Kenshin leaves Raijuta's warriors to save Yutaro from drowning. Kaoru teaches Yutaro the Kamiya Kasshin style of swordsmanship, although he doesn't understand its moral aspects. The military attacks Raijuto and his gang.

star 6.20
227 votes
You Can Do It! Toramaru's Dosukoi Journey

#2 - You Can Do It! Toramaru's Dosukoi Journey

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired May 8, 1996

Kaoru takes in Toramaru, a sumo wrestler who has been kicked out of his sumo stable. The leading wrestler fears being overtaken, and uses his status to keep Toramaru down. Kaoru teaches Toramaru to be self confident, and he rejoins the sumo stable.

star 6.36
231 votes
Danger on a Runaway Locomotive

#3 - Danger on a Runaway Locomotive

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired Jul 31, 1996

The Kenshin-gumi take a train trip to Yokohama for fun. A train robbery ensues, and they defeat the robbers. All the while, Sanosuke complains technology is the work of the devil.

star 6.39
220 votes
Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Writers: Clark Cheng, Eric P. Sherman
Dissolution of a Nightmare

#4 - Dissolution of a Nightmare

Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired Jul 17, 1996

Kenshin stops the battle by challenging Raijuta to a one on one battle. He figures out the trick to Raijuta's vacuum cut, and defeats him. Yutaro is injured in the battle, and decides to move to Germany for better medical care.

star 6.44
227 votes
Sanosuke's Betrayal

#5 - Sanosuke's Betrayal

Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired Aug 14, 1996

Sanosuke goes to a picture shop to buy a picture for Miss Tae at the Akabeko. While at the picture shop, he stumbles across a portrait of Captain Sagara, drawn by Tsunan Tsukioka, another surviving member of the Sekihoutai. Sano joins with Tsunan and defeats Tashiwachi Shindo, the man who framed Captain Sagara ten years earlier.

star 6.62
192 votes
Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Writers: Clark Cheng, Eric P. Sherman
The Sanada Ninja Squad

#6 - The Sanada Ninja Squad

Season 3 - Episode 22 - Aired May 5, 1998

The Sanada Ninjas have joined the Black Knights in the search for the Divine Medicine but the Sanada Ninjas will take over Japan. Meanwhile Yutaro has Professor Hans note book and reads it, he soon finds out that there is a medicine that can possibly cure any illness. The Black Knights are elites in their field and can be dangerous, they are after the Divine Medicine so they can sell it and gain money and start to rule the world. Kenshin figures out that the Divine Medicine is somewhere in Suwa Sea so they take a trip there, trying to find any hints Kenshin asks local people questions. As they are moving, Sanada Ninjas attack Kenshin and the others, the Oniwabanshu helped and stopped the attack. The ninjas retreated and went back to base, the head leader of that group was getting annoyed of the outsiders and was arguing with the leader of the ninjas, the Black Knights step in and fight that particular group. Later on, Misao tags along with Kenshin and they get ready to get into Sanada's base.

star 6.73
88 votes
Fly to Your Dreams

#7 - Fly to Your Dreams

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired Jun 12, 1996

The group goes to the circus and Yahiko takes a liking to the "Human Cannonball" girl Marimo. A circus boss tries to sabotage the show and make Marimo work for him, but the Kenshin-gumi entertain the crowd until Marimo can find the right mix of gunpowder and fly from the cannon.

star 6.78
226 votes
Find the Lost Treasure!

#8 - Find the Lost Treasure!

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 4, 1997

When he finds himself under attack by the Kenwadan, a gang of masked men, a politician, Mr Takamori, throws the key to his safe into an alleyway. Unexpectedly, the key is promptly picked up by a dog, who then escapes with it into a river, despite the gang's frantic pursuit. While praying at the shrine for better luck at dice, Sanosuke comes across the dog, now half-dead, and carries it back to the Kamiya dojo to be looked at by Megumi. Cue comic adventures as the dog, which Sanosuke names Notaro, promptly tears the Kenshin Group's lives apart, eating their food, stealing and burying their possessions, and generally making a nuisance of himself. But it doesn't take the Kenwadan Gang long to track Notaro down. Will Kenshin and the others be able to fend them off and find the key before the gang do?

star 6.78
146 votes
The Crimson Pirate

#9 - The Crimson Pirate

Season 1 - Episode 25 - Aired Aug 28, 1996

The Crimson Pirate: Kenshin and Kaoru, Seperated! In this episode, Kaoru finally gets fed up with Kenshin, Yahiko, and Sanosuke hanging around the Kamiya Dojo, without working or paying any money to help her feed everybody. They feel bad, and go out looking for a job to help pay their way. They sign up for a team of warriors that have been hired to capture the Kairyu pirates, a group of freakish rouges that have been raiding silk ships on the high seas. On the cruise, they come across Kaoru, who has also signed up to raise money for the dojo. They're surprised to see each other, and Kenshin is worried about Kaoru's safety. The Kairyu pirates are known for their violence, and some even go as far as to call them demons. Their leader, Shuura, is a ruthless masked figher with nunchaku. During the night, Kenshin is out getting some air. Kaoru comes out, and they share a small moment. It's interrupted, however, when they see the Kairyu pirates approaching. Everyone inside is alterted, and th

star 6.79
182 votes
Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Writers: Clark Cheng, Eric P. Sherman
Lightning Incarnate

#10 - Lightning Incarnate

Season 1 - Episode 26 - Aired Sep 4, 1996

Shura and the Kairyu land at Kairyu Island with Kenshin. Shura doesn't have the heart to kill Kenshin, and so Ginjo, one of the Kairyu who wants to be the new leader instead of Shura, makes up a plan to kill Shura and become leader in her place. Shura gets shot in the leg by Geki, another one of her followers who has now joined Ginjo.

star 7.01
154 votes
Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Writers: Clark Cheng, Eric P. Sherman
To Save a Small Life

#11 - To Save a Small Life

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired May 15, 1996

Megumi treats a girl with a life threatening heart condition, but a faith healer enters town and begins to seeminly perform miracles to cure the sick at exhorbitant sums, while spreading rumors that Megumi is a quack. When the young girl is put in a life threatening situation because of her parents' desperation, the Kenshin-gumi rush to save her before it's too late.

star 7.02
227 votes
Run, Yahiko!

#12 - Run, Yahiko!

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired Jun 19, 1996

Hiruma Gohei returns and hires the Onizaki brothers to kill Kenshin. Gohei tricks Yahiko into bringing him the reverse blade sword, and then he ties Yahiko up. Kenshin is outmatched by the Onizaki brothers, but Yahiko escapes and brings the sword, allowing Kenshin to win.

star 7.02
255 votes
Writers: Clark Cheng, Eric P. Sherman
Burn, Island of Terror!

#13 - Burn, Island of Terror!

Season 1 - Episode 27 - Aired Oct 16, 1996

Kenshin helps to nurse Shura back to health, then Shura finds out that Ginjo gave Old Iwa opium. Shura goes off to fight and defeat Ginjo. She is defeated by him, since he played a dirty trick on her. Kenshin then comes in and uses the Ryu Tsui Sen to end the fight. Geki then throws a bomb, destroying Kairyu Island and all its inhabitants, except for Kenshin and Shura.

star 7.04
157 votes
Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Writers: Clark Cheng, Eric P. Sherman
Swordsman of Sorrow: The Man Who Slays His Past

#14 - Swordsman of Sorrow: The Man Who Slays His Past

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 24, 1996

Yahiko is discontent with the teachings of Kamiya-Kasshin-ryū, wanting to defeat his enemies over protecting the innocent. An old acquaintance of Kenshin invites him to join the military.

star 7.08
329 votes
Directors: Eric P. Sherman
Writers: Eric P. Sherman
Two Legendary Manslayers

#15 - Two Legendary Manslayers

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired May 22, 1996

The Jinpuu squad is performing vigilante assassinations. They try and force Sasaki, a local schoolteacher, to pick up his sword again, but Sano and Kenshin fight them off. Toma, the Jinpuu leader, vows to kill Kenshin.

star 7.08
231 votes
Kid Samurai: A Big Ordeal and a New Student

#16 - Kid Samurai: A Big Ordeal and a New Student

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 17, 1996

After nearly being pick-pocketed by the young street urchin Myojin Yahiko, Kenshin takes sympathy on the boy who declares himself to be from a samurai family. After his mother's death, Yahiko has been forced into working for the yakuza to pay off his deceased mother's debt. Kaoru goes to rescue the boy but finds herself in a perilous situation until Kenshin appears and defeats the yakuza single-handedly. Kaoru then takes Yahiko as her student at Kenshin's prompting despite the reluctance of both of them.

star 7.11
303 votes
Bad!: Introducing Sanosuke Fighter-for-Hire

#17 - Bad!: Introducing Sanosuke Fighter-for-Hire

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 31, 1996

Hiruma Gohei, a man who Kenshin had previously defeated in episode 1 hires Sanosuke Sagara (aka Zanza after his signature weapon, a zanbato) to take Kenshin down. He accepts, but not for the money.

star 7.16
287 votes
Directors: Eric P. Sherman
Writers: Eric P. Sherman
Raijuta's Ambition

#18 - Raijuta's Ambition

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Jun 26, 1996

The Kenshin-gumi go on vacation in Izu. There, a wealthy boy Yutaro falls under the influence of Raijuta, who intends to create a kingdom with his warriors. Kenshin battles Raijuta's men for the sake of Yutaro, but they gain the upper hand.

star 7.18
229 votes
Directors: Kaeko Sakamoto
Writers: Clark Cheng, Eric P. Sherman
To the Battlefield of Shimabara

#19 - To the Battlefield of Shimabara

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Dec 2, 1997

In Shimabara, Yahiko almost gets run down by a carriage carrying the Ambassador of Holland, Elsten-dono. Kenshin and Elsten recognize each other, since Kenshin saved Elsten's life 10 years ago at the end of the Edo dynasty. The Kenshin-gumi go to the ambassador's residence for tea and crumpets. Magdaria and Shougo are traveling by carriage, then boat to Shimabara.

star 7.21
114 votes
Aoshi

#20 - Aoshi

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 13, 1996

The group goes to retrieve Megumi, but the Oniwaban group stands in their way. Kenshin narrowly defeats Hannya and then he and Sano confront commander Shinomori Aoshi. Aoshi takes out Sano with one blow, and then he and Kenshin begin to battle.

star 7.24
272 votes
The Days of Remorse

#21 - The Days of Remorse

Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 6, 1998

Misao tells Kenshin what she knows, Shougo and Magdaria(Sayo) are hiding a secret, in the past Shougo was able to help cure people's illness because he had study under the field of medicine, but he can't cure his sister and she's dying. Soon after Kenshin, Kaoru, Yahiko and Kenshin leave and gets caught by someone. Later on, Magdaria is informed that Kaiou has her medallion so she went into his room and went looking for it. She found some more interesting things and found out that Kaiou is going to betray her and her brother. Sanosuke and Shouzo show up and were trying to stop Kaiou but got locked into the cage with Magdaria, to make matters worse an explosion occurred and rocks were falling down on them.

star 7.25
113 votes
Schneider's Bet

#22 - Schneider's Bet

Season 3 - Episode 25 - Aired Jun 2, 1998

Kenshin and Sanosuke continue to fight Zan and Ren while Baku is unnoticed. Sanosuke is having a bit of trouble but with the help of Kaoru, Sanosuke is able to defeat Zan. Kenshin's senses are being distorted and is having trouble with Ren, Kaita told Kenshin to attack the bats, after that everything was more clear, Ren and Baku were defeated shortly. A bat slowly flew away and tried to report back, Kenshin and the others followed it and found the divine medicine. Lieutenant Melder had betrayed Misanagi and Schneider would not put up with it so he fought Melder but got injured. Kenshin arrived and was going to fight Lieutenant Melder.

star 7.25
114 votes
The Two Guides

#23 - The Two Guides

Season 3 - Episode 26 - Aired Jun 9, 1998

Lieutenant Melder charges forward and attacks Kenshin, it would seem that Kenshin has a disadvantage and was injured badly, Melder continues to attack but creates a spark and ignites a flame with the oil on the ground, the divine medicine started to burn fast and Renz went to get a sample but Yahiko and Yutaro tried to stop him. Kenshin uses his succession technique and defeats Melder but was badly injured, Kaoru helped carry Kenshin to safety. Kaita helped defeated Renz and brought him to safety, Yutaro ran into the flames and grabbed a sample of the divine medicine, Sanosuke ran in and grabbed Yutaro out. The divine medicine was burned down and everyone got out except for Melder, Professor Hans recovered thanks to the medicine and received a report saying that the Black Knights have handed themselves over and the remaining Black Knights will be looked closely. Later on, Professor Hans and Yutaro are about to leave and Kenshin and the rest see them off.

star 7.29
112 votes
The Sneering Demon

#24 - The Sneering Demon

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 13, 1998

Kenshin is caught by someone and he takes him out quickily. Meanwhile the rocks had fallen and Shouzo was trapped, Sanosuke and Magdaria managed to get out fine. Sanosuke and Magdaria worked together and got him out. Shouzo got away and went to report this to Shougo. Meanwhile someone showed up to take Sanosuke out, it was no problem and he was defeated, but he would not give up, he attacked once more time but Misao and Yahiko helped. Together they got out of the cave but Magdaria was very sick and Sanosuke ran as fast as he could to bring her to Elsten. Later on, Shouzo had overheard Kaiou's plans and tried to fight him but was defeated, as a last resort he threw some pipe bombs that Sanosuke gave him and killed Kaiou.

star 7.30
114 votes
Sanosuke's Tears

#25 - Sanosuke's Tears

Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 20, 1998

The army started to prepare themselves to fight Shougo and kill everyone else. Sanosuke continued to try and bring Magdaria to Elsten. After achieving many obstacles Sanosuke finds some luck and sees Elsten. Elsten was interfering too much so Santo tried to kill him but Magdaria jumped in and was shot. Sanosuke beat up Santo and returned Magdaria's medallion back to her, shortly after she died. Elsten left and tried to hurry and get to the holy hill to stop the fight. Meanwhile Kenshin finally arrived and tried to stop the fight, he had found Shougo and would fight him if he would force the children to sacrifice themselves.

star 7.31
116 votes