[Top 10] Rurouni Kenshin Best Episodes

Rurouni Kenshin Best Episodes
Helping other people is the best way to make up for your mistakes.

What are some of the most memorable episodes in Rurouni Kenshin?

Rurouni Kenshin is one of the most memorable anime shows that hit our television sets sometime around the 90s. I’m sure a bunch of us around that time remember a lot about the series despite it being a pretty old anime. Be it the epic fight scenes, the lessons in life, or even the simple comedic moments that were inserted into the anime, Rurouni Kenshin will always be an important part of our childhood. For new fans who stumbled upon the anime a bit later (probably due to the movies) I hope you get to enjoy Rurouni Kenshin as much as a lot of us older fans have.

Want to take a trip down memory lane, without the want to watch the entire series all over again? Here’s 10 episodes that you can consider watching if you want to get hit by nostalgia, but then again—watching the entire series isn’t too bad of an idea.

10. Episode 40: A Killer Without Mercy: Fight to the Death Against Cho of the Juppongatana

Episode 10 Clip

Cho kidnaps Iori in order to claim the final masterpiece of Shakku for himself. This causes Kenshin to fight with a disadvantage since he does not have a sakabato with him. He is given a sword but is not aware that it is also a sakabato. For a brief moment, Kenshin decides to break his vow in order to save the baby.

Probably a lot of us saw it coming—the reverse blade sword. But this goes to show that there are people who are still looking after Kenshin even in death. They hope that Kenshin manages to keep his vow. Sure, Shakku had no way of telling that his last masterpiece would go to him, but I think while he was forging the blade he kept Kenshin and his vow in mind.

9. Episode 1: The Handsome Swordsman of Legend: A Man who fights for Love

Kaoru Confronts Kenshin Scene 

When rumors started to spread about the Hitokiri Battousai being around town and terrorizing Tokyo, Kaoru takes it upon herself to catch him. She confronts Kenshin who she decides later on, is nothing but a simple wanderer after seeing his blade. When she finally meets the man terrorizing Tokyo, the wanderer steps in and defeats him and his group. He reveals himself as the real Battousai. Kaoru later invites him to live with her in the dojo.

The start of it all should be on the list, and I think it’s a great first episode that will keep you interested. While the fight scene was something, I liked the episode when they introduced the sakabato as a blade that cannot take lives. Being used to other anime shows that use swords as a means to kill or cut down people, Rurouni Kneshin’s concept of the main’s sword was something new to me and kept me interested in the show.

8. Episode 30: A Devil of Vengeance: Makoto Shishio’s Plot

Kenshin Vs Saito Scene

As Kenshin and Saito continue to fight, the group notices that Kenshin’s Battousai persona is starting to emerge. Fortunately, Saito’s superior cuts in and stops the fight allowing Kenshin to revert back to his normal self after punching his own face. Toshimichi Okubo then formally requests Kenshin’s help in dealing with Makoto Shishio. If Kenshin refuses to help then Megumi could be charged for opium manufacturing.

I actually want to put in the first 3 episodes of this season as they took enough time and care to set things up for a deeper or darker plot for the series. As much as I adored the first season for being light hearted, we were all waiting for some real action and Season 2 started it off with some pretty good fight scenes. Also, the level of strength Saito is shown to possess is something to look out for. Despite the government already having Saito in their side, they still want Kneshin’s aid—that means Shishio is going to be some sort of superhuman opponent. 

7. Episode 53: The Giant Versus Superman: Like an Arrow Shot at a Time of Despair

Hiko's Dramatic Entrance

Just as Fuji is about to deliver a fatal blow to Yahiko-- Hiko, Kenshin’s Master shows up and blocks the attack from connecting. He then convinces Fuji to fight him to a fair one-on-one battle and ultimately beats him.

This particular moment showed one of the most epic anime entrances of its time. So, I think the entire episode should take the credit as a must watch. Through this episode (and the previous one) we get to see exactly what is happening at the other side of the main battles. While it doesn’t show the main fighters of this “war”, we at least get to see the side characters take some of the spotlight this time around.

6. Episode 73. The Sneering Demon

Kenshin Fights Blind Scene

A blind Kenshin is caught by one of Kaiou’s underlings but Kenshin manages to beat him after a short while. Meanwhile, Shozo is buried under a boulder and Sano and Magadalia attempt to free him. All of them manage to regroup but they figure out Magadalia has tuberculosis and must be treated immediately.

While season 3 wasn’t my favorite arc of the series it did have some of those few moments that did make it great. I think having Kenshin blind but learning how to fight despite the disadvantage gave the anime a bit more kick. Also, you have Kaoru’s feelings from the previous season more evident in this season.

5. Episode 95: End of Wandering

Rurouni Kenshin Last Scene

Leaving Tokyo for a short while, Kenshin finally decides to visit Tomoe’s grave alongside Karou. We also see the other members of the group going about their day as usual and Yahiko becoming a sort of part-timer in the Akabeko. The next day Kenshin gives Kaoru a seashell and the two return to Tokyo.

While the scene is not shown in the last episode it comes directly after it. This is the ending Kenshin actually deserves compared to the OVA. While it was not mentioned in the anime, by this point Kenshin’s body is already starting to weaken due to using the Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu too much. He decides to spend his remaining days around the people he cherishes and eventually nurtures a family with Kaoru.

4. Episode 65: Find the Lost Treasure

Sano Finds a Dog Scene

A politician throws a key to a treasure into an alleyway where a dog finds it and picks it up. The Kenwadan frantically tries to chase the dog to the river. The next morning Sanosuke comes across the same dog and cares for it and names it “Notaro”. 

Some of the filler episodes has its hits and misses, but they also serve as a good break from the main story line and give us a sense that these characters lives are more than just fighting (despite having to fight a little in this episode) As for the 3rd season this is one of the filler episodes I greatly appreciated cause it features a non-human friend to Kenshin’s group and shows the reality of caring for a dog for the first time.

3. Episode 37: Shock! The Reverse-Blade is Broken: Sojiro’s Tenken versus Kenshin

Sakabato Breaks Scene

Instead of Shishio fighting Kenshin, he lets his right hand man Sojiro deal with Kneshin instead. Both Shishio and Yumi leave the mansion while Sojiro and Kenshin have a swordfight using battojutsu techniques. Both swords end up severely damaged, Kenshin’s is rendered completely useless. Sojiro then leaves the mansion telling Kenshin to get a new sword for their next battle.

The Sakabato has been very iconic, since it was first made known in the very 1st episode. Does this mean Kenshin will have to change the way he fights? And in terms of skills it already shows Sojiro is more than capable of being a great opponent. If Kenshin does not improve or get a sturdier sword then that would mean trouble for Tokyo. The episode leaves a lot of opportunities for viewers to guess how Kenshin will solve this problem and we are also left with a battle we can look forward to in future episodes.

2. Episode 56: A Duel With an Extreme Moment

Sojiro Vs Kenshin Scene

The moment where Sojiro starts to question Shishio’s philosophies start to show. He starts breaking down during the fight providing Kenshin the opportunity to read his moves. At full strength he attacks using Shuntensatsu while Kenshin uses the Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki. Kenshin is later claimed the winner and both he and Sano proceed to Shishio’s room. Meanwhile, Sojiro tells Yumi of a secret passageway that will allow her to report to Shishio ahead of them, Sojiro then gives Yumi the Wakizashi as a parting gift to Shishio since he decides to become a wanderer.

Much like Sato’s duel, the entire 3 episodes of the battle is probably worth mentioning. Sojiro for me was such a great character and I was a bit worried that they were going to kill him off at some point of the series by someone else's hands, in the scenario he wasn’t going to face Kenshin or Shishio saw him as useless if he failed. Anyway, through the course of the battle we see that sword fights go beyond physical capabilities, your ability to remain calm even at the face of death is also tested. Sojiro eventually breaks once he sees  how Kenshin manages to get up regardless of how many times he was knocked down, making Sojiro question his previous philosophies of “survival of the fittest”. 

1. Episode 60 The Man Who is Chosen for Victory

Yumi's Death Scene

2 ultimate attacks clash creating a void in-between the two fighters causing Shishio to be temporarily immobilized, allowing Kenshin to follow through with an additional hit. When they assume Shishio is down he manages to get back up but his body has already hit its limit causing his blood to evaporate. Yumi tries to stop the fight but this causes Shishio to stab both Yumi and Kenshin while he is distracted. Shishio later dies through spontaneous combustion. Refusing to accept the outcome, Hoji attempts to blow up the entire Arena.

This episode had so much going on, but instead of feeling like it was too much—it just fits. We see the climax and conclusion of the most awaited fight in the entire series and we also get to see an emotional death, one that resembles the death of Kenshin’s previous lover. While it was not the intention of the creator, it turned out nicely and just fit so well in the anime.

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An Alchemist who offers her creations to wandering travelers for their stories. Pat’s potions often have immense healing capabilities, sometimes a potent poison— you never really know till you try.
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