Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan (2023) – Exploring Anime’s Timeless Charms

Rurouni Kenshin Returns: A Surreal Moment for Anime Fans

I can’t quite put into words the level of excitement and surrealism that washes over me as I write this article. As an avid anime fan and writer, covering Rurouni Kenshin feels like closing a circle, returning to a series that holds a special place in my heart. It’s a series that has shaped my love for anime and manga, intricately woven into the fabric of my anime being. Without Rurouni Kenshin, I’m not sure I would be the fan I am today.

With so many series being rebooted in recent years, it is only fitting that Rurouni Kenshin receives its long-awaited return. It is a monumental property, having been one of the most popular manga titles in Weekly Shounen Jump history. The original animated series and OVAs were immensely successful, and the live-action films took the world by storm. However, the anime adaptation never covered the manga’s beloved final arc, “Jinchuu,” choosing instead to venture into original and sometimes puzzling directions.

The Long-Awaited Reboot: A Bizarre Absence

It’s perplexing that the “Jinchuu” arc was never adapted earlier, as it stands as one of the greatest arcs not only in Rurouni Kenshin but also in the realm of shounen manga. It feels almost absurd to reboot Rurouni Kenshin without including this remarkable storyline. Additionally, skipping the pivotal “Kyoto” arc would be a disservice to both the manga and shounen genre. The absence of these essential arcs would leave fans and newcomers puzzled, questioning the purpose of the reboot altogether.

While I am cautious not to jump the gun and prematurely celebrate, the signs are encouraging. The inclusion of Easter eggs referencing both the “Kyoto” and “Jinchuu” arcs in the first episode hints at their potential adaptation. It would be an immense disappointment if these arcs are overlooked, given the expectations they have garnered over the years.

A Faithful Re-Adaptation with a Promising Start

Putting aside hypotheticals and focusing on what we have seen so far, the first episode delivers a resounding “whew” of relief. It is undeniably good, capturing the essence of Kenshin with utmost faithfulness to the manga. Visually, it surpasses the 1996 premiere and offers a pleasing aesthetic. The voice cast, despite being all-new, manages to capture the spirit of their respective characters. While it takes some adjustment to hear Himura voiced by Saitou Souma, he brings a fresh perspective to this beloved protagonist.

However, let’s dive into the OP and ED, elements that hold great importance in the Rurouni Kenshin experience. I must admit, the OP didn’t resonate with me as strongly as the iconic “Sobakasu” by JUDY and MARY. The ED, on the other hand, rises above expectations. Reol’s “Kissaki” could seamlessly fit into the original series’ ED lineup. The BGM also strikes the right chords, paying homage to the original while offering a touch of uniqueness.

Unveiling the Heart of Rurouni Kenshin: Kenshin Himura

As we dive deeper into this reboot, it is crucial to recognize that Kenshin Himura serves as the beating heart of the story. He is arguably one of the most perfect protagonists manga has ever produced. Kenshin’s character arc overflows with pathos, presenting a compelling contrast between his present demeanor and the burdens he carries from his past. His journey resonates with readers, as he embodies the concept of a noble warrior, forever shaped by his turbulent history.

Credit must be given to the flawless execution of this reboot. Director Yamamoto Hideyo may not be an auteur, but his vast experience shines through in every scene. The writer, Kurata Hideyuki, known for his prowess in adaptations and original works, ensures that this version stays faithful to the manga. Although minor plot modifications are present, such as making Kihei (Chou) Ba-faux-sai Gouhei Himura’s brother, the overall tone of the series leans towards a more stark and serious portrayal of violence and interaction between Kenshin and Kaoru.

Anticipating the Grandeur Yet to Come

It is worth noting that these early chapters, as great as they are, do not represent the pinnacle of what Rurouni Kenshin has to offer. Like many long-running shounen series, it takes time for the story to shift into high gear, igniting the flames of excitement. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan 2023 handles the early segments impeccably, setting the stage for what is yet to come. Lidenfilms, the studio in charge of this reboot, has consistently demonstrated their dedication to producing quality anime. With Rurouni Kenshin, they appear poised to do justice to this beloved series.

Now, as for another element surrounding this reboot, there is little I can add at this stage. The topic has been widely discussed, and it is unlikely that further debate will change anyone’s stance. Therefore, I shall avoid dwelling on it and instead focus on the vibrant world of Rurouni Kenshin. After waiting for this moment for so long, it would be futile to try and silence my enthusiasm for this extraordinary series. Rurouni Kenshin is back, and the adventure is just beginning.


Rurouni Kenshin’s triumphant return brings joy to the hearts of fans worldwide. The faithful and promising reboot ignites hope that beloved arcs will not be overlooked this time. With a strong start, stunning visuals, and a talented voice cast, this adaptation captures the essence of Kenshin’s journey. As we eagerly anticipate the series’ progression, we prepare ourselves for the grandeur, action, and emotion that lie ahead. Rurouni Kenshin has returned, and its legacy continues to inspire a new generation of anime enthusiasts.


1. Will the “Jinchuu” arc finally be included in this reboot?

Considering the inclusion of Easter eggs referencing both “Kyoto” and “Jinchuu” in the first episode, it is highly likely that these iconic arcs will be adapted. Omitting them would be a bizarre choice that would leave fans questioning the purpose of the reboot.

2. How does the new voice cast compare to the original one?

While it takes some adjustment to hear new voices portraying beloved characters, the new cast manages to capture the spirit of Kenshin and his companions. Saitou Souma, voicing Kenshin, delivers a strong performance that resonates with the essence of the character.

3. Will this reboot faithfully follow the manga’s storyline?

Based on the premiere episode, it appears that this reboot aims for a more faithful adaptation of the manga compared to the 1996 series. While minor plot modifications are present, the overall tone and faithfulness to the source material are commendable.

4. What can fans expect from the upcoming episodes?

While the initial chapters covered in this reboot are great, they represent just the beginning of the thrilling journey Rurouni Kenshin has to offer. As the series progresses, fans can anticipate a gradual shift into high gear, unveiling grand battles, emotional confrontations, and captivating character development.

5. How does this reboot compare to previous adaptations?

With stunning visuals, a talented voice cast, and a promising start, this reboot shows great potential to surpass previous adaptations. The dedication of Lidenfilms to doing justice to Rurouni Kenshin reassures fans that this series will live up to their expectations