» Characters

For more information about the characters and full list, please refer to either The-Oro or Wikipedia.

Himura Kenshin

Himura Kenshin is the titular "Rurouni" (wanderer) and main character of the series. He is twenty-eight years old and is formerly known as the Hitokiri Battousai, a deadly man-slayer who slaughtered many men in the war before the Meiji era. Kenshin's fighting style is Hiten Mitsurugi-ryuu, now an ancient study. With this dangerous sword style, he uses his Sakabatou (A sword with a reversed edge) to restrain himself from killing anyone ever again, and renounces the title Hitokiri. He later meets Kaoru and develops feelings for her.

Himura Kenshin accidentally killed the girl he was married to (Yukishiro Tomoe) when she suddenly stepped in between Kenshin and his opponent, hoping to save Kenshin's life. In the manga, the knife that Tomoe was wielding falls from her grasp when she is wounded and it cuts Kenshin's left cheek, finishing the familiar cross-shaped scar. In the OVA, as Tomoe lay dying in Kenshin's arms, she purposefully makes the cut across the initial one. Either way, this is seen as poetic since the first cut Kenshin received on his cheek was from Tomoe's first fiance when he died as Kenshin was carrying out one of his assassination assignments. Kenshin only found out much later that Tomoe was engaged to another and that he was the one who killed him.

Kamiya Kaoru

Kamiya Kaoru is a seventeen-year-old dojo instructor and the first main character Kenshin meets. Kaoru teaches the Kamiya Kasshin-ryuu, a sword style used to protect people, and not harm them. After Kenshin defendins Kaoru from the fake Battousai and his allies, Kaoru invites him to live at the dojo. Kaoru quickly develops a crush on Kenshin, and soon falls in love with him, although she tends to violently deny it. She recognizes that Kenshin, despite his violent past, is a gentle soul who only wants peace by atoning for the lives he stole during the revolution. Although personality-wise she is very different than Yukishiro Tomoe, Kenshin's first love, (i.e. Kaoru is loud, brash, insecure, and cannot cook anything tasty), Kenshin sees that she is selfless, compassionate, and caring of others almost to a fault. Her understanding of his nature and wanting to help him find the peace he so desires draws him to her. In the manga, he is able to find atonement (and Tomoe's smile) by protecting Kaoru's happiness as well as his new friends. At the end of the series, Kaoru and Kenshin get married and have a son.

Sagara Sanosuke

Sagara Sanosuke is a nineteen years old street fighter who befriends Kenshin early in the series. As a youth, Sanosuke ran away from home to join the Sekiho Army, a group of farmers and merchants who fought for the Ishin Shishi during the Meiji Revolution. When the Sekiho were betrayed and executed by the other revolutionaries, Sanosuke escaped and became a fighter-for-hire. He is hired to attack Kenshin, a former Ishin Shishi, but when Sanosuke is defeated he becomes Kenshin's best friend and fighting partner. Sanosuke enjoys gambling, fighting and has a running tab at the Akobeko, the beef-pot restaurant where he first meets Kenshin, Kaoru, and Yahiko. His love interest is Takani Megumi.

Myoujin Yahiko

Myoujin Yahiko is a young boy at ten years old and the son of a samurai. When he was younger, both of his parents died, and he was taken in by the Yakuza, who forced him to live as a pickpocket. Once he meets up with Kenshin and Kaoru, he decides to stand up to the Yakuza, and escapes with Kenshin's help. He joins Kaoru's dojo to become a stronger swordsman, becoming the first graduate of Kamiya Kasshin-ryuu. Over the course of the series, he becomes a strong warrior. He hates being treated like a child.

Takani Megumi

Takani Megumi was originally forced to make opium for an industrialist. With Kenshin and Sanosuke's support and encouragement, she becomes a doctor to atone for her past misdeeds. She en joys flirting with Kenshin (much to his chagrin) to make Kaoru jealous, but helps Kaoru come to terms with her feelings towards Kenshin. She is nicknamed "fox lady" by Sanosuke, whom she appears to develop feelings for over the course of the series. She is loyal to her friends and is always there to patch them up, especially Sanosuke, whom she often cautions about fighting. She is from the Aizu region, now Fukushima Prefecture.

Makimachi Misao

Makimachi Misao is a fairly skilled kunoichi (female ninja) who was raised by the Oniwabanshou clan of onmitsu (ninja) previously based in Edo, who idolizes Shinomori Aoshi. Her weapons of choice are the kunai. Misao is about sixteen years old when she is first introduced. In the work Misao is often compared to a weasel.

Saitou Hajime

Saitou Hajime, based on the real-life personage of the same name, was the leader of the 3rd Squad of the Shinsengumi during the Revolution. He has a long-standing rivalry with Kenshin and firmly believes in "Swift Death to Evil." In the development of Rurouni Kenshin, Watsuki planned for Saitou to be a "dirty" hero and does not become "a nice guy" and "palsy-walsy" with Kenshin's group. Hajime has no specific model for his design. Since Watsuki intended for the character Saitou to be a villain, he made the character's face "villain-ish."

Shinomori Aoshi

Shinomori Aoshi, the leader of the Oniwabanshou, is a skilled swordsman who is highly respected by his comrades. He was raised a ninja of the Oniwabanshou, who worked for the Shogunate government during the Edo period. At the suggestion of Kashiwazaki Nenji (better known as Okina), Shinomori was given the position of Okashira at the age of fifteen, in time for the Oniwabanshou to defend Edo Castle. He helped to raise Makimachi Misao from childhood as a member of the Oniwabanshou. His goal for much of the series is to claim the title of "the strongest" for the pride of the Oniwabanshou.

Seijurou Hiko

The thirteenth successor to the sword art of Hiten Mitsurugi-ryuu, Hiko Seijurou, born October 1836 in Kyoto, saved young Shinta from marauding bandits who killed his companions. Hiko then took care of Shinta, and renamed him Kenshin ("Heart of Sword") after claiming that Shinta was not a good name for a swordsman. Hiko would then train Kenshin in Hiten Mitsurugi-ryuu for the next six years. He became angry and disappointed with Kenshin, because he ran away to join the rebellion against the Tokugawa regime at age 14, knowing that although Kenshin displays extraordinary skill in swordsmanship, he was not prepared in mind and spirit for dealing with the conflicts of the outside world. Hiko isolates himself from the rest of the world, reasoning that he does not have to deal with the ills of society by living as a hermit/potter in a forest near Kyoto.