Rurouni Kenshin Watch Order [Where To Watch]

Rurouni Kenshin


Rurouni Kenshin is a well-known Japanese manga series that is based in the Meiji period in Japan and traces the life of Hitokiri Battosai, a former assassin.


After his heroics against the bafuku, he becomes known as Himura Kenshin, a vagabond swordsman who vows to protect the people of Japan but promises never to take a life. The manga’s primary themes are romance, peace and penance.

The popularity of this anime is primarily because of the fascinating storytelling, along with strong character arcs. If you’re new to the anime world and are looking to start off with a much-loved franchise that is adored by almost all anime lovers in the world, then Rurouni Kenshin is one franchise to start with. 

However, it might get a little confusing to figure out which one to watch first and in what order to follow the series, especially if you are unaware of the series in which the events take place. This is where this well-detailed article comes in.


In this post, you will find every little detail of Rurouni Kenshin, right from the release date of each to where you can watch it and what to expect in each series. 

We hope it’ll clarify all doubts and confusion and let you enjoy the series wholeheartedly!



Rurouni Kenshin Chronological Watch Order


Firstly, let’s take a closer look at the chronological watch order of the series. After all, this anime has a gripping storyline that flows in a lucid motion. Therefore, enjoying the series on the basis of its chronology would be quite appropriate.


Serial Number


Format (Series/Movie/OVA)

Release Date


Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal


Feb 20, 1999


Rurouni Kenshin


Jan 10, 1996


Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection


Dec 19, 2001


Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture


Dec 20, 1997


Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc


Dec 17, 2011


Where to watch: Crunchyroll, FUNIMATION

The original Rurouni Kenshin series can be enjoyed on Crunchyroll and FUNIMATION whereas Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture is only available on Crunchyroll.




Rurouni Kenshin Watch Order Based on Release Date


The watch order above happens to be based on events that took place in the series. However, watch order based on release date would give us an idea as to how the story was presented to the audience when it was first crafted.


Therefore, the following is the watch order based on the release date.


1. Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin starts with our main character from the Bakumatsu era coming into play. A fearsome swordsman named Hitokiri Battousai was renowned during this age for his excellence in combat. However, all of a sudden, this man was nowhere to be found.


And from that point forward, things have been going calmly in Japan. However, people don’t know that this elite warrior isn’t done yet. Instead, he decided to give up on his horrifying lifestyle, and instead roam around the nation with the intent of helping the weak.


Rurouni Kenshin is all about this lethal swordsman, now known as Kenshin Hamura, and his lifestyle as he tries to save the weak with his past and present clashing every moment.


2. Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture

Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture starts with the war against Tokugawa Shogunate that had ended ages back. And although things seem to be at peace, for now, the situation is bound to change when Shigure Takimi takes centre stage.


This man witnessed his family being murdered in the name of freedom and prosperity. But now he seeks revenge. And let’s just say that this revenge is going to get a lot more interesting when his opponent, Kenshin Hamura, gets on the battlefield.


Soon enough, his identity will be revealed, and this battle will become a lot more interesting than just an attempt at mere revenge.


3. Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal

Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal starts with the inception of Hitokiri Battousai, a man destined to become a lethal swordsman. And his story will melt your heart from the core. He witnessed cruel murder at a very young age.


And although he was a kind boy, his destiny was bounded by the act of cruelty as he will become an exceptional combatant. This is the story of how Kenshin Hamura came to be and how the persona of Hitokiri Battousai managed to shake the core of Japan with its acts.


This OVA is placed first in the chronological watch order since it talks about the beginning of an era. And that’s what makes it so interesting in the first place.


4. Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection

Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection starts with Kaoru as she hasn’t been able to move on from Kenshin. And soon enough, she realizes that her life won’t be the same from this point forward. She used to visit the harbour every day, with the intent of witnessing Kenshin once again.


Unfortunately for her, this dream remained far away from reality. And in the process, she looks back at her life and relives the moments she had once lived with Kenshin. This is where things get interesting as fans get to revisit the good times experienced by this couple from the point of view of Kaoru.


Therefore, if you haven’t watched Rurouni Kenshin Reflection, make sure that you do so as soon as possible.


5. Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc

Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc focuses on the events that take place between the time frame when Kenshin leaves Tokyo and the Inferno of Kyoto. This entire OVA series is special as both the episodes that are part of it, happen to have over 45 minutes of content in them.


And that’s what makes it so engaging in the first place. This show was released almost a decade later. And so, it holds a lot more value than what meets the eye. There’s a reason why people look up to this series and this instalment from that series specifically.




Rurouni Kenshin Filler Episodes List


Here’s a list of all the filler episodes in Rurouni Kenshin. You can skip these episodes if you wish to. However, all these episodes do have conventional character segments. So if you are a hardcore fan of the series then you might wanna watch all these episodes as well.


Filler Episode Name

Filler Episode Number

Strive for the Grand Championship: Toramaru’s Sumo Battle Log!


To Save a Small Life Lady Doctor Megumi to the Rescue


Two Legendary Manslayers Two Legendary Slashers


A Promise From the Heart The Secret Sword Technique of Shiden


Fly to Your Dreams Marimo, The Human Cannon


Run, Yahiko! Run Yahiko! Get the Reverse-Edged Sword Back


Danger on a Runaway Locomotive Surprise Incident on a Runaway Locomotive


The Crimson Pirate The Red Pirate – Kenshin and Kaoru Separated


Lightning Incarnate Shura, The Mysterious Female Pirate


Burn, Island of Terror! The Red Pirate – Conclusion


The Legend of the Fireflies


The Birth of Prince Yahiko


Find the Lost Treasure!


Kaoru, Ecstatic


The Gleaming Blade of Legends


The Medallion of Destiny


To the Battlefield of Shimabara


The shock of the Rai Ryu Sen


Kaiou’s Conspiracy


The Days of Remorse


The Sneering Demon


Sanosuke’s Tears


The Last Crusade


Bon Voyage


Himura Dojo in Shimonoseki?




Yutaro Returns


The Sanada Ninja Squad


A Straying Journey


A Heatwave from Beneath the Earth


Schneider’s Bet


The Two Guides


To My Angel Misao


Feng Shui Surprise Attack!


The Magic of Feng Shui


Tokyo Under Martial Law


The Enemy Awaits in Senjogahara


The Elegy of Wind and Water


After So Many Years Have Lapsed, Part 1


After So Many Years Have Lapsed, Part 2





Top Rated Episodes of Rurouni Kenshin


This anime is known for having some incredible episodes under its belt. And that’s exactly why we have listed down the best ones for you guys to revisit. And if you are new to the show then make sure that you pay close attention during these episodes as they will shape the way you look at the series altogether.


1. A Devil of Vengeance: Makoto Shishio’s Plot

This episode happens to be a game-changer for the audience as well as Kenshin when he realizes that his victory was part of a bigger incident. Kenshin won the dual. However, he comes across the fact that a plot is being prepared to overthrow the government.


And that changes the course of the show forever.


2. Between Life and Death: Master the Ultimate Technique, Amakakeru Ryu No Hikameki!

This is where Kenshin proves his value to the audience as well as the characters that were playing their part in it. Kenshin was training and under very critical circumstances, my man managed to become capable enough to learn the final technique that his master Seijuro Hiko will be teaching him.


3. The Man Who Is Chosen for Victory

A battle took place and Shishio happen to be the one who lost in that battle. However, Hoji is not going to accept this outcome. Therefore, he takes an effort to attack the entire inferno area.


And by doing so, he will be able to kill everybody in a single blow. And that’s why this episode is so critical for the series.


4. A Wish Unrequited: Kenshin Departs

This is the point where Kenshin decides to take the big step and leaves his current location for Kyoto. The idea here is that he wants to put an end to Shishio’s plan. And the only way he can do so is by visiting Kyoto and taking care of the situation on his own.


This is why he is placed for the job.


5. Strongest Opponent from the Past: Merciless Fangs Strike!

Kenshin will be going against a formidable opponent in this episode. And a new individual will be recovering and taking the stage back for the audience. Things are going to get heated and the action will be unreal for the audience.





1. In what order should I watch Rurouni Kenshin?

The best way to watch Rurouni Kenshin is by starting with the Trust & Betrayal OVA, then watching the entire anime, followed by the Reflection OVA, the motion picture, and finally the New Kyoto Arc


2. Is Rurouni Kenshin’s anime complete?

Rurouni Kenshin’s anime was started back on January 10, 1996, and happens to end on September 8, 1998. However, the series tends to get new instalments that keep the flow of the series going for the audience.


3. How many Rurouni Kenshin anime are there?

There’s only 1 Rurouni Kenshin anime with 96 episodes. Other than that, there are a few specials and OVAs. However, there is no novel anime title that goes by the name of Rurouni Kenshin or Samurai X.


4. How can I watch Rurouni Kenshin without fillers?

Rurouni Kenshin happens to have a total of 40 episodes as fillers. We have provided a list above that mentions all these episodes. You can refer to that list and skip the ones that fall under the filler category.


5. What does Rurouni mean in Japanese?

The word Rurouni means wandering, masterless samurai in Japanese. Therefore, Rurouni Kenshin is an appropriate title as we see Kenshin Hamura wandering around Japan without any master to teach him.


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