Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The fictional setting takes place during the early Meiji period in Japan. The story is about a fictional assassin named Himura Kenshin, formerly known as the "Hitokiri Battōsai" (or "Battosai the Manslayer" in the English dub) who becomes a wanderer to protect the people of Japan. Being a fan of the Shinsengumi, Watsuki designed the characters by basing their characteristics to that of the real Shinsengumi members and also used fictional representation of them and other historical characters from the Bakumatsu period of Japan.
The manga initially appeared in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from September 2, 1994, to November 4, 1999. The complete work consists of 28 tankōbon volumes. The United States release of the manga has been completed by Viz Media. Rurouni Kenshin is subtitled "Wandering Samurai" in some English releases, as a rough translation of "Rurō ni" (lit. "Wandering"?). The English-language versions of the OVAs as well the film is released as Samurai X, although the original title was included in the DVD releases. Writer Kaoru Shizuka has written an official Rurouni Kenshin novel titled Voyage to the Moon World. The novel has been translated by Viz and distributed in the United States and Canada. Several video games have also been released for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles, with Rurouni Kenshin: Enjō! Kyoto Rinne selling over 130,000 copie.
The series has been highly popular in Japan, America, and Europe. The manga has sold over 47 million copies in Japan as of 2007 while the anime has ranked between the 100 most watched series in Japan multiple times.
The story of Rurouni Kenshin takes place during the early Meiji period in Japan. It tells the story of a peaceful wanderer named Himura Kenshin, formerly known as the assassin "Hitokiri Battōsai". After participating during the Bakumatsu war, Kenshin wanders the countryside of Japan offering protection and aid to those in need as atonement for the murders he once committed as an assassin. When arriving in Tokyo, he meets a young woman named Kamiya Kaoru, who was in the middle of a fight with a murderer who claims to be the Hitokiri Battōsai from her swordmanship school. Kenshin decides to help her and defeats the fake Battōsai. After discovering that Kenshin is the real Battōsai, she offers him a place stay at her dojo as she notes Kenshin is a gentle person instead. Kenshin accepts and begins to establish lifelong relationships with many people, including ex-enemies, while dealing with his fair share of enemies, new and old.
After several months of living in the dojo, Kenshin discovers that his successor as assassin of the shadows, Shishio Makoto, plans to conquer Japan by destroying the Meiji Government, starting with Kyoto. Feeling that his friends may be attacked by Shishio's faction, Kenshin goes to meet Shishio alone in order to defeat him. However, many of his friends decide to travel to Kyoto to help him in his fight. He decides to accept their help and defeats Shishio in a fight, who dies in the process due to the rise in body temperature caused by his burns.
When Kenshin and his friends return to Tokyo, Kenshin finds Yukishiro Enishi, who plans to take revenge by killing his friends. At this point it is revealed that, during the Bakumatsu, Kenshin used to be married to a woman called Yukishiro Tomoe, who initially wanted to avenge the death of her fiancé, whom Kenshin had killed, but instead both fell in love and got married. When it was discovered that Tomoe was part of a group of assassins that wanted to kill Kenshin, Kenshin blindly swings his sword, killing both his assailant and Tomoe, who jumps in at the last minute to save Kenshin from a fatal attack. Wanting to take revenge for the death of his sister, Enishi kidnaps Kaoru and leaves behind a tortured figure bearing a stunning resemblance of the girl for Kenshin to find and momentarily grieve over. Once discovering that Kaoru is alive, Kenshin and his friends set to rescue her. A battle between Kenshin and Enishi follows and when Kenshin wins, he and Kaoru return home. Five years later, Kenshin has found true peace; he is married to Kaoru and has a son named Himura Kenji.
Informations source: Wikipedia