There are a handful of
differences between the Rurouni Kenshin anime and manga.
When it comes down to core of it all, both anime and
manga series provide the same plot. The way the characters
are introduced, their personalities, and the order of
the episodes are all pretty much the same, with a few
In the Rurouni Kenshin
manga, there are no filler chapters, unless you count
the bonus chapters in the earlier volumes. Thus, the
animated episodes (13-18, 25-27, and 63-95) are all
made for the anime only. The characters and storylines
featured in those specific episodes are not featured
in the manga.
Anime: Only Gohei exists. Gohei was formerlly
a Kamiya Kasshin Ryuu student, expelled after he wanted
to use his sword for killing, rather than protecting
others. Gohei, by himself, assembled a group of lackies
to help him bring down the Kamiya Dojo. Gohei makes
two more appearences in the anime after he failing to
get his revenge. Once to hire Zanza and the other to
get revenge on Kenshin when he doesn't have his Sakabatou
(Ep. 18). After that, he is never seen or heard of again.
Manga: Gohei is really stupid and has no relationship
of being a past Kamiya Kasshin Ryuu student. He barely
talks because he's the brawn, while his brother, Kihei,
is the brains of the entire operation. Kihei poses as
Kaoru's housekeeper, when really, he is plotting to
have Kaoru sell the Kamiya Dojo to him. It is later
discovered that Kihei wanted to sell the dojo off because
of the high land price of it. Both Kihei and Gohei appear
two more times in the manga. Once to hire Zanza and
the other when confronted by Sanosuke in his home town.
Yahiko and Yamagata Switch
Anime: Yahiko is introduced in episode two. Yamagata
is introduced in episode three.
Manga: Yahiko is introduced in chapter three.
Yamagata is introduced in chapter two.
This is the only switch
in the series.
Anime: Kaoru goes to rescue Yahiko from the Shuei
Gumi, but Kenshin comes to assist later.
Manga: Kenshin goes to deal with the Shuei Gumi
Return to Kanryuu/Sanosuke vs. Shikijou
Anime: Sanosuke tries to stop Megumi from returning
to Kanryuu when he meets up with her at the gates of
Kanryuu's mansion. Shikijou appears, causing a fight
to occur. Sanosuke defeats Shikijou, but Beshimi kidnaps
Manga: Sanosuke really dislikes Megumi for killing
his friend with the opium she sold him. He does not
try to stop her from returning to Kanryuu. Megumi simply
goes to Kanryuu's mansion and is taken back as a prisoner.
Thus, Sanosuke's fight with Shikijou takes place in
the mansion, rather than outside.
Yutarou, and the Shinko Ryuu
This will be explained later after I have revised
the manga once again.
Anime: Yutarou makes his return in the anime
in episode eighty-three. It's not a very good comeback.
He waits in the Kamiya Dojo and immediately begins sparring
with Yahiko. He has brought a German doctor/professor
along with him named Hans, and the whole thing leads
into a ridiculous filler arc. (I have not watched it
completely as of yet.)
Manga: Yutarou does not return until the very
end of the manga. His name is seen on the Kamiya Kasshin
Ryuu board under the assistant instructors' section
along with Yahiko. As for what he looks like, it is
Meeting with Kaoru and Yahiko
Anime: When Kenshin leaves the Aoiya, Misao chases
after him through the busy streets of Kyoto. At the
same time, while on the look out for the rurouni hopefully
to appear, Yahiko identifies Aoshi in the sea of people.
He chases after the Oniwa Banshu's leader with Kaoru
right behind him, only to collide head-on with Misao.
Manga: Since Kaoru and Yahiko were staying at
the Shirobeko, the Akabeko's twin restaurant, they were
forced to work in order to have a place to live for
the while. Three days after Kenshin departed from the
Aoiya, Misao entered the Shirobeko to have a meal and
noticed a "wanted" poster made by Kaoru of
Kenshin up on the wall.
Whereabouts of Hiko Seijuurou
Anime: After the incident with Chou, Okina is able
to find out the location of Kenshin's master under a
different name, and promptly gives it to the rurouni
before he departs from the Aoiya.
Manga: Kenshin is called back three days after
leaving the Aoiya to be given the location of Hiko Seijuurou
by means of a signal flare.
Anime: The sole member of the Owls that returns
to Shishio's base in the Hiei Mountains to report the
squad's failure of raiding the Aoiya Inn has boards
nailed to him, almost as though he was crucified.
Manga: Because he won't break his code of silence
when asked to answer some questions by the Oniwa Banshu
members at the Aoiya, the Owls' member returns to base
with burning hot candles and large nails to keep them
in place melting on his hands; punishment only thought
up by Okina himself.
Visits the Aoiya
Anime: This does not occur in the anime.
Manga: Aoshi returns to the Aoiya after years
of absence only after he's made a mess of Okina. Basically,
he wants to know the whereabouts of Kenshin so he can
kill him, but no one gives in to his demands. Yahiko
and Kaoru speak up for the frightened Oniwa Banshu members,
leading Aoshi to just leave word with them all that
he'll be waiting for Kenshin at Shishio's base.
Anime: To find out if Houji is truly the one to
blame for the failure of the Great Kyoto Fire, Usui
asks him personally during a meeting between Shishio
and all of the Juppon Gatana. When Houji lies that he
is at fault, Usui bends back his left index finger.
Manga: Instead of simply beding back Houji's
finger, Usui rips off seven of Houji's nails; seven
being the number of Juppon Gatana members that would
have been betrayed and left behind if the Great Kyoto
Fire was a success.
Anime: Saitou uses the Gatotsu Zeroshiki and pins
Usui up against a wall.
Manga: The Gatotsu Zeroshiki rips Usui in half,
pinning his body from the stomach up on the wall.
The entire arc is excluded from the Rurouni Kenshin
anime. It is only available in the manga. For
the reason why the Revenge Arc was never animated, please
consult the FAQ.