[Top 10] Rurouni Kenshin Best Fights

Rurouni Kenshin Best Fights
Don't worry, the blade he carries cannot kill anyone.

What are the best fights in Rurouni Kenshin?

One of my earliest exposure to anime was with a show called Rurouni Kenshin, or at that point of my life it was introduced as Samurai X. It was a pretty well known anime/manga especially among 90s kids and a lot of us probably have tried to pull off the techniques of the Hiten Mitsurugi style or the style of the other fighters in the show. It’s a bit slow-paced and the fights aren’t as flashy as the likes of Bleach and Naruto during its run but it did have a lot of memorable battles and characters. That’s probably the reason why the live actions are well-loved among old fans and are garnering new fans to this old anime.

if you’re looking for some well-choreographed close-combat fights, Rurouni Kenshin has some of the best out there. With the movie’s release fast approaching let’s take a look back at some of the best fights in the anime. 

10. Kenshin Vs Sanosuke

Kenshin vs Sano Scene

The episode introduces the newest member to Kenshin’s gang, a former member of the Sekiho Army, Sanosuke. The fight was split into two parts, the first happening at midnight but was interrupted. Their last fight was set in a different time where no one could interfere. We get to see pieces of Sanosuke’s back story playing out during the battle till he is ultimately defeated. It is also the last time we’ll be seeing him use his zanbato as far as the anime is concerned.

The battle is used as a great introduction to Kenshin’s new ally as you see how strong Sanosuke is. His ability to lift a weapon several times his height and weight shows his strength while his ability to take in blow after blow from Kenshin is another incredible feat that showed his endurance and will in battle. While he is still weaker than Kenshin, it was a great starting point for Sanosuke to steadily improve his way of fighting.

9. Yahiko Vs Kariwa Henya

Kenshin vs Aoshi Scene

Determined to claim the title of the strongest, Aoshi battles Kenshin to prove that he is the one worthy of the title. Aoshi does manage to deliver a deadly blow but Kenshin manages to recover and even block the second one. Despite both fighters being able to knock the other off, Kenshin is the first one able to get back on his feet.

A battle between 2 of the strongest swordsmen in Japan, aside from this being a battle of swords, it was also a battle between philosophies. The ideas of the meaning strength clash between these two and it felt more like a battle of words. Still we got to see Aoshi’s Kaiten Kenbu which was supposed to kill Kenshin upon impact. Luckily Kenshin managed to take minimum damage by using scabbard as a buffer. That split second defense technique is probably something none of the other characters would have pulled off.

6. Saito Vs. Kenshin

Saito vs Kenshin Scene

A battle between two former rivals. The fight was originally supposed to test Kenshin’s skills as a swordsman strong enough to face Shishio but as the battle drags on, traces of the “Battousai” in Kenshin start to resurface, sparking the same old rivalry Saito had back when he was a member of the Shinsengumi

Similar to previous fights we see traces of Kenshin’s old self from his Battousai days come up here. This particular battle against someone from his past is practically the closest we see him from going back to being the manslayer. We also get to see a lot of underhanded tricks come into play such as a belt and jacket being used in what we  originally thought was just going to be a fight using swords. We are reminded that there are no clean fights being done during the revolution and Saito isn’t afraid of using whatever tricks or items he has up his sleeve to his advantage. Fights like these bring us back to how this anime, underneath all its comedy, does have a lot of dark elements.

5. Sanosuke vs Anji

Sanosuke vs Anji Scene

While making their way to finally battle Shishio, the group find themselves in the Mount of Hiei and Shrine of the Six Torii where a number of arranged duels are made. They have to defeat each fighter in order to proceed and finally face Shishio. The first duel is Sanosuke vs Anji, someone who has taught Sano the Futae no Kiwami.

While Sano is one of Kenshin’s stronger allies among his regular group of friends, he did have a bit of a losing streak prior to this battle. I’m glad they decided to finally give Sano a fighting chance to show off his growth in the anime. Originally, Sano planned on winning by overwhelming his former mentor with a series of punches but then he finally decided to put a gamble and use Futae no Kiwami on his mentor as well—a technique that would have destroyed an opponent from the inside. Sadly, the duel ends as a cliffhanger here, if you want to check it out, rewatch episode 47-48.

4. Kenshin vs Jinei

Kenshin vs Jinei Scene

After their first encounter Jinei gets obsessed with trying to beat the legendary Battousai, but has no way to draw him out yet. Looking for an opportunity Jinei nabs Kaoru, knowing that Kenshin will fight him more seriously if he uses her as a hostage.

One of the first serious fights Kenshin has had in a while—Jinei pushed Kenshin enough to want to kill him. This is also the first drawn-out battle we see in season 1 and viewers will get to see the Battojutsu—and double Battojutsu all in one episode. Despite Kenshin using a Sakabato which is a heavier blade that will slow him down by a fraction, he still manages to come up with counters to Jenei’s onslaught. While we know that in previous episodes that there are people out there who want to prove themselves as the best swordsman against Kenshin, Jinei is only the first of  the stronger ones that will come and bother Kenshin’s attempt at a peaceful life.

3. Saito vs Shishio

Saito vs Shishio Scene

After Shishio uses the Guren Kaina attack effectively knocking out Kenshin, Saito suddenly busts through the door by using his Gatotsu Stance. Saito then proceeds to try to take down Shishio.

Here we get to see how strong of an antagonist Shishio is, being able to take down Kenshin and even Saito who used up his Gatotsu stances against him. Even with the advantage of having his opponents fight before they get to him, he still has a race after time and even his body should have shown some level of exhaustion at this point. After he manages to defeat Saito; Sano and Aoshi also try to take him down but all of them struggle up until Kenshin finally regains consciousness.

2. Kenshin Vs Sojiro

Kenshin vs Sojiro Scene

Kenshin and Sojiro’s second duel in the series. As the fight drags on, we see Sojiro gaining the upper hand until the short intermission revealing Sojiro’s past. Kenshin somehow manages to let Sojiro begin questioning his reason for fighting alongside Shishio causing Sojiro to be unfocused and emotional during battle.

By far, my favorite battle in the entire series. While the New Kyoto Arc does have a version up in the site, it doesn’t feel as intense as the original animation. In their first fight it was pretty much established that Sojiro is by far faster than Kenshin, but his biggest advantage over Kenshin is his control over his emotion—up until Kenshin breaks that. allowing Kenshin the opportunity to break Sojirou’s sword, a sort of payback from breaking his original reverse blade.

1. Kenshin vs Shishio

Kenshin vs Shishio Scene

The final battle of the second season, Kenshin insists on his no-killing principles and is badly injured. Shishio seems to have the upper hand in this fight but Kenshin has yet to use all the techniques of the Hiten Mitsurugi Style. 

The second season concluded with the best battle of the entire anime and Shishio, for me at least he was the best villain as far as the anime is concerned. He made sure Kenshin was already worn out from previous battles before challenging him to a face off. In this battle we see most of the techniques of Kenshin being used—even the final one he recently learned from his master. Now, the battle would have ended a lot sooner if Kenshin would have used a regular sword, but the dragged-out battles keep the drama and suspense coming from every fight.

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An Alchemist who offers her creations to wandering travelers for their stories. Pat’s potions often have immense healing capabilities, sometimes a potent poison— you never really know till you try.
Gamer Since: 2001
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