Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story (るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚-), also known as Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai X, is an anime based on the manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. Studio Gallop, Studio Deen and SPE Visual Works adapted the manga into an anime series which aired in Japan on Fuji Television from January 10, 1996 to September 8, 1998.
Rurouni Kenshin was originally dubbed by Sony Pictures Television International in 1999, who tried and failed to market the series in the United States under the title Samurai X via an existing company. Sony distributes this version to other English-speaking countries outside of the United States, where it airs on Animax. Little is known about the dub other than that it was done in Los Angeles. ADV Films would later dub the Movie and OVA's under the Samurai X title using their Austin, Texas based Monster Island Dubbing Studios and voice cast instead.
The TV Series would later be licensed by Media Blasters, who released the series, splitting it up into "seasons", and releasing them on DVD. Media Blasters would do their own dub of the series, provided by Bang Zoom! Entertainment utilizing much of the same voice actors from Sony's dub, but with extensive recasting. In producing their dub of the series, Media Blasters considered following the Japanese version, and giving Kenshin a female voice actress, with Mona Marshall considered a finalist to voice him. Richard Cansino, who previously voiced Kenshin in Sony's dub, was eventually chosen to reprise the role for Media Blasters' dub. Marshall was also selected to voice the younger Kenshin during flashback scenes.
Clark Cheng, Media Blasters dub script writer, said that localizing Kenshin's unusual speech was a difficult process. His use of de gozaru and oro were not only character trademarks that indicated his state of mind, but important elements to the story. However, neither is directly translatable into English, and in the end the company chose to replace de gozaru with "that I did," "that I am," or "that I do." Kenshin's signature oro was replaced with "huah" to simulate a "funny sound" that had no real meaning.
The Media Blasters dub aired in the US on Cartoon Network as a part of their Toonami Block on March 17, 2003, but after episode 48 aired on July 4, 2003 the series moved to Cartoon Network's Saturday Video Entertainment System block until the completion of the second season (episode 62), leaving the third season unaired in North America. The series returned to Toonami for a second run beginning on October 23, 2004 and ending on March 12, 2005. Some of the show's depictions of obscene language, intense violence, and tobacco and drug usage were subject to heavy editing on Toonami. Episodes 63-95 did not air, but were included in the DVD release. As of May 2017, all three seasons with both the original Japanese audio and the Media Blasters dub are available to stream on Netflix.
- For reasons unknown, in the Media Blasters dub; various voice changes occur between seasons ranging from minor to major.
- Sojiro's voice changes twice; originally he is voiced by Tara Sands. After Tara returned to New York, Lynn Fischer replaced her as Sojiro for a couple episodes before being replaced by Melissa Fahn.
- Yutaro was originally voiced by Michael Lindsay. When the character returned later, Dave Wittenberg took over his voice.
- Aritomo Yamagata was originally voiced by Simon Prescott during his brief appearances in Season 1. However, in Season 3, he is voiced by the noticeably younger-sounding Crispin Freeman. This similarly happened in the Japanese version.
- Kawaji is initially voiced by Joe Ochman during his brief appearance in Season 2, but in Season 3, he is voiced by Doug Stone (who ironically played Okubo opposite Kawaji in Season 2).
- Hannya is voiced by Tom Wyner for the majority of the dub, however during Aoshi's flashback in Episode 42, he is voiced by Paul St. Peter. Later still when his ghost appeared before Misao during the Aoiya battle in Episode 52, he's voiced by Dan Lorge. Why is unknown as Wyner still provided various incidental roles during that season.
- For the Flashback mentioned above, Dan Lorge provides Shikijo's one line instead of Dean Wein. Wein also was still voice acting roles during the season.
- Lara Cody fills in for Melodee Spevack as Kamatari during a brief scene in Episode 54.
- Melodee Spevack fills in for Bridget Hoffman as Ōmime in Episode 45. Mona Marshall later voices her during her brief appearance in Episode 89.
- Dina Sherman later replaces Tara Sands as Omasu in Episode 89.
- Jinpu's one line of dialogue in Episode 90 is provided by Michael McConnohie before being recast with Jamieson Price in the following episode. This line appears in the prologue of Episode 91 redubbed by Price.
|Media Blasters||2000-2002||The Complete Series||1|
|2003-2004||The Complete Series|
|2010||The Complete Series|
- Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture
- List of Rurouni Kenshin OVA's
- Rurouni Kenshin (live action adaptation)