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. This dub is also, weirdly enough, available for streaming on Hulu in the United States. 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 and HBO Max.
|Image||Character||Seiyū||Samurai X Dub||Media Blasters Dub|
|Kenshin Himura||Mayo Suzukase||Richard Cansino|
|Kaoru Kamiya||Miki Fujitani||Rebecca Forstadt||Dorothy Elias-Fahn|
|Sanosuke Sagara||Yūji Ueda||Derek Stephen Prince||Lex Lang|
|Yahiko Myōjin||Miina Tominaga||Brianne Siddall||Wendee Lee|
|Makoto Shishio||Masanori Ikeda||Stephen Apostolina||Steve Blum|
|Yumi Komagata||Kanako Irie||Ellyn Stern||Wendee Lee|
|Hōji Sadojima||Hiroshi Takahashi||Richard Epcar||Dave Mallow|
|Sōjiro Seta||Noriko Hidaka||Stephen Apostolina (ep. 31)||Tara Sands|
|Mona Marshall||Lynn Fischer (eps. 50-51)|
|Melissa Fahn (eps. 54-61)|
|Anji Yukuyama||Yasuyoshi Hara||Bob Papenbrook||Michael McConnohie|
|Kamatari Honjo||Junko Takeuchi||Joan-Carol O'Connell||Melodee Spevack|
|Usui Uonuma||Sho Ryuzanji||Tom Wyner||Jamieson Price|
|Iwanbō||Norito Yashima||Lex Lang|
|Chō Sawagejō||Shinichi Fukumoto||Kirk Thornton||Derek Stephen Prince|
|Henya Kariwa||Eiji Takemoto||Michael Sorich||Dan Lorge|
|Saizuchi||Ikuo Nishikawa||Paul St. Peter|
|Aoshi Shinomori||Yoshito Yasuhara||Michael Sorich||Terrence Stone|
|Hannya||Akio Nojima||Richard Epcar||Tom Wyner|
|Paul St. Peter (ep. 42)|
|Dan Lorge (ep. 52)|
|Beshimi||Taiki Matsuno||Stephen Apostolina||Derek Stephen Prince|
|Hyottoko||Shōzō Iizuka||Bob Papenbrook|
|Shikijo||Kazuhiro Nakata||Michael Sorich||Dean Wein|
|Dan Lorge (ep. 42)|
|Okina / Kashiwazaki Nenji||Kōichi Kitamura||Mike Reynolds||Michael McConnohie|
|Misao Makimachi||Tomo Sakurai||Melodee Spevack||Philece Sampler|
|Ōmime / Ochika||Shizuka Okohira||Bridget Hoffman|
|Melodee Spevack (ep. 45)|
|Mona Marshall (ep. 89)|
|Masukame / Omasu||Yuki Nakao||Tara Sands|
|Dina Sherman (ep. 89)|
|Megumi Takani||Mika Doi||Mari Devon|
|Oguni Gensai||Yoku Shioya||Michael Sorich||Steve Kramer|
|Hajime Saitō||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Daniel Woren||Kirk Thornton|
|Kawaji Toshiyoshi||Katsuya Shiga||Michael Sorich||Joe Ochman|
|Chief Muraki (Uramura)||Sukekiyo Kameyama||Steve Kramer||Bob Papenbrook|
|General Aritomo Yamagata||Seiji Mizutani
|Toshimichi Ōkubo||Yoshisada Sakiguchi||Michael Forest||Doug Stone|
|Ayame||Kaori Yuasa||Wendee Lee||Dina Sherman|
|Suzume||Noriko Namiki||Julie Maddalena||Mona Marshall|
|Yutaro Tsukayama||Mayumi Tanaka||Mona Marshall||Michael Lindsay|
|Shōgo Amakusa||Junichi Inoue||Richard Epcar||Crispin Freeman|
|Sayo Migdalia||Hiroko Kasahara||Ellyn Stern||Lia Sargent|
|Seijuro Hiko||Shūichi Ikeda||Lex Lang||Richard Epcar|
|Tae Sekihara||Sumi Shimamoto||Joan-Carol O'Connell||Michelle Ruff|
|Tsubame Sanjō||Yuri Shiratori|
|Misanagi||Chisa Yokoyama||Julie Ann Taylor|
|Schneider||Junichi Takeoka||Matthew Kermit Miller|
|Daigoro Okuma||Nobuyuki Hiyama||Tony Oliver|
|Consul Elster||Ryūji Nakagi||Michael McConnohie||Tom Wyner|
|Itsuko Katsu||Junko Iwao||Karen Strassman|
|Tsunan Tsukioka||Hiroshi Yanaka||Daran Norris||Kim Strauss|
|Kanryu Takeda||Nobuo Tobita||Kirk Thornton||John Snyder|
|Gohei Hiruma||Tetsuo Komura||Richard Epcar||Beau Billingslea|
|Raijūta Isurugi||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||Richard Epcar|
|Arundo Akamatsu||Kazuhiro Nakata||Tom Wyner|
|Jinei Udō||Akio Ōtsuka||Steve Kramer||Dave Mallow|
|Jinpu||Takehito Koyasu||Kirk Thornton||Michael McConnohie|
|Saeki Yunoshin||Kazuhiro Ōguro||Daniel Woren||Tony Oliver|
|Sōzō Sagara||Hidehiro Kikuchi||Stephen Apostolina||Steve Staley|
- 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.
- 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)