Ranked #21

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuiokuhen

Alternative Titles

English: Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal
Synonyms: Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen, Rurouni Kenshin: Reminiscence
Japanese: るろうに剣心―明治剣客浪漫譚―追憶編


Type: OVA
Episodes: 4
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Feb 20, 1999 to Sep 22, 1999
Source: Unknown
Duration: 30 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company


Score: 8.861 (scored by 61,158 users)
Ranked: #212
Popularity: #367
Members: 102,634
Favorites: 3,271
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.


In the days before the Japanese Revolution, Hiko Seiijuro, a wandering master swordsman and hermit, encounters a bandit raid on a slave wagon. Hiko kills the raiding bandits in hopes of saving as many lives as possible, but only manages to spare one life from the massacre. Hiko leaves the child, advising him to go to the nearby village and have them take care of him. A few days later, as Hiko comes back to check upon the child he saved, he is shocked to see the child had created graves, both for the slaves he befriended and the bandits who killed them. Seeing potential in the young one, Hiko takes the child under his wing, names him Kenshin, meaning "heart of sword," and teaches him about the art of swordsmanship under the Hiten Mitsuruugi Ryu.

Struggling in a constant challenge with his ideal beliefs reflecting against the harshness of reality, Tsuiokuhen tells the melancholic and dark story of Himura Kenshin as one of the most feared assassins of the Japanese Revolution: the Hitokiri Battousai.

[Written by MAL Rewrite]


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Related Anime

Characters & Voice Actors

Himura, Kenshin
Himura, Kenshin
Suzukaze, Mayo
Suzukaze, Mayo
Suzuki, Masami
Suzuki, Masami
Yukishiro, Tomoe
Yukishiro, Tomoe
Iwao, Junko
Iwao, Junko
Saitou, Hajime
Saitou, Hajime
Suzuoki, Hirotaka
Suzuoki, Hirotaka
Hiko, Seijuro
Hiko, Seijuro
Ikeda, Shuuichi
Ikeda, Shuuichi


Campbell, Charles
Campbell, Charles
Producer, Recording Engineer, ADR Director
Furuhashi, Kazuhiro
Furuhashi, Kazuhiro
Hata, Shouji
Hata, Shouji
Sound Director
Matsumoto, Jun
Matsumoto, Jun

More episodes Episodes(4/4)

Episode Title Aired
1 The Man of the Slashing Sword
Kiru Otoko (斬る男)
Feb 20, 1999
2 The Lost Cat
Mayoi Neko (迷い猫)
Apr 21, 1999
3 The Previous Night at the Mountain Home
Yoi no Satoyama (宵里山)
Jun 19, 1999
4 The Cross-Shaped Wound
Juuji Kizu (十字傷)
Sep 22, 1999

Opening Theme

"In Dreams" by Taku Iwasaki

Ending Theme

"Quiet Life" by Taku Iwasaki

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Aug 13, 2008
There's a universally accepted truth as far as anime shounen stories go: nine times out of ten, the manga is better than the anime adaptation. While that is the case with Rurouni Kenshin as a whole, what Studio DEEN did with Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen can be called nothing short of a masterpiece. In the manga, Nobuhiro Watsuki describes Kenshin's past that's full of strife and hardship, but with a touch of comedy to help tone down the entire seriousness of the situation. Studio DEEN abolished what little comedy Watsuki went with and, along with flawless animation, a unique art style, and a beautifully composed soundtrack read more
I found this review Helpful
May 29, 2013
Surprising though it may be, it’s really incredibly rare to find a samurai anime that is actually good. As far as the samurai genre goes, Akira Kurosawa pretty much closed the book with 1954’s “Seven Samurai” and since then, is seems as if whenever anyone attempts to tackle the genre, there exists a mysterious force that compels them to strip away any and all sense of authenticity and add in superpowers, vampires, aliens, or hip-hop (not that that is necessarily a bad thing but it certainly gets tiresome). That’s one of the reasons why Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen is so refreshing, it daringly tackles the story read more
I found this review Helpful
Jul 7, 2007
Also named: "Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal", this is a prequel to the anime series 'Rurouni Kenshin."

One word for this anime: Amazing! It's so good that it's hard to decribe. This is one of the only anime series that will make the viewer's jaw drop to the floor and be filled with emotion. Those who are Rurouni Kenshin fans will love it; those who are new to the series will still like it. It's a drama and may not be as interesting among younger viewers and is more mature than the anime. Those who are sensitive to extreme violence and blood may want to turn read more
I found this review Helpful
Jun 11, 2015
I have a confession to make: I've never seen Rurouni Kenshin. I've known of its existence for a long time, but I haven't seen the 90 episode anime. I did see one episode of it dubbed, but that was because my college anime club showed it for historical fiction week, along with three other shows. It never interested me, and in a way it still doesn't interest me now. I don't think I can commit myself to a 90 episode anime, especially if its full of pointless filler. But one of my favorite bloggers was praising this up the wazoo and said that I didn't read more
I found this review Helpful


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Similar in depth and action, it's more emotional although not as realistic. 
reportRecommended by helldude89
Anime: Stranger: Mukou Hadan
Both shows take place in feudal Japan, a time during which samurai were prominent. Although the plot is widely different between Tsuiokuhen and Sword of the Stranger, each show gives amazing and graphic sword battles in conjunction with a beautiful soundtrack. In addition, the feeling that both shows give you can be deemed similar.  
reportRecommended by VK11
Anime: Juubee Ninpuuchou
Engaging historical stories of ninja and samurai with a very similar storyline and plenty of action, violence, and gore.
In both the protagonist is an homicidal ronin sword master who develops a romantic relationship with a beautiful woman encountered during his journey.
Both anime are extremely nice to watch and have the same tragic ending. 
reportRecommended by RenaPsychoKiller
Anime: Afro Samurai
Both have intense, brilliantly choreographed, and lavishly animated swordfights and stories that explore themes such as vengeance and the morality of killing. In stark contrast to RuroKen's quiet, contemplative and sentimental tone, however, Afro Samurai is rife with energy, black comedy (in more ways than one), and an overall pop-culture vibe. Where RuroKen's story and presentation can be described as "beautiful", Afro Samurai's would be more accurately described as "badass". 
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both tragic in its twisted, bloody way... 
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Anime: Samurai Champloo
Champloo and Kenshin are both samurai stories. Cruel and impressively realistic, these series show us fields of honour for every character. They meet their destiny with blade in their arms and love in their hearts. You'll also enjoy great love stories without verbiage and superfluous expressions. 
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Recent News

Recent Forum Discussion

Poll: Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen Episode 4 Discussion ( 1 2 3 )
hznu - Sep 16, 2008
125 replies by testamentKAISER »»
Nov 20, 8:24 AM
Haven't finished show — should I watch this?
ht44 - Nov 18
2 replies by ht44 »»
Nov 18, 7:56 PM