Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuioku-hen

Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal

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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
Producers: Aniplex
Studios: Studio Deen
Source: Manga
Genres: ActionAction, HistoricalHistorical, DramaDrama, RomanceRomance, Martial ArtsMartial Arts, SamuraiSamurai, ShounenShounen
Duration: 30 min. per ep.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)


Score: 8.731 (scored by 111134111,134 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #382
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #599
Members: 219,308
Favorites: 5,878
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Aug 13, 2008
TheCriticsClub (All reviews)
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
Jul 7, 2007
mistress_reebi (All reviews)
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
May 29, 2013
Tatterdemalion (All reviews)
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
Mar 15, 2019
Optigisa (All reviews)
Battle shonen has always been a genre that is mostly frowned upon by the Anime community. Many fans tend to disregard most of the shows in that particular genre as something that is both unrealistic and imitative of one another. Add in to the fact that samurai Anime in particular always miss the point when it comes to their narrative, from the unnecessary hip hop style found in Samurai Champloo, to the redundant, hit and miss comedy that is prevalent throughout Gintama’s long run – it fails to work most of the time and it’s not hard to see why it does so. That is read more
Dec 1, 2009
js930 (All reviews)
The word masterpiece is used too much these days.. I haven't seen anything that deserves that title as much as Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen. While the original Rurouni Kenshin is meant as a typical shounen (comedy, action, a bit of romance?), this is a serious historical drama. Those words might turn you off, but you'll be surprised how well it is done: never is Tsuiokuhen truly slowpaced, never will the action be disappointing, never will the animation cease to amaze you. And the music. Ah, the music. Taku Iwasaki at his best.

Story - 10.

A serious, sad story. A romantic drama. Or is historical a better word? read more
Dec 1, 2015
Nervin (All reviews)
Throughout the past decades, japanese history and culture is often portrayed in various mediums, in particular that of movies which often take place in the last two centuries of Japan's history. This era is characterised by a slow shift from feudal traditions to the modernization brought from the west, being the transition from the Edo period to the Meiji period, also known as the japanese revolution in 1868, of importance in this case. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuiokuhen narrates the tale of Himura Kenshin's past and his struggle with his own beliefs against the harsh reality he faced. It is truly a masterpiece, read more
Nov 12, 2012
mahoganycow (All reviews)
There's a part of me that wonders if this review is even necessary. Whenever I have a discussion with someone about "great" anime--not the "funniest" anime, not the "saddest" anime, not the best "action" anime, but anime that breaks boundaries and defies classifications--this OVA is mentioned without fail. Being a little late to the party, I first saw this five or six years ago; having watched Rurouni Kenshin on English television as a child, and later rewatching a subbed release, my interest was piqued when I heard that there was an OVA in the franchise that was intelligently scripted and intended for more mature audiences. read more
Jun 20, 2009
ParaParaJMo (All reviews)
All I have to say is that this is a must see for fans of the series. Even though this serves as a prequel, I would not recommend this to people who have not yet seen the TV series because the tone and style is completely different and will probably give you the wrong set of expectations for the TV series which always implements humor. While in this OAV, it’s flat out drama and full of tragedy, and none of the comedic moments of what defined the TV series is present. But does it negate the quality of this OAV? Certainly not. The pacing is read more
Oct 16, 2008
TheOutlawXanadu (All reviews)
Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen is a great film (which I will classify it as throughout this review, for all intensive purposes) because of the respect that it has for its audience. Throughout the work's two hour running length there are countless opportunities presented that could've allowed for the story to introduce twists and to attempt to shock the viewer, but instead, the turns that are taken in the final quarter of the production are foreshadowed early on, and are often revealed to the viewer before they are revealed to the protagonist, Kenshin Himura.

This technique, the method of hinting to the viewer what should happen early on read more
Dec 18, 2014
literaturenerd (All reviews)

Is it possible for a prequel to actually be good? The answer is YES, because Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal exists! This prequel OVA has something for everyone: great story, great characters, beautiful music, amazing animation, and plenty of bloody samurai action! In this review I will explain not only why Trust and Betrayal is an absolute masterpiece of 1990s anime, but also give a little history lesson, since this IS a historical fiction afterall.

Bonus Section: History and Rurouni Kenshin (skip the next 2 paragraphs if you don't care about history!)

Rurouni Kenshin and its prequel can actually teach casual viewers a small amount of Japanese read more
Jan 6, 2008
RedSwordHeart (All reviews)
This OVA restored my faith in RK animation. I hate the second set of OVAs and find the TV series just too childish for my liking, but this gem has it all. It's more serious than the anime, but isn't pointless emo tragicrap like the last OVA.

This is set during the Bakumatsu when Kenshin is a young assassin on the razor's edge of insanity. Every night, he spills blood in the hopes of bringing in the new era of peace for the people of Japan. Every night, his soul dies a bit more.

One night, he crosses swords with a young Shogunate swordsman who is read more
Apr 18, 2008
jaygold33 (All reviews)
I figured it was about time I posted a review on one of my favorite anime of all time. Samurai X: Tsuiokuhen (Trust and Betrayal) is a masterpiece of an OVA, and the prequel to the Rurouni Kenshin anime series.

After having completed the series, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. This OVA series is what gave me a new appreciation for Rurouni Kenshin. Needless to say, you should watch the series before diving into this one, as it will allow you to feel the same as I did.

The animation is top notch. It is a beauty to behold. The musical score composed read more
Jan 5, 2008
Formidable_Delta (All reviews)
Samurai X: Turst/Betrayal is not like a lot of other animes. It doesn't stress swift justice, and eye for an eye sort of justice, but rather a way to live one's life (and it tells what happened to Kenshin before the series). It deals with how war can affect someone's life and the realization (looking at the story close enough) that your inner peace is where you must start if you really want to create a better world for you and others. I don't remember who said this, but someone once said, "Be the change you want to see," which is what Kenshin realized. Kenshin read more
Apr 6, 2010
spaz4444 (All reviews)
This was a great series (if you could call four OVA's a series). If I could give it a 9.5, I would. It was fantastic, only lacking something that made my jaw completely drop, which is why I just couldn't quite give it a 10. Totally worth watching and I would recommend this to anyone, though be immediately warned, there is a ton of blood and it can get pretty graphic (the opening of the first episode is actually as bad as it gets in terms of gruesome violence, so if can get through that, you should be good).

Story (10): The read more
May 2, 2008
Ketuekigami (All reviews)
Slightly edited review from Critics and Connoisseurs club.

The animation fits perfectly with the historical theme to Tsuiokuhen. I can honestly say that the style of art in Tsuiokuhen could not work with almost any other anime.Also, the more serious tones used in Tsuiokuhen are more fitting towards the the more serious story in this ova than the Kenshin tv seres.

I don't usually pay attention to the music happening during an anime but it was different for Tsuiokuhen. The historic Japanese style music gives every scene a greater emotion whether its action or tragedy. The Japanese voice acting is truly great and its one read more
Oct 21, 2020
Havos44 (All reviews)
The story created by Nobuhiro Watsuki in 1997, about the repentant killer of his past, gains new features in Rurouni Kenshin's Roe, which tells his character's bloody trajectory before his life as a wanderer.

It is difficult to believe that Kenshin Himura was based on a true Hitokiri, Gensai Kawakani, master of the Shiranui Ryuu style. His strength and dexterity were such that we were

Story: 10/10
The series takes place in the Meiji period (1868-1912). The OVA, on the other hand, is about the Edo period, prior to Meiji, which was under the control of the Tokugawa family since 1603 and lasted until 1868 when there was read more
Jan 6, 2009
sunrise110 (All reviews)
I realize that this is only a 4 episode story, and that it probably shouldn't have the second place mark for all anime, but it definitely deserves to be the best OAV by far in my books. It also tops tengen toppa gurren-lagann, the current leader in anime on this site by far. I just had to mention that since I am angry that tengen toppa gurren-lagann has the top spot at the moment.

Theres really not much to say about this OAV, if you liked rurouni kenshin and your interested in more of the background story then its worth a watch. If you read more
Oct 24, 2011
kekekeKaj (All reviews)
Perfection is (probably) unattainable, but once in a while, an anime comes along that gets pretty damn close.

"Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuikuhen" is one such anime.

I originally watched "Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen" without watching the main series. I was drawn to the OVA's by its stella ratings, but was too daunted by the length of the main series to watch that. Eventually, I grew out of my allergy for long series and watched the 95 episodes of "Rurouni Kenshin". Coming back to this afterwards, I wished I wasn't so hasty to watch it before - as good as it was first time round, it's much more meaningful read more
Jan 7, 2014
damned_33rd (All reviews)
I'll be honest here. I'm not a big fan of romanticized, revisionist historical animation. And when I mean romanticized; I mean to the fullest extent of the word and any other derivation of its definition.

Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal's story concerns itself with a cold blooded and skillful retainer of a rising Shogun. There's some political intrigue yet most of it will require some extensive background knowledge of the era but its main focus is on the retainer's realization of his actions and how he has lost his way despite his original, noble intentions of saving people.

Most of this comes from a woman read more
Feb 12, 2008
restivesilence (All reviews)
First of all, I've never actually watched the series Rurouni Kenshin, so everything I write is from a blank slate perspective. :)

Story- This was really beautiful and sad. The plot idea of an assassin who no longer likes being an assassin, though already done, was completely remastered and thought out in a unique fashion. I was completely enthralled from the beginning and wasn't completely sure where everything was going to turn out. I like the fact that they seemed to write this so that somebody who hasn't seen the show could understand and be emmersed. I could definitely see this as a stand alone.

Art- Sometimes read more