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Rurouni Kenshin Reboot - What We Know So Far

Cartoon Network's Toonami block of shows, which was initially dedicated to edgier fare than the network's typical programming, gradually became one of the premiere televised outlets for anime after its introduction in the late '90s. As shows like "Dragon Ball Z" and "Sailor Moon" exploded in popularity in the West, Toonami added more and more anime to its lineup, eventually including a series about a samurai in the nineteenth century titled "Rurouni Kenshin."

At the heart of "Rurouni Kenshin" is a samurai named Himura Kenshin, who was once a prolific killer during wartime, and has since vowed to never again take another human's life. Kenshin, in fact, was inspired by a real samurai named Komori Genjiro, though certain key details differ between the fictional character and his primary source of inspiration.

Since the debut of the original "Rurouni Kenshin" manga in the mid-90s, the "Kenshin" franchise has remained popular in Japan, most recently resulting in a series of live-action films — arguably the best of which is a prequel titled "Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning." It's worth noting that original "Kenshin" manga author Nobuhiro Watsuki was charged with a serious crime in 2017 (via Crunchyroll), which has kept many away from his work in the present day.

Currently, an anime series rebooting "Kenshin" from the start is in the works. Here's what we know so far.

Is there a release date for the Rurouni Kenshin reboot?

News of a "Rurouni Kenshin" reboot anime first began circulating in 2021, at which point anime distributor Aniplex premiered a teaser trailer for the project. This trailer consists predominately of protagonist Himura Kenshin in a modern animation style, before on-screen text confirms that a new "Kenshin" anime is in the works.

Since then, on September 23, 2022, Aniplex shared some additional details about the show, including to the Aniplex of America Twitter account, as part of its annual Aniplex Online Fest. While this latest announcement doesn't feature a precise release date, it does promise that the rebooted "Rurouni Kenshin" anime will premiere at some point in the year 2023.

On one hand, the fact that this news came late in 2022 suggests that the series' premiere might itself be in the latter half of the following year. Given that it's been in the works since 2021, however, it's at least possible that its 2023 release could be in the first half of the year, even if a late 2023 window is more likely.

Who stars in the Rurouni Kenshin reboot?

In addition to detailing its 2023 release, Aniplex of America's September 23, 2022 announcement includes a closer look at updated character designs for Himura Kenshin and deuteragonist Kaoru Kamiya, as well as confirmation of which voice actors who will be playing these two characters.

Kenshin will be voiced by Soma Saito, whose credits (via IMDb) include the mobile game-addicted Tanaka in the Coen brothers-esque 2021 anime hit "Odd Taxi," the titular character in the 2020 mystery series "Moriarty the Patriot," the skull-faced bookseller Honda-san in 2018 comedy "Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san," and talking motorcycle Hermes in the 2017 "Kino's Journey" reboot, among others.

Rie Takahashi, meanwhile, will voice Kaoru. Takahashi's past credits (via IMDb) include the voice of Emilia in isekai hit "Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World," Megumin in popular isekai comedy "KonoSuba," Mash Kyrielight in the sprawling "Fate/Grand Order" franchise, and Hu Tao in the gacha action game "Genshin Impact," in addition to plenty of other roles.

Additional voice talent has yet to be announced.

Is there a trailer for the Rurouni Kenshin reboot?

Amidst its Aniplex Online Fest 2022 series of announcements, Aniplex premiered its first significant trailer for the "Rurouni Kenshin" reboot anime, following the short teaser the company released roughly a year prior.

This first proper trailer opens on a slow, pastoral shot of Himura Kenshin unsheathing his signature reverse-blade sword in a grove of trees shedding red autumn leaves. As an orchestral score begins to swell, Kenshin slashes some of the leaves as they fall in his midst. This scene soon dissolves into a flashback to Kenshin's military days, in which he charges at a group of shinsengumi military cops and slaughters them handily. Much of the balance of the trailer intercuts Kenshin's autumn leaf exercise with his battle against the shinsengumi, emphasizing some of the action viewers can expect come the reboot series' premiere.

Then, at the trailer's conclusion, Kaoru Kamiya accosts Kenshin, compelling him to reply with his catchphrase of sorts, "Oro?" and complicating the prior violence with the introduction of Kenshin's whimsical side.

Where can you stream the original Rurouni Kenshin anime series?

Since the upcoming "Rurouni Kenshin" is rebooting the series from its start, some new viewers may want to steer clear of the original "Rurouni Kenshin" anime in order to avoid spoilers, whereas series veterans or those looking for a comprehensive viewing experience may be interested in reviewing or catching up on everything that has come before it.

Fortunately for the latter group, the original "Rurouni Kenshin" anime is readily available to stream on multiple platforms. Most notably, those with a subscription to Crunchyroll have access to the entire 94 episode anime in both English and Japanese. Hulu also offers subscribers every episode of the first "Rurouni Kenshin" anime, though only with English dialogue that fans don't recommend.

Meanwhile, three of the more recent live-action "Rurouni Kenshin" movies are available to stream on Netflix. Given that the series of movies is considerably shorter in length than 94 anime episodes, this may well be the best method for interested viewers to catch up on "Kenshin" before the premiere of the reboot anime series in 2023.