10 Books/Manga Like Ruroni Kenshin | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 Books/Manga Like Ruroni Kenshin

Ruroni Kenshin’s an interesting samurai-themed story with great historical richness, fantastic characters, and incredible action. It was written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki and was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from April 1994 to  September 1999. The story follows a former assassin named Hitokiri Battosai who changes his name to Himura Kenshin to pursue a more pacifist lifestyle. After someone takes his name and executes heinous acts, Kenshin must stop this new being from committing more crimes. 

If you’re in the mood for more slice-of-life or fantasy books/manga that offer a similar vibe, fear not! We’ve gathered together 10 books/manga to check out when you’ve caught up with Ruroni Kenshin. Of course, if you feel we’ve missed any of your favorites, do comment below and let us know!

Vagabond – Takehiko Inoue

Similarities – Action, Historical, Themes

Vagabond is a fantastic samurai series with great characters and storytelling. Like Ruroni Kenshin, this story’s set in ancient Japan and wreaks of historical accuracy and detail. It revolves around Musashi, a samurai blamed for murdering someone despite assisting a nation in defeating a rival clan. On the run, Musashi must conquer his external and internal conflicts to prove he’s innocent. 

Both manga explore themes of redemption and personal growth. Their protagonists seek to atone for their past actions. With Kenshin, he wants to protect the innocent while Musashi strives to become the greatest swordsman ever while dealing with the consequences of his violent past.

Each manga delves deep into its characters’ actions, providing readers with great insight. In addition to having fabulously drawn action sequences, Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond is worth reading. 

Gintama –Hideaki Sorachi

Similarities – Action & Samurai

Despite having more humor than Ruroni Kenshin, Gintama shares many things in common with Watsuki’s work. Gintama follows the misadventures of Gintoki and his comrades as they tackle many odd jobs to make money. Like Ruroni Kenshin, Gintama knows how to balance its humor with its intense action sequences to create an engaging narrative for readers to follow. 

From battling aliens to tackling aspects of Gintoki’s treacherous past, Sorachi knows when it’s best to crank up his tale’s intensity or wind it back a tad for some amusing fun. While Kenshin contains slight comedy moments between the cast, the story is mainly loved for its intense sword fights involving Kenshin and his adversaries.

Therefore, if you’re looking for another samurai-themed tale with more humor and enough sword fights to entertain you, check out Gintama. 

Blade of the Immortal – Hiroaki Samura

Similarities – Samurai, Historical, Action

Blade of the Immortal is another historical work with complex characters, intense swordplay, and rich artwork. The story follows Manji, a warrior who must murder 1,000 people to retain his ability to die of natural causes. Additionally, he’ll assist a young girl with her vengeance-seeking operation.

Ruroni Kenshin and Blade of the Immortal offer readers multidimensional and compelling characters. Manji carries the burden of being an immortal figure and for slaughtering many people during his past. Like Kenshin, he’ll undergo profound changes and personal growth when confronting his inner demons.

Both stories deliver excellent depictions of intense and gritty swordplay. From Kenshin’s Hiten Mistrugi-ryu style to Manji’s brutal swings of his blade, you’ll be enamored by the violence captured in both works. If you’re in need of another fantastic read, check this one out. 

Vinland Saga – Makoto Yukimura

Similarities – Historical, Action, Adventure

While one focuses on samurai and the other Vikings, you can draw many comparisons between these fabulous works. For instance, both manga contain historical settings, morally intricate characters, and deep storytelling.

Vinland Saga follows Thorfinn, a skilled warrior who is after a man who murdered his father. Like Kenshin, Thorfinn undergoes significant development throughout his journey. He starts off as a vengeful person, but as the story progresses, he begins to question the nature of violence and seeks a path of peace. This echoes Kenshin’s journey as he internally struggles to repent for his past actions and protect those who are dear to him.

Moreover, both stories tackle intricate topics and contain enough violence to keep viewers hooked. If you’re okay with a work that leans more toward the viking spectrum of things, then give Vinland Saga a shot. 

Inuyasha – Rumiko Takahashi

Similarities – Romance, Action, Historical

Inuyasha is a fan-favorite series from Rumiko Takahashi’s catalog of works. This story was often watched in unison with Ruroni Kenshin during the 90s and 2000s era of anime. Like Rurouni Kenshin, Inuyasha explores themes like redemption and love and features a slew of characters fans will gravitate toward.

In Inuyasha, we follow Kagome, a schoolgirl who travels back in time. She becomes embroiled in a quest to gather shards and meets the half-human and canine warrior, Inuyasha. Like Kenshin, Kagome receives incredible development as she learns to navigate through the new environment she’s been sent to.

Inuyasha, with his conflicting emotions and powers, struggles with his own identity and the choice between good and evil at times. Having characters like these two helps readers develop a fondness for the cast. Furthermore, both stories offer a hint of romance and compelling action sequences to keep viewers hooked with their stories. You’ll love seeing how Kagome and Inuyasha’s bond grows throughout the story.

Through its skillful storytelling and handling of significant themes, Inuyasha is a must-read for Ruroni Kensin fans. 

Noragami –Adachitoka

Similarities – Themes, Romance, Action

Noragami is a fun story with marvelous supernatural, romantic, and action elements. Like Ruroni Kenshin, this story delivers a solid cast and fantastic historical aspects. In it, we follow Yato, a minor god who takes on jobs to earn followers to build his own shrine. After getting roped into a dilemma involving a human named Hiyori, Yato must do everything he can to help her out.

However, that’s the least of Yato’s worries. Like Kenshin, Yato grapples with his past actions and seeks redemption for the mistakes he made during those times. Through adventuring with Hiyori and others, Yato undergoes profound changes and receives the strength necessary to overcome his inner demons and strive for a brighter future. 

Furthermore, both stories feature fantastic sword fights that’ll keep you entertained. The romance each manga presents readers is equally entertaining and builds up gradually over time. While Noragami has more of a supernatural angle in comparison to Ruroni Kenshin, fans of the latter will enjoy what the former delivers. 

Samurai Deeper Kyo – Akimine Kamijo

Similarities – Action, Characters, Adventure

Samurai Deeper Kyo is an action-adventure comedy series that’s sure to pique Ruroni Kenshin’s fans’ interest. This story follows Demon Eyes Kyo, a former warrior who disappeared for ages after a fierce battle with another formidable being. He’s spotted by a bounty hunter named Yuya four years later who captures him. We examine their quest together full of thrills and laughter. 

Like Kenshin, Samurai Deeper Kyo excels at giving readers a great and complex cast to observe. For instance, Kyo is a powerful warrior, whose resolve and motivations are explored to the fullest. This leads to many deep revelations and defining character moments that mirror those found in Ruroni Kenshin.

In addition to having stellar artwork to give readers glorious eye candy to sit through as they read, Samurai Deeper Kyo is a great option for Ruroni Kenshin fans. 

Peacemaker – Nanae Chrono

Similarities – Action & Characters

Peacemaker is a fantastic action series with historical richness and a wide array of developed characters. Our story follows Tetsunosuke, a boy who witnessed his parents’ demise. This entices him to join an unofficial police force that’ll help him learn how to become a more skillful killer. However, he must choose between becoming a demon or a peacemaker.  

Like Kenshin, Tetsunosuke is a complex protagonist who deals with many internal and external issues. From losing his family to assassins to having to choose between violence and peace, readers will find his personal journey captivating. Fortunately, like Kenshin, Tetsunosuke develops close-knit relationships with many people that’ll help him shift toward a brighter path.

Unfortunately, he’ll have his share of battles to overcome like Kenshin, but these bouts will provide folks with enjoyable entertainment to keep the story moving.

If you’re looking for another tale with well-developed characters and intriguing storytelling, Peacemaker should hold your interest. 

Golden Kamuy – Satoru Noda

Similarities – Action, Historical, Adventure

A series that explores honor and redemption within a glorious historically rich environment is what you’ll find with Golden Kamuy. This tale examines the journey of Sugimoto and Asirpa as they search for hidden gold while navigating the complexities of post-war Japan.

Like Kenshin, Sugimoto and Asirpa are fantastic lead characters, who receive great depth and development. Despite having differing personalities, Asirpa and Sugimoto learn to confront their inner demons and work as a unit. This mirrors Kenshin and the relationships he forms with characters such as Kaoru, Saito, and others. Each character’s struggles, motivations, and personal quests add depth to the narrative, giving viewers something meaningful to latch on to.

Therefore, if you love Ruroni Kenshin for its themes and characters, you’ll likely find enjoyment in Golden Kamuy. 

The Elusive Samurai – Yuusei Matsui

Similarities – Action & Adventure

After creating the fabulous action comedy Assassination Classroom, fans were delighted to see Yuusei Matsui work on a new project. While the Elusive Samurai is ongoing and hasn’t garnered as much attention as his prior work, many fans enjoy this one for what it offers so far. Like Ruroni Kenshin, this is a samurai and historical work with multi-dimensional characters and glorious visuals.

The story follows Tokiyuki Hojo, the next successor of the Kamakura shogunate. Unfortunately, he lacks talent and is on the run after a person named Ashikaga seizes power from the Kamakura. We observe Tokiyuki’s efforts in recruiting comrades who will help him restore the Kamakura Shogunate to its previous status. 

Like Kenshin. Tokiyuki is a well-rounded protagonist with a fair share of issues that he must overcome. The supporting characters don’t receive as much development time, but with the way the story’s heading, it’s possible Matsui will work his magic to give them time to spread their wings.

The artwork is phenomenal. The settings look incredible and accurate to the era Matsui’s tackling. If you’re okay with a story that’s a bit quick at first but gradually gets better over time, check out The Elusive Samurai. 

So there we have it, our 10 books/manga to reading after you’re caught up with Ruroni Kenshin.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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