Voice by: Japanese – Mayo Suzukaze; English – Richard Cansino
Yep! That’s right the number one anime character on my list is none other that Kenshin Himura. I am a sucker for stories about samurais. In my book you will not find another character that is able to balance dark and light moments as well as Kenshin Himura. Though Kenshin has a basic samurai character look, what makes him a great character is that we are able to get moments and episodes where Kenshin plays the straight man, or the comedic foil, but when push came to shove he can pull of the dark moments like no other character. When we get to see Kenshin’s eyes go from their usual color to the yellow/gold you know that you should not be anywhere nearby. With his Hiten Mitsurugi-style Kenshin is basically unstoppable as he is able to move at god-like speed with no other character being more dangerous with a sword than him.
I will admit that I am not a fan of how Kenshin’s story ended in the anime OVA, as I thought it was a very sad death when Kenshin, after all the crap he had been through, deserved a happier ending. Personally, I prefer the we got in the manga and it sucked that the anime was never able to do an anime version of the final arc in the manga. I really liked the last arc. Though it wasn’t as good as the Kyoto arc it was awesome to learn all of Kenshin’s backstory.
And even though the anime never did reach that point they did a great job revealing enough information of Kenshin’s past during the Kyoto arc made him still a character you can sympathize with. I would rank the Kyoto arc among my favorite stories told in anime as the series really picked up the intensity in that arc which it never was able to reach with the filler arc that happened afterwards. Kenshin was faced with impossible odds and it was great watching how he was able to face his past and did not allow the Battosai personality overcome him anymore as he was able to let go of that past of being Man Slayer.
Also Kenshin participated in three of my favorite anime fights. His fights with Saito, Aoshi, and Shishio in the Kyoto arc were just pure awesomeness with all the sword action. I would put any one of those three as my favorite anime fight. Kenshin really proved his worth in each of these fights as each opponent did what they were supposed to do when fighting the hero: pose an actually threat and challange/ None of these fights never felt like they were forced on to Kenshin as each one of these fights were well developed that in the end, while knowing Kenshin would win, had me wondering how he would pull of the win with all the intense action going on.