Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story is a classic manga about a wandering swordsman in late 1870’s Japan. Considered one of the greatest mangas ever written it has it all: romance, sword-fights, over-the-top villains, and plot about peace and forgiveness.
In the early Meiji era, after participating in the Bakumatsu war as the assassin “Hitokiri Battōsai“, Himura Kenshin wanders the countryside of Japan offering protection and aid to those in need as atonement for the murders he once committed. When arriving in Tokyo in the 11th year of Meiji (1878), he meets a young woman named Kamiya Kaoru, who is in the middle of a fight with a murderer – who claims to be the Hitokiri Battōsai – tarnishing the name of the swordsmanship school that she teaches. Kenshin decides to help her and defeats the fake Battōsai.
The manga is 28 volumes long and is all available from Viz Media. It is just stuffed with real historical characters and started a passion for Japanese history for me. It was a fascinating time about Japan opening up to the west and what that meant to a very different culture. There is so much good stuff in this series and I loved every minute of it!