Rurouni Kenshin (also known as Samurai X), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The fictional setting takes place during the early Meiji period in Japan. The story is about a fictional character named Himura Kenshin.
(picture 1: Himura Kenshin)
At the end of the Edo Period (also known as Bakumatsu), the major ideological/political division during this period was between the pro-imperialist Ishin shishi (nationalist patriots) and the Shogunate forces (including the elite Shinsengumi swordsmen).
(picture 2: Shinsengumi, according to Nobuhiro Watsuki’s novel)
Kenshin was about 16 years old at that time, and, as a talented swordsman who wanted to use his abilities to build a new peaceful era, he found his way working for the Ishin shishi, killing several important men from the Shogunate, weakening this division. He became known as “Battousai, the manslayer”.
(picture 3: Battousai, the manslayer)
After two years of killing, the new era, called Meiji, came to replace the old one. Along with the end of the Edo Period, Kenshin matures his mind and decides to become a wanderer (“Rurouni” means “wanderer”) willing to help and protect the people of Japan to redeem his sins as Battousai, the manslayer. He swears he will never kill again.
(picture 4: Kenshin, the wanderer)