|Nobuhiro Watsuki published his first Rurouni pilots in 1992, about an adorable little swordsman with long red hair and a sword with a backwards blade who would only name himself as Rurouni or Wanderer. Watsuki created endearing and memorable characters such as the seemingly happy-go-lucky, but truly burdened with guilt Himura Kenshin, the feisty, fiery tempered kendo instructor Kamiya Kaoru, bellicose Sagara Sanosuke and foul mouthed Yahiko. These and other characters ensured that Rurouni Kenshin was an instant hit and as a result, it was soon being featured in the weekly Shonen Jump publication.|
In 1996 an anime was created, which (mostly) adapted the events of the manga. The anime's Kyoto Arc to this day is regarded as one of the best anime adaptations of a manga. It was dark and gritty, yet inspiring at the same time, with a dramatic and soaring musical score.
Unfortunately, by the time Watsuki set to work on the manga's final arc, the Jinchuu, the anime had caught up with the manga, necessitating a season of filler (TV originals), such as the Shimabara Arc, the German Arc and the Feng Shui Arc. These arcs couldn't hold the viewers' attention, causing the ratings to plummet. The anime was canceled without the final arc having been adapted at all.
Thankfully, in 1999, Kenshin's backstory was adapted in the Tsuiokuhen OVA, which depicted his childhood training and then his years as an assassin in Kyoto during the Bakumatsu. It showed the torment he went through as a killer and the tragic reason for the large X scar that would mar his left cheek for the rest of his life.
In 2001, other parts of the Jinchuu/Revenge arc were adapted into an OVA called Seisouhen or Reflection. However, the writers and director felt the need to change things up and altered the main characters' personalities and time line so much that the story was virtually unrecognizable from the source material. Many Rurouni Kenshin fans disregarded Seisouhen.
Thus the years rolled by and Rurouni Kenshin stagnated.
Then 2011, it was announced that a live action adaptation was to be undertaken. This gave many fans pause as live action adaptations of other anime, such as Akira and Dragon Ball Z had been done in Hollywood, set in America and had been done by American actors. All of these were rightfully flops.
However, the Rurouni Kenshin movie was created in Japan by a Japanese cast and crew. Starring Sato Takeru as the guilt afflicted Rurouni and Emi Takei as the kendo instructor who took him in, the film was an instant hit. While not 100% faithful to the source material, it kept the spirit of the original and did a fine job keeping everyone in character, much better than Seisouhen.
Two years later, two sequels were announced, these to cover the Kyoto Arc. Kyoto Taikahen and Densetsu no Saigohen have been global hits and seem to have revived Rurouni Kenshin.
I believe that now is the right to time to finally make a faithful adaptiation of the Revenge Arc. At this point, I don't care if it's an addendum to old anime, a complete reboot or a live action adaptation. Just adapt it already!