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- Samurai X
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 assassin named Himura Kenshin, from the Bakumatsu who becomes a wanderer to protect the people of Japan. Watsuki wrote this series upon his desire of making a shÅnen manga different from the other ones that were published in that time, with Kenshin being a former assassin and the story taking a more serious tone as it continued. Although the tragic tone was highly expanded as the manga advanced, Watsuki became determined to give it a happy ending as it was aimed at teenagers.
The manga initially appeared in Shueisha's Weekly ShÅnen Jump from September 2, 1994, to November 4, 1999. The complete work consists of 28 tankÅbon volumes, while years later it was reprinted into twenty-two kanzenban volumes. Studio Gallop, Studio Deen and SPE Visual Works adapted the manga into an anime series which aired in Japan from January 10, 1996 to September 8, 1998. Seasons 1 and 2 cover the first 151 chapters of the manga, however Season 3 is an original storyline. Besides an animated film, two series of original video animations (OVAs) were also produced. The first adapted stories from the manga that were not featured in the anime, while the second was also a sequel of the manga. Writer Kaoru Shizuka has authored three official Rurouni Kenshin light novels which were published by Shueisha. Several video games have also been released for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles.
The United States release of the manga has been completed by Viz Media. Rurouni Kenshin is subtitled "Wandering Samurai" in some English releases, as a rough translation of "RurÅ ni" (æµæµªã«, lit. "Wandering" ). The TV series later licensed in North America and released on DVD by Media Blasters. The first two seasons aired on the United States Cartoon Network as a part of the Toonami Block, while the third season was only featured in DVD . The English-language versions of the OVAs as well the film is released as Samurai X, although the original title was included in the DVD releases. The first light novel has been translated by Viz and distributed in the United States and Canada. None of the video games of the series have been released in North America.
The series has been highly popular in Japan, the United States, Brazil and Europe. The manga has sold over 47 million copies in Japan as of 2007 while the anime has ranked between the 100 most watched series in Japan multiple times. The anime and manga have received praise and criticism from various publications for anime, manga and other media, with both having received good response on the characters' designs and the historical setting. The OVAs have also received praise due to their animation and music