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Fanfic Recs / Rurouni Kenshin

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These are recommendations made by tropers for Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fics, all of which have to be signed to stay on the page. Feel free to add a fanfic of your own to the list, but remember to use the template found here.

Do warn when a fanfic may head into non-canon territory. Some people just don't like it, and as we all know, Shipping is Serious Business.You can also add to the current recommendations if you want. Refrain from posting Conversation in the Main Page though; that goes in the discussion page.


Authors and Websites

Pretty much everything by Vathara

  • Recommended by Little Fall Of Stars and Tannim
  • Stories to note are the Blades of Blood series. She also has an excellent crossover with Star Wars. She's the queen of the mega-crossover, too. Something here for everyone.
  • Seconded by Singollo_Lomien with particular emphasis on Shadows in Starlight, a Star Wars/Rurouni Kenshin fusion.

Once again, almost everything by Ravyn

  • Recommended by Czy
  • Her world building is amazing, and her writing is full of life. A notable series is Little One. Kenshin and Kaoru spiced up with magic.

Fox in the Stars

  • Recommended by: hille13
  • Comment: This writer's Soujiro fanfiction is by far the best I have ever encountered. It is about the Tenken after the Kyoto-arc.


  • Recommended by: Little Fall Of Stars
  • If you're looking for Aoshi-, Misao-, or Oniwaban-centric fic, Nagia's the author to check out. Her Aoshi is one of the best I've ever read, bar Vathara's, and her Misao manages to be both genki and emotionally mature. Of note are "These Cuts Of Mine" and "My Big Fake Ninja Wedding" (Better than it sounds, I promise).

Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.

This One by the Dah

  • Recommended by Jemirna
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis:When an epidemic orphans a young boy, a collaboration of ill luck and a chance meeting with a notorious swordsman pushes him onto a new path – becoming the Meiji Revolution's most feared killer. But just like with every legend, there were things we were never told… A canon compliant character study of Kenshin's early years.
  • Comments: Essentially, a three-part story posted as one. Kenshin's childhood, rated T. Events leading up to those in Trust x Betrayal, rated M. And then his later years in the revolution, also rated M. Well researched for cultural subtleties and historical accuracy, if bending it a little when the fictional canon doesn't entirely match up. Thoroughly enjoyable, continually intriguing read.

Ichirizuka by older woman

  • Recommended by Jemirna
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: Kenshin, from the day he leaves Kyoto in 1868 and on. It sticks to realism. Starts 'angsty', but will gradually mellow some. The first chapter can stand alone as a oneshot.
  • Comments: Meticulously researched, with astonishingly real OCs and the characterization of Kenshin pretty much spot on. The writing pays wonderful attention to detail, and whilst it hasn't been updated in a few years, it's still lengthy in and of itself and well worth the read. Gets better and better the more you get into it, and very, very interesting.

An Unexpected Lesson by Conspirator

  • Recommended by darknesshiddeninlight
  • Synopsis: Three years after the end of the Bakumatsu, a chance encounter with a kabuki troupe teaches Kenshin an unexpected lesson in survival.
  • Status: Complete.

Swordsmen by L. Mouse

  • Recommended by sablin27
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: A Rurouni Kenshin/Highlander crossover. It's a story about love, and loss, and moving on, with Kenshin as an Immortal. And you get one guess what Kenshin's opinion of The Game is!
  • Comments: The story doesn't require knowledge of Highlander, but it is set at a point where all the Rurouni Kenshin characters except Kenshin are long dead, so all the story's characters are dead or original characters. That said, the story gives an interesting look at Kenshin through a stranger's eyes and contains plenty of action without drawn-out descriptions of fights.
    • There is a prequel, A Life Lived (a not-quite-complete account of Kenshin as an Immortal) and two sequels, Walk Not Alone (Thirteen years of no contact later, Kenshin wanders in whilst looking for a damsel in distress.) and A Rurouni Goes to College(An 160-year-old Immortal goes to college. You'd think he was old enough to know better.)
    • I loved that the OC's drug addiction was remedied by getting her interested in acting instead of a treatment center that told her to eliminate distractions in order to focus on her recovery.—Strung Out On Life
  • Warnings: Violence level is about what you'd expect of Rurouni Kenshin. A couple of heterosexual relationships are seen, with the occurrence of smut implied.
    • The other stories in the series are equally or less violent, but some contain non-graphic abusive/non-consensual relationships and pedophilia. There is also some frank sexual discussion and a homosexual couple among the cast, in case anyone is bothered by those being considered acceptable.

The Cat That Danced With Death by DB Sommer

  • Recommended by Selryam
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Set sometime in the future; Kenshin, living peacefully with his wife and kids, must face the one foe he cannot best: Death.
  • Comments: A neat, poignant story of Kenshin and Death and his life and his happiness. Sad Bittersweet, but not depressing, and truly touching in a not gushingly sweet way. It's Kenshin at its finest.

Out of Time and all its related fics by SiriusFan13

  • Recommended by Tensa-chan, darkemyst
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: During a trip to Kyoto with his friends, Himura Kenshin winds up in deep water... thirteen years in the past. How will Kenshin deal with the Revolution again? And how will his friends deal with Battousai, who has traded places with him?
  • Comments: A good read, with an interesting concept.

Kyuushutsu by Terry-McElrath

  • Recommended by A Troper
  • Status: Dead
  • Synopsis: Katsura Kogorou, leader of the Choshu Clan, is captured and under a death sentence! Can Kenshin find and rescue him before he is executed? Set during the Bakumatsu, after Tomoe's death.
  • Comments: One of the best fanfics I've ever read for RuroKen, it features Battousai!Kenshin as he was in Canon as opposed to the Fanon interpretation. The action is great, the fights are well written and word can't really describe it, the story is incomplete and hasn't been updated in years but the last chapter ends at a point that can theoretically be taken as an ending. The lengths at which Kenshin will go to save Katsura is touching and awesome.

Against a Sea of Troubles by Hakubaikou

  • Recommended by A Troper
  • Status: Dead
  • Synopsis: A red-haired, amber-eyed stranger washes up on shore in a small, seaside village.
  • Comments: It's a great fic with well written OCs that work really well with the story and no Mary-Sues whatsoever. It's an interesting concept/plot that I really wish would be used more often (or rather, used more often in a good way) and unfortunately the story is incomplete and will never be completed due to Hakubaikou's untimely death.

Hajime and Tokio by Angrybee

  • Recommended by Ultra Sonic 007
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The story of the life, and love, which grew between an unlikely couple. Follows Saitou and Tokio from the Genji era through and past the Rurouni Kenshin tale.
  • Comments: As stated, this story follows the life of Saitou and Tokio, his wife in real life. Needless to say, things are somewhat more dramatic given that it's set in Rurouni Kenshin, but I don't want to spoil much. We do eventually get to see the Kenshin-gumi, but the cast of original characters are so well-developed that their presence is icing on the cake. Tokio is developed wonderfully, and Saitou's characterization is DEAD ON. You won't be disappointed.

The Choshu Chronicles by omasuoniwabanshi

  • Recommended by Elenor
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: A realistic telling of the war after Tomoe's death.
  • Comments: Like I said, a realistic telling. Deals with the war, people involved, old vs. new, Eastern vs. Western, just to name a few topics. Very good.

Light of the Snow Red Village by Akai Kitsune

  • Recommended by Elenor
  • Status: Dead
  • Synopsis: What if Tomoe and Kenshin had a daughter? After Tomoe dies Kenshin takes to wandering with the light of his life.
  • Comments: Currently incomplete. Mainly talking about life before the series beginning. Now we're in the actual series. Kenshin and his daughter are both lovable and realistic.

Puppet Master by Lady Rhiyana

  • Recommended by Elenor
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Dabbles about the relationship between Katsura and Kenshin.
  • Comments: Very interesting. I particularly liked three, seven, and ten.

Frozen Moonlight by JaneDrew

  • Recommended by Zashiki-Warashi
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: In high school, Kaoru Kamiya escaped from a demon. Five years later, she meets a man who looks awfully familiar...
  • Comments: True, it's technically a High School A.U., yet it's still one of the most engrossing fanfics I've read in a long time. It's so well-written that upon reading it again I could pick up new details I'd missed the first time. Half of one chapter is simply Kaoru, Misao and Megumi talking over lunch, and it's still not boring.

Hard Times by Nagia

  • Recommended by Little Fall Of Stars
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: "Misao sometimes wonders if what he did stained her."
  • Comments: This one's a hard read, but ultimately worth it. She uses a light touch to drive her point in deep. Warning for rape aftermath.

Heart of a Sword by Knight-Dawn

  • Recommended by knightdawn
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: "The early adventures of one Himura Kenji. He really causes his parents a lot of trouble, oro. But everyone loves him anyway! Fluff abound, as usual when concerning little Kenji. Leads in to Path of Swords." Kenshin and Kaoru pairing, of course, with a few moments here and there between them. Set when Kenji's 5-6, after the end of the manga.
  • Comments: I've checked out some of the other Gen Fics in this section, but it makes me a little sad that none of them revolve around Kenji... So here's one starring the little guy! It's not a pairing fic, though K&K get plenty of WAFF moments. It takes on some more serious matters toward the end, and leads into a very dark and serious fic called Path of Swords starring a fourteen year old Kenji.

The Price of Innocence by Mengde

  • Recommended by: Little Fall Of Stars
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: When Kenshin brought Aoshi back to her, Misao thought he would never leave her again. But now Aoshi is on trial for his past sins, and Misao must decide, once and for all, what she is willing to do to keep him with her - because some things come with too high a price.
  • Comments: Come on, nobody really thought that the Japanese government would leave Aoshi alone without him even bothering to change his name, right? Angsty and yet delicious look at how the Meiji government would have reacted to Aoshi's return, with some interesting historical detail. (While it does focus on the connection between them, the nature of the relationship between Aoshi and Misao is left ambiguous, so I'm leaving it here.)

Castle Ruins by lossehelin

  • Recommended by: Czy
  • Status: Dormant; last updated February 2019
  • Synopsis: Kenshin is an age-old vampire, spending much of his time collecting and restoring antiques. But he is a vampire, Kaoru's blood is intoxicating in its scent. He eventually gives in to the appeal and hires her to work on his chateau, never intending to drink her blood. Just to keep her close. But old enemies are returning, and the higher powers of the vampire community are keeping close tabs on Kaoru for a reason.
  • Comments: Kenshin as a vampire? Check. Kaoru as the one with the tempting scent? Check. What may initially seem like a cliche vampire fic is actually one of the best reads I've ever encountered. The relationship building is very well done, so the story is well developed too. The rules and workings of the vampiric community is well thought out, there is even a scientific medical reason to their existence. The focus is on Kenshin and Karou's relationship, with Aoshi/Misao and Sano/Megumi pairings. My synopsis doesn't do it justice, give it a shot.

Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.

Keneko by Shirou Shinjin

  • Recommended by Lady Nomad
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Kenshin/Kaoru
  • Synopsis: After Enishi's Jinchuu, Kenshin is scared of hurting Kaoru. He makes a wish, and unfortunately it gets granted... bit funny, bit WAF Fy, all silly.
  • Comments: It is adorable and funny about how Kenshin and Kaoru interact in this strange twist of fate.

Merciful Dreams and Merciful Dreams Side Stories by Peacebunnie

  • Recommended by Selryam
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Kenshin/Tomoe
  • Synopsis: "Kenshin wakes with full knowledge of Kiyosato and Tomoe before he ever sees them. The future has changed. Welcome to the war." -from summary
  • Comments: Quite the "original story with a twist" type of fic here. Exciting and suspenseful from the beginning, with an interesting spin on the events we already know. The plot lines, characters, and background world are well thought-out and captivating; the author really draws you into Kenshin's mind and world. Fairly dark and violent, but not really worse than the original manga or OVAs.
    • Definitely seconded by Elenor.

Size Matters by The Alchemists Daughter

  • Recommended by bluerockerdragongirl
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Mainly Sanosuke/Megumi with some Kenshin/Kaoru
  • Synopsis: "No longer a one-shot! Sano is a hooker, who gets picked up by the richest, and the coldest, customer of his career. But he doesn't turn her down, of course!" - Summary
  • Comments: A funny as hell twist of an AU Rurouni Kenshin fanfic. The premise is comedic gold, the characters are extremely well written and Aoshi is a pimp. Armed with a sword/pimp cane. Aside from Aoshi's pimp-ness, the story itself has a decent and interesting plot with fun little twists along the way. As this fic is rated M (and the premise gives it away) there is sex; but it doesn't take over the story, which is always good. I recommend it completely, for those able to deal with the mature content.

My Big Fake Ninja Wedding by Nagia

  • Recommended by Little Fall Of Stars
  • Status: Dormant
  • Pairings: Aoshi/Misao
  • Synopsis: How the paranoid ninja leader of a paranoid ninja organization gets married: or, a practical lesson in Why We Do Not Listen To Okon.
  • Comments: A surprisingly believable Aoshi/Misao that grounds itself pretty thoroughly in what life running an inn would have been like for a bunch of paranoid ninjas. Also, why Aoshi can't get married like a normal person. Looks like it's going to be a delightful mix of "paranoid ninja shenanigans" and "rom com shenanigans."

The Courtship of Lady Tokio and its sequel Meiji Keikan Romantan by misaki-toyodome

  • Recommended by addictsinc
  • Status: Complete and WIP, respectively
  • Pairings: Saitou Hajime/Takagi Tokio
  • Synopsis: For The Courtship of Lady Tokio: The story of the courtship of Saitou Hajime and Takagi Tokio. A fictional account based on historical events of the Shinsengumi and the years of the Bakumatsu. For Meiji Keikan Romantan: Filling in the story of Saitou Hajime through the manga timeline. Introducing the Fujita family, with flashbacks to the first years of his marriage and his Shinsengumi days.
  • Comments: I can't praise these fics enough. It features history, politics, action, and old-fashioned Japanese romanticism! Courtship is set during the Bakumatsu and the first few years of Meiji. In the words of the author, "[this story] is about Tokio and Saitou set against the backdrop of the Bakumatsu. Therefore, it could be taken as a story about the Shinsengumi and Aizu with a slant." The sequel, Meiji Keikan Romantan is set during the RK series, with flashbacks to the Bakumatsu era, and deals mostly with Saitou's interactions with the Kenshin-gumi. It is a WIP, and the author updates sporadically. However, speaking as a fan of the first story from around Chapter 4, written way back in 2004, when misaki-toyodome says she'll finish the sequel, she will, even if it'll take her another 8 years to do so.

Light in the Time of Shadows by kakikaeru

  • Recommended by Mei-may
  • Status: Dormant (last updated November 2017)
  • Pairing: Kenshin/Kaoru
  • Synopsis: A semi-AU where Kamiya Kaoru has been born around the same age as Kenshin and into privilege, the only daughter of a well-respected Edo samurai. With her father secretly supporting the Ishin Shishi and eventually killed for it, all unknown to Kaoru, she joins the Shinsengumi while slowly falling in love with the red-haired samurai whom she first met and helped on a very hot day of summer. Kenshin, meanwhile, struggles to continue his duties to Katsura while trying to protect the girl he's fallen in love with from the shadows.
  • Comments: Very well written fanfic. It's obvious that the author has done their research about the background and period which enhance the emotional aspects during reading. The Shinsengumi are portraited as real people with their own quirks, personalities and bonds with Kaoru that will make you like them even if they're supposed to be Kenshin's enemy. The atmosphere of the story are quite somber, with little humor so that it's resembling greatly what we'd seen in the OVAs but less depressing (YMMV on that one, though).

To Catch the Wind by wynteralchemyst

  • Recommended by Rob Has
  • Status: Dead (last updated October 2013), but still worth a read if you are a Soujiro fan who wants to try fresh ideas.
  • Pairing: Seta Soujiro/Sekihara Tae
  • Tag: Future Fic
  • Synopsis: Post-canon. In the 13th year of the Meiji, 1880, Soujiro came to Tokyo. He was curious about the fate of Himura Kenshin, but to Tae, manager of the Akabeko, Soujiro represented a business opportunity. She could not know that from the first moment she saw him, her heart had already begun to break. These are the days that follow.
  • Comments: Soujiro Seta is on his journey as a wanderer and stumbles into Akabeko, twice, and lands a job there as a waiter after some convincing from Tae's father. The longer Tae interacts with Soujiro both on and off work, the more she realizes that she values him more than a subordinate, and eventually she falls for him. The conflicts in this story lie within Tae's inner turmoil about her age gap with Soujiro and fear of being rejected, added by Soujiro being a tormented soul who is unfamiliar with affection. A very well-written fanfic with fresh ideas, especially involving a side character that doesn't have many screentimes outside of filler episodes. Despite being a Dead Fic, this is definitely worth a read.

Crossover Fics

Rurouni Familiar by Slavok

  • Recommended by: Ghingahn
  • Status: Hiatus (hasn't been updated since 5/23/18, without notice from the author)
  • Crossover with: The Familiar of Zero
  • Synopsis: It's a dangerous business, becoming a wanderer. You step onto that road, and there's no telling where you might end up. But for Soujiro, it was never about the destination, it was about finding the truth, and if he finds it in Halkeginia, that's perfectly fine.

The Wandering Servant by euphoric image

  • Recommended by ultimomant
  • Crossover with Fate/Zero
  • Status: Dead; last updated May 2020
  • Synopsis: Kirei Kotomine summons Kenshin Himura as Assassin. He becomes frustrated that his Assassin refuses to kill and is more concerned with protecting innocents.