One thing everyone seemed to forget mentioning was the main plot lines of the entire series. Typical of us guys, I assume, who would over look them and pay attention to the never ending monologues of Kenshin and the sword fights. They seem to forget that starting very early in the series, while fighting Udo Jin-e, there is a very obvious consistancy in the plot. Love and the desire to live.
There are several (main) love pairings in the series; Kenshin and Kamiya Kaoru, the owner of the Kendo School and master of the Kamiya Kasshin style budo. Kenshin and Takani Megumi; the woman doctor that the Kenshin gumi rescue from some drug dealer. Myoujin Yahiko and Tsumbame; Kaoru's apprentice and a waitress girl at a restraunt frequented by the Kenshin Gumi, respectively. Later in the series (after the aforementioned Kyoto or Shishio saga) a pseudo-relationship develops between Megumi and Sagara Sanosuke, after Megumi realizes that Kenshin has more feelings for Kaoru than for herself. And Misao and Aoshi; but nothing ever really comes about from that relationship, even though Aoshi's eyes do open up to see how Misao feels for him.
Those are just the good guys. Most of the bad guys aren't in enough episodes for you to notice love relationships, but there is one that is obvious, and one that is implied if you look for it. The obvious relationship is between Shishio and his concubine/wife/girlfriend Yumi. The implied one is a yaoi (gay) relationship between Shishio and his left hand man, Hoji. A friend of mine and I can't figure out just how it would work, but we believe that there's something going on.
So obviously love
is a very important theme in Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin's own love for Kaoru is what allows him to surpass his own physical limitations
and master the final move of his Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu
budo. Another thing that allows Kenshin to be so damn good at winning sword fights with his long winded speeches is the love of life
concept that is also apparent throughout the series; especially after the Kyoto saga. When mastering the final move
, Kenshin recalls some of his earliest memories of women, whom he had not known for more than a day, trying to protect him from bandits and pleading with him to "live on." This carries on to how Kenshin talks his opponents to death (please don't get me wrong, I'm in love with the series, but come on. You can't convince some guy trying to kill you to put down his sword using words...) by convincing them to give up their grudges of the past and to continue living how (usually) the people they are seeking revenge for wanted them to. Surprisingly, Sanosuke also adopts this tactic when he defeats Yukyuzan Anji
of the Juppon Gatana
I do not know how these themes carry over into the OAVs. I have not seen them. From what I hear, however, and from what I gathered from above, Samurai X is about Kenshin's past, while focusing mainly on his first love (coincidently a girl who first set out to kill kenshin, but fell in love back). And the second OAV (or maybe in the manga?), I do not know what it is called, Kaoru and Kenshin have a child, Kenji, Yahiko and Tsunbame get married and have children, and oddly enough, (from what I hear) Sanosuke marries random Chinese Gypsy woman and grows a goatee.