Rurouni Kenshin struggles with one of the most cliched and unimaginative plots ever. I recently watched it at my schools anime club (of which I am a member) where to my great dismay I found people appreciating it for all the wrong reasons. To put it bluntly it's a great action flick with a weak story line. Before I start some stort of flame war with the other anime fans on E2 lemme explain myself.

First of the symbolism used in rurouni kenshin is very weak. The bleeding cut on his face is entirely too obvious a symbol and doesn't provide much depth to the story. If such a symbol were used in any literary work, like a book, it'd be regarded as stupid and overly obvious. The show goes entirely out of its way to stress this symbol, as if they think that this makes more something with a profound meaning. It doesn't, and ends up being everything but profound.

Second is the plot line, it's decent, but not wonderfull. It's a generally entertaining story to watch develop, but doesn't warrant the rave reviews everyone gives it.

The characters also lack dimension. They are not truly human and have one deciding mindset and are highly predictable. One is reminded of early European Theatre where characters were defined by one defining trait (love, loyalty, virtue, etc).

Now, on to why it's a good anime. The art and fight scenes are terrific, if only that were the whole show. But still these make a mediocre plot into a great experience. I highly recommend watching this anime, but, don't expect the amazing plot that others have built up. It's not on the same level as published literature as some would compare it to.

NOTE: This node was made regarding the OAV not the series, which I havn't seen