Kenshin Himura
Rurouni Kenshin Rurouni Kenshin

Kenshin Himura

Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Kenshin Himura with sound clips and images.
Franchise: Rurouni Kenshin

Created by Pokejedservo on Nov 18 2009
Rurouni Kenshin (2000)
Kenshin HimuraJ Shannon Weaver
J Shannon Weaver
Rurouni Kenshin (2000)
Kenshin HimuraRichard Cansino
Richard Cansino


Kenshin Himura once known as Hitokiri Battousai the Manslayer but is now the Hero of the Ruroni Kenshin series.

Surprisingly in both of the English dubs of the TV series (such as Sony and the one from Animeworks) he is voiced by Richard Hayworth/Cansino. And Richard's handiwork as Kenshin is IIRC quite possibly one of his most renowned performances yet and quite frankly I can understand why. Like various other Shounen anime series' the TV series did like to mix light hearted comedy with dramatic battles and Kenshin has had his fair share in both in which Richard's voicework for Kenshin fits it very well.

In the Samurai X OVA English dubs done by ADV he is voiced by VA J. Shanon Weaver who is not that bad actually. In fact J's voicework for Kenshin does kind of remind me of Richard's (especially during the flashback when Kenshin and Hiko go their separate ways and I admit his Okita voice as well). Unlike the TV series the OVA's feel a bit more Seinen but regardless of that the OVA's were a lot darker and flat out serious in nature and J. Shanon Weaver's handiwork for Kenshin does reflect that pretty well.

Overall I liked them both but I am going with Richard Cansino more here.



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said at 5:51 AM on Wed May 9 2018
Richard Cansino gave such an interesting performance and probably one of the best out of both dubs from the series, really helped they brought him back for the Media Blasters dub.

J. Shannon Weaver just can not compare. Didn't get off to a good start with Trust and Betrayal sounding lifeless and bored, sort of improved with Reflection but not by a huge margin and was okay in New Kyoto Arc and The Motion Picture where he actually sounded a bit like Cansino (personality-wise anyway).

That and Weaver only had some miniseries and movies to work with, Cansino had 1,000 hours worth of episodes.
8000 Saiyans
said at 7:43 PM on Fri Nov 24 2017
 1 Shout Out!
Richard Cansino is the best here.
said at 6:25 AM on Thu Oct 26 2017
I think that Richard best fits the character in this VC, that I do.
said at 12:31 AM on Fri Apr 14 2017
Mayo Suzukaze fits Kenshin perfectly in the Original Japanese Version, but when it comes to the English dub, Richard Cansino is probably the best male equivalent they could've gone with- like Sean Schemmel proved with (Son) Goku, Richard Cansino also proved an equally valid but different performance could work well for Kenshin Himura.

Richard could make Kenshin sound comedic, laid back, reserved, funny, but also serious, warrior-like, cold, distant, etc. A very well rounded performance, all in all, and one that suits the role very well- he was good to begin with in the Sony dub, only improving even further in the Bang Zoom dub.

J Shannon Weaver did alright, but he has points where his acting is extremely flat and stiff, in comparison.

I will say it would've been interesting to see a female actress do the role in the dub, though.
said at 3:00 PM on Fri Feb 10 2017
 1 Shout Out!
Richard for the win.
said at 6:20 PM on Sun May 29 2016
One of the reasons that the "Samurai X" dub doesn't work at all is because of the flat, emotionless performances of nearly everyone involved, including J. Shannon Weaver. Although I can see what he was going for, it doesn't really work in this dub. He sounds too wooden and robotic to really do justice to the part.

Richard Cansino is the better choice by far.
said at 6:41 PM on Fri Mar 11 2016
This is a tough one as my memory my be playing tricks on me but I am sure Kenshin had different lines in the past, now I keep hearing strange lines I do not remember like "That you will" and "That I am"

Still the best actor for the job tho
said at 3:11 PM on Mon Sep 12 2016
When coming up for the script for the Media Blasters Dub, One of Kenshin's catchphrases "de gozaru" just couldn't be directly translated into english. So they came up with things like "That it is" and "That I am." Something easily identifiable that only Kenshin's good-willed soul would say, and not Battousai the Manslayer.
said at 9:41 AM on Tue Nov 10 2015
Richard has a better performance as the character and seemed more natural in the role, though J Shanon does a decent job as well.
said at 11:57 PM on Sun Jan 11 2015
Richard has a more consistent acting but his voice is meh, J Shanon has the better voice but his acting is sometimes a bit stiff
said at 12:19 PM on Wed Jan 7 2015
To me Richard Cansino is kenshin and even the Japanese one two. Richard understood kenshin more so then the other voice actor
said at 8:57 AM on Sat Mar 7 2015
@jenn987 They're playing two different versions of the same character though. Richard played the character when the story was light hearted and filled with comedy. The story was a bit darker and more serious when Weaver played the voice and I think he was well suited for it, though I do choose cansino over him for the fact that he can pull off both sides of Kenshin equally well.
said at 6:28 AM on Mon Jan 20 2014
Richard Cansino is better of the two but if a female did appear in the future.

Considering Kenshin's looks and mannerism a female voice won't be so out of place that's what I see
said at 3:20 AM on Mon Mar 3 2014
@HienFan And Richard reminds me of Pang Tong lawl(I never saw the anime in English) and I love his Pang Tong so there's that
said at 7:40 PM on Sun Oct 6 2013
I love the sound of Weaver's voice, but Richard Cansino obviously fit the character better and gave the better performance.
said at 8:34 PM on Sun Jul 18 2010
Richard is the obvious choice here, but to be fair the man had a lot of time to get into character. He voiced Kenshin in all of the episodes of the sony dub and then redubbed them all for the Mediablaster's redub. Weaver had a weak start in Trust and Betrayal. His performance was felt wooden at time and and overreacted at other times. However when he returned to voice Kenshin in Refelction and "The Motion Picture" he improved a lot and sounded a lot like Cansino's both in tone and personality. Its a good thing he redubbed his lines for the Mediablaster's version. He sounded so overly angry and growly in the Saito fight.
said at 2:03 PM on Mon Nov 19 2012
@satoshi Wait, wat? Media Blaster distributed Reflection and "The Motion Picture?" o_O
said at 10:59 AM on Sun May 9 2010
Kenshin was voiced by a female in the original Japanese version of the series and in a drama CD, so I don't see why he has to be voiced by a male in the dub :| In my opinion, having a male voice him kind of takes away the androgynous aspect of the character that attracted me to him in the first place.
said at 1:53 AM on Sun Nov 27 2011
@Cat's Tuxedo I'm sorry, but that's not how the English language works. In the Japanese language, it's much easier and normal for a woman to voice a older male and pass as the voice of an actual male and vice versa. It's hard to explain, but let's just say that female and male voices are more distinct in the English language, which is why it's extremely rare for any male character to be voiced by a female unless he's very young (generally pre-pubescent, no older than 11 or 12 years old). There are exceptions, but in most cases, it would be considered very weird for a female to voice a post-pubescent male.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 2:18 PM on Sun Nov 27 2011
@PurpleWarrior13 I agree with Purple. Yes, Kenshin is feminine in appearance, but I don't see what's so bad about having a man do his voice. Besides, a grown man with a woman's voice is unrealistic, and Rurouni Kenshin is meant to be realistic for the most part.

BTW Richard is my pick.
said at 9:22 PM on Tue Apr 17 2012
in all honesty the logic behind what you just said is in my opinion really dumb to me. if anime dubbing had to work that way i would hate anime... for example. like kenshin, adult goku from dbz was voice by a women in the Japanese dub and it worked in that language. but could anyone honestly see adult goku be voiced by a girl in english???? that would be weird as hell.
said at 10:07 PM on Sun Apr 29 2012
@Bombermanp Weird for you, maybe. But the developers behind Dragon Ball had a specific reason for casting a female in the role of Son Goku, that is as a symbolic representation of Goku's child-like spirit and idealism. How do you think those developers would feel if you, in their faces, blew this off as "weird as hell"?

The point is that whenever a female is cast in the voice role of a male character in any media, I always trust the developer(s) to have a good reason for such a choice, even if I may not immediately know what that reason might be.
said at 10:15 PM on Sun Apr 29 2012
@PurpleWarrior13 So you're expecting me to believe that if, say, an English-speaking woman spoke Japanese, she would magically become more compatible to voice a male character? That's an incredibly realistic theory.

There's simply little sense in believing that an English-speaking woman is less able to voice a mature male character than a Japanese woman. The one difference between languages is what is being said, not the voice of the person who says it.
said at 10:53 PM on Sun Apr 29 2012
@CatsTuxedo There's a reason why no other language casts females as adult males. Characters are best voiced by someone of the same gender, with the exception of pre-pubescent males, and occasionally teens, but NOTHING past puberty (unless you're doing it for comedic effect). Sometimes the Japanese are able to pull it off because of how their voices generally sound speaking the language (Japanese is more of an asexual language), but in a language like English or especially German, voices between males and females are MUCH more distinct, and it would be considered strange for someone of the opposite gender voice an adult character. That may be what works in Japan, but when you're trying to market a series like this in the US to give a US audience the same effect it had on a Japanese viewer, some changed might have to be made to make the show more accepting to the target audience in question. A Japanese viewer might've not given a female voice for Kenshin a thought. In other markets though, it would be a distraction from the main purpose of the material. The creator did not intend the audience to be distracted by a strange voice for the lead character.

In short, what works in Japan may not necessarily work in other regions because of cultural differences, as well as other factors.
said at 3:26 AM on Mon Mar 3 2014
@NCZ I also like a female voice for Kenshin but not because the Japanese one is female.(After all many characters with female VA in the original I prefer the male dub like most of the protagonists in Digimon)

But urg if adult Son Goku is voiced by a woman in the dub... I would be annoyed I already found the original voice incredibly jarring youthful excuse or not
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Richard Cansino
J Shannon Weaver