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Saitou Hajime (Rurouni Kenshin)

Saitou Hajime (Rurouni Kenshin)

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Saitō Hajime (斎藤 一) is a fictional character from the Rurouni Kenshin manga and anime series created by Nobuhiro Watsuki. In the English language anime dubs, he is known in Western order as Hajime Saito. Watsuki, being a fan of the Shinsengumi, created Saitō as an anti-heroic foil to Himura Kenshin, the main character of the story, while basing him on the real life Shinsengumi member of the same name.

Set during a fictional version of Japan in the Meiji period, Saitō, known as the "Mibu no Okami" (壬生の狼?, lit. "Wolf of Mibu"), is the former third squad captain of the Shinsengumi, a pro-shogunate force. During the Bakumatsu, he had a long time rivalry with Himura Kenshin, an assassin of the Imperialist cause. In the series, he is initially introduced as an antagonist who encounters and once again duels with Kenshin. It is later revealed that Saitō, who had only been testing Kenshin's strength, is now a spy agent working for the Meiji Government. After the reveal, Saitō becomes one of the main protagonists of the series, forming an uneasy alliance with Kenshin.

Saitō appears in the featured movies of the series, as well as the original video animation (OVA) series and other media relating to the franchise, including a wide range of electronic games. He has also been one of the most popular characters of the Rurouni Kenshin series, ranking near the top of the series' popularity polls. His character is featured in various types of merchandising developed for the series, such as figurines and key-chains. Several anime and manga publications have commented on Saitō's character.

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Bruno Roen rated this 7/10 3 weeks, 1 day ago
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