Written and drawn by Nobuhiro Watsuki, the first chapter of Rurouni Kenshin premiered in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1994 and was serialized in the magazine until 1999. The 255 individual chapters were collected and published in 28 tankobon volumes by Shueisha, with the first volume released on September 9, 1994 and the last on November 4, 1999. In July 2006, Shueisha began re-releasing the series in a twenty-two kanzenban special edition volumes. A single chapter follow up to the series that follows the character of Yahiko Myojin, Yahiko no Sakabato ("Yahiko's Reversed-Edge Sword"), was originally published in Weekly Shonen Jump after the conclusion of the series. Left out of the original volumes, it was added as an extra to the final kanzenban release.
Rurouni Kenshin was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media. The first volume of the series was released on October 7, 2003, with volumes released normally every other month until July 5, 2006, when the final volume was published. In January 2008, Viz began re-releasing the manga in a wideban format called "VIZBIG Edition", which is a collection of three volumes in one.