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Pairing: Saitou Hajime/Sagara Sanosuke
Alternative name(s): Saisa
Gender category: m/m
Fandom: Rurouni Kenshin
Canonical?: no
Archives: s a i s a
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Saitou Hajime/Sanosuke Sagara is a non-canon slash pairing from the anime and manga series Rurouni Kenshin.

Relationship in Canon

At their first meeting, Saitou stabs Sano in the shoulder, pushes him through a wall, and knocks him unconscious, and their canon relationship continues in very much the same vein -- with the added factor that Sano seems consistently desperate to prove himself to Saitou and/or get him to admit that he isn't entirely worthless. Saitou's manner toward Sano is almost always insulting and condescending, and Sano therefore usually comes out of their interaction frustrated and angry. On the flip side, Sano seems to be the only one that can break through Saitou's often cool exterior and seriously irritate him; the only times in canon Saitou is ever seen with the typical anime "pulsing vein" symbol of annoyance, it's in direct response to Sano.

Other Relationships

Saitou is stated in canon to be married to a woman named Tokio, but she does not appear in the series and nothing is known about Watsuki's vision of her or her relationship with her husband.

In a filler episode in the first season, there is a brief implication that Sano may be romantically interested in Megumi, though she does not appear to return the interest and nothing comes of it; in the manga, no such implication is present. During the third season, Sano forms a brief, almost-romantic relationship with Magdaria Sayo, but eventually nothing comes of this as well.

Fannish Tropes

  • Sano's reaction to Saitou's presumed death as well as the revelation that Saitou is still alive and didn't bother to tell anyone (particularly Sano). (Canonically, Sano is upset both at Saitou's apparent death and that Saitou didn't inform his allies that he was alive; romantic feelings make this even more dramatic.)
  • A love triangle, usually involving Kenshin as the third
  • The reactions of Sano's friends to his new relationship with Saitou -- usually bad reactions, given that Saitou was always a very uneasy ally at best
  • Saitou calling Sano "ahou (ga)," a term often translated as "moron," often as a sort of pet name. (Canonically, Saitou does use this term for Sano a few times, but also employs it to describe at least two other characters.)
  • Sano referring to Saitou by the nickname 'Jime, for which there is no canon basis
  • Sano discovering that Saitou is married (often with ensuing angst), and the various reasons Saitou is free to pursue a relationship with him. The excuse most commonly used is that Saitou's marriage was arranged, and he and Tokio are not in love and respect each other's right to form other attachments. Others include Saitou's marriage with Tokio having failed and ended in separation or divorce -- sometimes through the natural progression of time and their loss of interest in each other, sometimes because of a deficiency in Saitou's ability to maintain a healthy relationship, which will then usually be cured by interaction with Sano -- or Tokio being a lesbian, horribly obnoxious and difficult to deal with, or dead. Occasionally, Saitou is simply cheating on his wife.


Notable Stories


A fairly large number of Saitou/Sano doujinshi were produced in Japan for several years during the height of Rurouni Kenshin's popularity. The Sano-torium, though long dead, is a good resource for information on some of them.


The Yahoo! Group and its corresponding livejournal community are essentially long dead, but the archives at least of the former contain many useful and interesting posts