I'd say Ranma in both scenarios. I've watched some of Ranma and the entirety of Kenshin, and I feel Ranma was stronger relatively early on. He already dealt with swordsman who were arguably better than Kenshin early on. I forget his name, the main sword guy who was in love with Ranma's female side. Saito was it? Anyway, he was able to shatter apart a stone wall when he used successive thrusts of his sword, and only with air pressure. But Ranma was able to dodge it and beat him. Kenshin even EOS wasn't capable of swordsmanship feats on that level.