Back in the 1990s there was a certain anime series that caught quite a significant portion of the world by storm. “Rurouni Kenshin,” initially marketed in the West as “Samurai X,” this anime based on the original manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki won plenty of fans with its story of the adventures of a retired master swordsman and assassin along with his circle of friends in Meiji-era (late 19th Century) Japan. A new generation also fell in love with the franchise following the release of a live-action film trilogy from 2012 to 2014. But the story there is far from over.
Readers of the “Rurouni Kenshin” manga (or those who have watched the anime franchise’s more obscure original-video entries) would know that the final plot arc for Kenshin Himura, the former assassin Battousai, will have him confront his dark past embodied in his most powerful opponent ever. Anime News Network has it that the long-awaited live-action film adaptation of the final chapter in the “Rurouni Kenshin” manga is coming in two movies, all premiering this year in Japan. Almost the whole cast from the film trilogy produced by Warner Bros. Pictures (Japan) returns for “Rurouni Kenshin: The Final” and “The Beginning.”
In what has got to be the most exciting announcement yet when it comes to live-action anime adaptations, Warner Bros. Japan has released a teaser for the latest two-part chapter of their “Rurouni Kenshin” movie franchise. The initial trailer confirms the near-complete role reprisal of the 2012-14 film trilogy cast: Takeru Satoh as Kenshin Himura/Battousai, Emi Takei as Kaoru Kamiya, Munetaka Aoki as Sagara Sanosuke, Yu Aoi as Megumi Takini, and Yosuke Eguchi as Hajime Saito. They will be joined by Riku Onishi replacing Taketo Tanaka as Yahiko Myojin, and Japanese-American actor Mackenyu (son of legendary Japanese star “Sonny” Chiba” as new villain Enishi Yukishiro.
The new “Rurouni” movies will adapt the “Jinchu” manga arc, where Kenshin must face Enishi, brother of Kenshin’s wife Tomoe. Tomoe was the fiancée of a samurai Kenshin killed as Battousai, who initially wed him as part of a revenge plot but fell genuinely in love with Battousai and sacrificed herself to protect him from his enemies. She and her late fiancé were the ones who gave Kenshin his distinctive crossed scars, but her brother Enishi, a vengefully violent gang boss in China, plans to complete vengeance against the now-peaceful Kenshin, using very extreme means.
Keishin Otomo of the initial WB film trilogy has returned to direct both “Rurouni Kenshin: The Final,” which premieres in Japan July 3, and “Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning,” which follows on August 7. There is no official word given yet on any overseas premiere dates.
Image from Hot Gaming