The blockbuster hit Rurouni Kenshin, which opened on Aug. 25, 2012, grossed over 3 billion yen at the box office during its run. The popular drama will return after two years in summer 2014 as a sequel tentatively titled Rurouni Kenshin: The Great Kyoto Fire Arc/The Last of the Legend Arc.
As one can see from the title, the sequel will be divided into two parts, each covering one arc of the original manga. The two films will be released one after another in the summer of 2014. Fans can expect nationwide road shows and promotions even bigger than the first movie!
Despite the larger scale, the work will still capture the essence of the critically acclaimed previous work. Director Keishi Otomo hopes to once again challenge himself to a new height in his career through this movie.
Actor Takeru Satoh will of course reprise his role as the protagonist, Kenshin. In the previous film, Satoh was able to combine his superb acting skills with the character's appeal for the fans. Furthermore, Saki Takei, who acted as Kamiya Kaoru, will also reprise the role, with others such as Yu Aoi, Munetaka Aoki, and Yosuke Eguchi in the cast, much to the joy of fans.
On top of the old cast, new members have been added for the sequel. Actor Tatsuya Fujiwara will take on the role of Kenshin's successor and nemesis, Shishio Makoto. Fujiwara had previously attained international fame through his role in the movie Shield of Straw and will once challenge an antagonistic role.
The new movie will be based on the popular “Kyoto Arc” from the original manga. The setting for the movie will move west from Tokyo to the old capital, and captures the drama of the turbulent period in history. In particular, because the movie will be split into two parts, fans can look forward to a condensed and well-crafted story in the movies.
Rurouni Kenshin the movie is based on the manga of the same title by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The series is a bestseller that has sold more than 57 million volumes to date and has been translated into many languages, becoming an international bestseller as both manga and anime. Director Otomo's first Rurouni Kenshin movie was a worldwide sensation, and the sequel based in Kyoto is expected to garner just as much attention, if not more.
Comment from Takeru Satoh (Himura Kenshin):
>I feel very fortunate to be able to play Kenshin again, but I am also feeling the pressure of having to cross over an even higher hurdle. This time, the movie will portray the “Kyoto Arc,” which is one of the most popular arcs and considered the climax of the manga. I am glad we will be able to capture the great story on screen, but at the same time, this will also be a very difficult project. However, I don't think of it as 'surpassing the previous film,' but rather, I would like to make a movie that fans will approve of. As such, I will place my trust in the director and play Kenshin based on the soul of the original manga, and challenge the new scale and action in the sequel. I started practicing for combat scenes and horse-riding since a few months ago. All the cast and staff are shooting this movie from the bottom of their hearts so I hope our fans will support us as well!
Comment from Takuya Fujiwara (Shishio Makoto):
> Rurouni Kenshin is a childhood anime for me, so to be able to play Shishio this time is like a dream come true. Shishio is one of the most popular characters, so I will do my best to take everyone's suggestions and portray him the best I can. This is my second role as the bad guy since Shield of Straw and I am looking forward to it!
Comment from director Tetsuya Otomo:
>The first movie was a combination of the hard work of a top cast and staff, and we were able to convey the passion of many of them through the movie. This time, as the theme is the Great Kyoto Fire, we hope to portray Shishio with even more fiery passion than before. All of the cast will return with more spirit and power than before, with more drama, more action, and a cast and setting that follows the original works. The sequel will be a step up from the original and we hope fans will respond well to it as well.
>Kenshin's battleground and enemies have also changed. On top of Shishio, he will also have to fight characters such as Aoshi and Soujiro. However, the stronger his opponents, the more appealing he will become as a hero. This time, we will be doing our best to show the best sides of the antagonists too, so fans can look forward to a great casting as well!
>On top of that, I also hope to draw out the human in Kenshin. As a wanderer who seeks to protect those around him while welcoming the crisis in the changing era, Kenshin has to not only fight for those around him, but for himself as well. From his vow to stop killing to his new great enemies such as Katto, the movie will bring forward ideas beyond just a historical drama. Fans can look out for exciting, new drama scenes too.
>Furthermore, I hope to also capture the conflict of interests that is prevalent in our world today as well as in Kenshin's world. I think many viewers will be able to resonate with the tension in it, and be able to feel for the new, even more charming Takeru Satoh/Himura Kenshin. As the last of the series, I want to end it with a work that no one else can ever re-create, a work that will become the "last of the legends!”