SciFi Japan

    RUROUNI KENSHIN Press Notes

    RUROUNI KENSHIN trailer, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan. © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. © 2012 "Rurouni Kenshin" Production Committee

    The Best Selling Comic Series Finally Becomes a Live Action Film Source: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan Official Site: warnerbros.co.jp/rurouni-kenshin (Japan) Translations: Elliot Gay

    SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from an upcoming movie.

    Theatrical poster for RUROUNI KENSHIN. Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan. © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. ©2012

    A kind smile and a caring heart. A slender build like a young boy and long hair. But when this man moves to save somebody, his eyes become sharp like no other. Faster than God, Stronger than Shura, able to take control of a battle against multiple foes. Yet he has vowed to never take a life, no matter how evil his opponent may be. Based on the best selling manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki, the live action feature film RUROUNI KENSHIN (??????) hits theater screens across Japan on August 25th. Initially published in Weekly Shonen Jump, the manga Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story (?????? -???????-, Rurooni Kenshin Meiji Kenkaku Roomantan) made waves as a series like no other, even going on to gain a large female reader base. The manga was originally serialized in Shueisha`s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from 1994-1999. Collected in 28 volumes, Rurouni Kenshin has sold over 54 million copies and been published in 23 countries (including a US release from Viz Media). A new manga series, Rurouni Kenshin Restoration (?????? -????-, Rurouni Kenshin -Kinema-ban-), debuted in Shueisha`s Jump Square magazine this past June, with the English translated version currently running in Viz`s digital manga Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha. The manga was adapted into a 95 episode RUROUNI KENSHIN (???????????????, aka SAMURAI X) anime series which aired from 1995-1998, the anime feature film RUROUNI KENSHIN: THE MOTION PICTURE (????????????????????????, Rurouni Kenshin: Ishin Shishi no Chinkonka, 1997) and the OAVs RUROUNI KENSHIN: TRUST AND BETRAYAL (??????????????????, Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuioku Hen, 1999), RUROUNI KENSHIN: REFLECTION (?????? -???????- ???, Ruroni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan Seisohen, 2001) and RUROUNI KENSHIN: NEW KYOTO ARC (??????????????? ????, Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan: Shin Kyoto-Hen, 2011).

    Kaoru Kamiya and Kenshin Himura. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan. © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. © 2012

    To complete this dream project, a wide variety of talented actors and staff have come together to create a super high quality 134 minute film that even the original creator can be proud of. The man in charge of making a faithful big screen adaptation of the original manga is the director of the hit drama RYOMADEN (???, 2010), Keishi Ohtomo. Ohtomo quickly cast RYOMADEN actor Takeru Sato (MASKED RIDER DEN-O, ROOKIES, GOEMON) in the lead role as Himura Kenshin, with the blessing of the original comic writer/artist Nobuhiro Watsuki. Director Ohtomo proclaimed that, “If we’re making a live action version, the only man fit for the job is him.” Rounding out the cast are Emi Takei (FOR LOVE`S SAKE), Koji Kikkawa (KAMEN RIDER OOO & W FEATURING SKULL: MOVIE WAR CORE), Yu Aoi (HULA GIRLS, HONEY AND CLOVER), Munetaka Aoki (OPPAI VOLLEYBALL, TIME TRAVELLER: THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME), Gou Ayano (GANTZ, HELTER SKELTER), Genki Sudo (KAMEN RIDER DOUBLE FOREVER: A TO Z - THE GAIA MEMORIES OF FATE), Eiji Okuda (MILOCRORZE: A LOVE STORY), Yosuke Eguchi (SAMURAI COMMANDO MISSION 1549) and Teruyuki Kagawa (20TH CENTURY BOYS trilogy, KAIJI 2). An extraordinary comic, a devoted director and a cast ready for anything! Warner Bros. Japan and foreign sales agent Gaga Corporation are pushing for an international release of RUROUNI KENSHIN, which could launch a live action film series.

    Takeru Sato as Kenshin Himura. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan. © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. © 2012

    THE JOURNEY BEGINS

    A man called Hitokiri Battousai (Kouji Kikkawa) terrorizes the citizens of Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan. © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. © 2012

    “I will never kill again.” The legendary assassin who made a promise. Despite vowing to never cut down another man, he could still protect the people he cares about. This is the story of a man wielding a reverse blade -- sharpened only on the edge he holds toward himself -- a wanderer fighting against the times. It’s been ten years since the start of the Meiji Era and Japan`s and transition from the Middle Ages to industrialization. Unemployed, having lost the right to wear the sword, and facing guns and cannons, the samurai have gradually disappeared into legend. In Tokyo, a man calling himself the “Hitokiri Battousai” (The Man slayer) has appeared. Recklessly standing against him is the young woman Kaoru Kamiya and the mysterious man who saves her. As fate would have it, Kaoru`s savior was actually the assassin who, in the Bakumatsu period, once earned the title Hitokiri Battousai. He has since changed his name to Kenshin Himura, a vagabond devoting his life to protecting others with his reverse blade. He becomes a lodger at Kaoru’s dojo, where she struggles to continue the sword style her father left behind.

    Kaoru Kamiya (Emi Takei), Yahiko Myojin (Taketo Tanaka), Megumi Takani (Yu Aio) and Kenshin Himura. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan. © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. © 2012

    The true identity behind the new -- and false -- Hitokiri Battousai is Jin-e Udo, a bodyguard for the industrialist Kanryu Takeda. Forcing the female doctor Takani Megumi to make opium, Kanryu makes a great deal of money that he uses to purchase weapons to further his goal of trying to control the world. Police officer Saito Hajime, a former member of the Shinsengumi, catches onto Kanryu’s scheme but is incapable of laying a hand on the man due to his strong political influence. Kicking off his plans, Kanryu begins to take the lives of innocent people in a bid to acquire the land around Kaoru’s dojo. Unable to turn a blind eye to those who are suffering, Kenshin decides to take action. Faced with the insurmountable odds of facing Kanryu’s 250 man personal guard, Kenshin’s only ally is a brawler named Sanosuke Sagara. Will he be able to protect the people he cares about with only his reverse blade?

    CHARACTERS

    Kenshin Himura: Takeru Satou For five years starting from the age of 14, he was an assassin for the clan aiming to overthrow the Shogunate. After the restoration, he tried to change his way of living but found that one can never truly erase their past. The cross shaped scar on his face is proof of that. Kaoru Kamiya: Emi Takei A 17 year old girl protecting her dojo alone. She believes that the sword style her father taught, a blade that allows for others to live, is carried on through Kenshin’s reverse sword style. She seeks to support Kenshin. Jin-e Udo: Kouji Kikkawa Like a wolf thirsty for blood, he continued to kill others without end. However after meeting the Battousai and engaging him in life or death battle, he finds true meaning in his life. Megumi Takani: Yu Aoi The daughter of a long line of doctors, she becomes Kanryu’s lover in order to survive after her family is killed in battle. She truly regrets assisting him in taking the lives of others. Sanosuke Sagara: Munetaka Aoki A brawler who wields a Zanbatou (a type of long sword). While impulsive and quick to get angry, he’s a man who’s overflowing with kindness. It is through his earnest personality that he forms a true friendship with Kenshin. Hajime Saito: Yousuke Eguchi Former leader of the 3rd squad of the Shinsengumi. He is now a police officer in the Meiji government. He completely rejects Kenshin’s belief of using the sword to save others without killing. Kanryu Takeda: Teruyuki Kagawa An industrialist who believes there’s nothing one can’t buy with money. He has no problems with taking the lives of those he believes to be useless. He’s plotting to create a new empire. CREDITS

    Advance poster for RUROUNI KENSHIN. Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan. © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. ©2012

    Running Time: 134 minutes Screen Size: 2.35:1 Japanese Theatrical Release: August 25, 2012 Cast Kenshin Himura: Takeru Sato Kaoru Kamiya: Emi Takei Jin-e Udo: Koji Kikkawa Megumi Takani: Yu Aoi Sanosuke Sagara: Munetaka Aoki Gein: Gou Ayano Banjin Inui: Genki Sudo Yahiko Myojin: Taketo Tanaka Aritomo Yamagata: Eiji Okuda Hajime Saito: Yosuke Eguchi Kanryu Takeda: Teruyuki Kagawa Staff Director: Keishi Ohtomo Executive Producer: William Ireton Producer: Shinzo Matsuhashi Original Comic: Nobuhiro Watsuki Screenplay: Kiyomi Fujii and Keishi Ohtomo Cinematography: Takuro Ishizaka Production Designer: Sou Hashimoto Action Director: Kenji Tanigaki Music: Naoki Sato Planning and Production: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan, Studio Swan Theatrical Distribution: Warner Bros. Pictures Japan International Sales: Gaga Corporation © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. © 2012 "Rurouni Kenshin" Production Committee

    Kenshin Himura and Sanosuke Sagara (Munetaka Aoki) leave their foes scattered in their wake. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Japan. © Watsuki Nobuhiro/ Shueisha. © 2012


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