Sun.Star Davao

‘Rurouni Kenshin’ sequels coming to PH this year

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It’s all systems go for the much-anticipate­d twopart sequel to the sleeper 2013 blockbuste­r “Ruruoni Kenshin”.

With the recent release of the main trailer that followed an earlier teaser trailer for the two sequels, Warner Bros. Pictures Philippine­s has announced a back-to-back opening schedule for the two films.

The first sequel, “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno”, will open across the Philippine­s on August 20. This will be followed by the release of “Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends” on September 24.

Francis Soliven, general manager of the Manilabase­d Warner Bros. (F.E.), Inc., said the release dates will allow fans to experience the cathartic conclusion to the celebrated saga with little time in between.

It will also honor the filmmakers’ wishes as to how the sequels should be viewed. The twin features will have the same opening month in Japan.

The first “Rurouni Kenshin” film was a live action, Japanese language adaptation of Shueisha Jump Comics’ “Kenshin the Wanderer: The Romance of the Meiji Swordsman”, the monumental manga comic by Nobuhiro Watsuki that sold more than 5.8 million copies and which has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Directed by Keishi Otomo, the film told of fictional events that took place during the early Meiji period in Japan, focusing on a wanderer named Himura Kenshin (Takeru Satoh). Formerly known as the assassin Hitokiri Battosai, he offered protection and aid to those in need as atonement for the murders he once committed as an assassin.

Grossing over $61.7 million in 2012 even before it opened in the US and the Philippine­s where the anime blogsite, AnimePH Project reported that “Rurouni Kenshin” earned P26.5 million in two weeks in a limited run at selected SM cinemas. SM went on to screen the film for a few more weeks after that.

It also helped redefine Japanese cinema when it was shown in 31 internatio­nal festivals and received distributi­on in 64 countries.

In the sequels, Kenshin Himura goes up against pure evil Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara) who is attempting to overthrow the Meiji government. The fate of the country hangs in the balance as Kenshin is forced to take up the sword that he vowed to never draw again.

The films also stars Emi Takei (Kaoru Kamiya), Munetaka Aoki (Sanosuke Sagara), Kaito Oyagi (Yahiko Myojin), Yu Aoi (Megumi Takani), Yosuke Eguchi (Hajime Saito), Yusuke Iseya (Aoshi Shinomori), Min Tanaka (Nenji Kashiwazak­i), Tao Tsuchiya (Misao Makimachi), Ryunosuke Kamiki (Soujiro Seta), and Tatsuya Fujiwara (Makoto Shishio).

Filipino-Japanese model-actress Maryjun Takahashi is also in the cast as Yumi Komagata, who is portrayed in the film as a loyal member of the Juppongata­na, the elite group of swordsmen led by rebel Shishio Makoto. Though initially intended to be a mere “sexy accessory”, she became a more prominent figure in the series when she and Shishio fell in love with each other.

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