Live-Action Rurouni Kenshin Cast Discusses Sequels' More Epic, Mature Look
posted on by Egan Loo
Emi Takei (Kaoru Kamiya), Munetaka Aoki (Sanosuke Sagara), and Kaito Ōyagi (Yahiko Myōjin) spoke with the media late last October about this year's two live-action Rurouni Kenshin sequel films. The cast was filming at Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa Prefecture.
It has been about two years since Takei and Aoki filmed the first live-action Rurouni Kenshin film. Like the first film, the sequels will devote much of their runtimes to action sequences. Aoki said it would not be interesting if they just maintained the same level of action from the first film, so they built upon the foundation of the first film for more spectacular sequences. Takei commented that she sensed the enthusiasm on set to make films that surpass the first film.
Aoki described the atmosphere on director Keishi Ōtomo's set as "really stimulating and provocative." He added that even the linings of the costumes were changed from the first film, and that there was no one doing just routine work on set. Takei noted that Kaoru wore straight bangs for the first film, but her hairstyle was updated for a more "mature" look in the sequels. Her kimono was also changed to reflect a little growth in Kaoru's character.
The cast also remarked that these films had unusually long shoots with multiple camera angles for Japanese cinema. 12-year-old Ōyagi said that he was able to see a shot on the monitor and think to himself, "Well, I'll try doing this instead next," thus learning a lot about the filmmaking.
The two new films will cover the Kyoto arc from Nobuhiro Watsuki's original historical action manga. Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-hen (Rurouni Kenshin: The Great Kyoto Fire) will open in Japan on August 1, and Rurouni Kenshin: Densetsu no Saigo-hen (Rurouni Kenshin: The End of a Legend) will open on September 13. Principal photography on the two films ended on December 27 after six months of filming.
The sequels will feature the return of the following cast members:
- Takeru Satoh as Kenshin Himura
- Emi Takei as Kaoru Kamiya
- Munetaka Aoki as Sanosuke Sagara
- Yū Aoi as Megumi Takani
- Yosuke Eguchi as Hajime Saitō
Ryunosuke Kamiki as Sōjirō Seta
Yusuke Iseya as Aoshi Shinomori
47-year-old Kazufumi Miyazawa (The Boom music band) as Toshimichi Ōkubo
39-year-old Yukiyoshi Ozawa (Umi no Hotaru) as Hirobumi Itō
12-year-old Kaito Ōyagi (Ninja Kids!!! Summer Mission Impossible) as Yahiko Myōjin
25-year-old model Maryjun Takahashi as Yumi Komagata
The cast of the Juppongatana (Ten Swords), a group of elite swordsmen led by Shishio (played by Tatsuya Fujiwara), include:
- Ryōsuke Miura as Chō Sawagejō
- Kenichi Takitō as Hōji Sadojima
- Tomomi Maruyama as Anji Yūkyūzan
- Matsu Murata as Usui Uonuma
- Hiroko Yashiki as Kamatari Honjō
- Yuuya Hara as Henya Kariwa
- Takao Yamada as Iwanbō
- Kentarō Shimazu as Saizuchi
- Kōta Yamaguchi as Fuji
Watsuki's manga ran from 1994 to 1999 in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and sold over 57 million copies. The creator also drew the Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration retelling that launched in Jump Square magazine in May 2012 and ended last year. He is now planning a new Rurouni Kenshin spinoff manga about enemy characters.
An anime series aired in Japan from 1996 to 1998 and spawned several anime film and video projects. Viz Media publishes both manga in North America, while Media Blasters released the television anime. ADV Films released two later original video anime projects and a film on DVD, and Aniplex released these three titles on Blu-ray Disc. Sentai Filmworks released the two more recent video anime series on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, which also covered the Kyoto arc.
Source: Comic Natalie
Images © Nobuhiro Watsuki/Shueisha © 2014 Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-hen/Densetsu no Saigo-hen Production Committee