1st Rurouni Kenshin Sequel Earns Best Opening Among 2014 Japanese Live-Action Films
posted on by Egan Loo
Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-hen), the first of two live-action Rurouni Kenshin sequel films, opened nationwide in Japan on Friday. In three days, it sold 645,086 tickets for 822,734,430 yen (about US$8 million). In the process, it garnered the biggest opening of any Japanese live-action film this year.
Most films open in Japan on Saturday, not Friday. For comparison's sake, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno sold 433,346 tickets for 592,230,000 yen (US$5.8 million) on 439 screens from Saturday to Sunday. Since the first of the month is "service day" for discounted tickets in many Japanese theaters, more people saw the movie on Friday than usual (for a weekday). The movie sold 211,740 tickets for 230,499,400 yen (US$2.2 million) on Friday.
The film's distributor anticipates that this sequel will outdo the first live-action Rurouni Kenshin film and eventually top 4 billion yen (US$40 million). The first film just aired during the "Friday Road-Show!" timeslot on Japanese television on August 1 and earned a 16.3% rating.
Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno will open in The Philippines — the first Asian country outside Japan — on August 6. The second sequel, Rurouni Kenshin: Densetsu no Saigo-hen (Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends), will then open in Japan on September 13.
The sequels 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
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 more than 58 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 drawing a new Rurouni Kenshin spinoff manga about Shishio.
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.
Images © Nobuhiro Watsuki/Shueisha © 2014 Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Taika-hen/Densetsu no Saigo-hen Production Committee
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