Live-Action Rurouni Kenshin 'Final Chapter' Films Bring Back Yosuke Eguchi as Saitō
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
The official website for the 'final chapter' films in the live-action film series based on Nobuhiro Watsuki's Rurouni Kenshin manga revealed on Tuesday that Yosuke Eguchi reprised the role of Hajime Saitō.
Eguchi commented that this was an honor he did not expect, as he never thought he would be able to play a character for so many years. He noted that there were times when playing the character where he did not feel as free, as Saitō is a character and a "mask" that has been built up over time. In particular, Eguchi noted that the filming for the new movies took more than half a year, and that he was nervous the entire time. However, when he thinks how every shot will connect with each other, it confirms in his mind that they will be excellent films.
Riku Ōnishi is the only new cast member (seen third from left in image below) among the five main cast members, replacing Kaito Ōyagi as Yahiko Myojin. The returning cast includes Takeru Satoh as Kenshin Himura, Emi Takei as Kaoru Kamiya, Munetaka Aoki as Sanosuke Sagara, and Yū Aoi as Megumi Takani.
Mackenyu will play antagonist Enishi Yukishiro in the films. Enishi operates a black market arms company on the Chinese mainland, and manipulated Shishio through the sale of weapons and a warship to him.
Rurouni Kenshin Saishūshō The Final will open in Japan on July 3, and Rurouni Kenshin Saishūshō The Beginning will open on August 7. Keishi Ōtomo is returning to direct the films.
Rurouni Kenshin Saishūshō The Final will center on the story from the manga's "Jinchū" arc, which features Kenshin's conflict with the mysterious weapons dealer Enishi. Rurouni Kenshin Saishūshō The Beginning will tell the story of how Kenshin got his cross-shaped scar.
Principal photography for the films ended on June 7 last year. Filming began in November 2018, and eventually the seven-month production shot in 43 locations, including in Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, Mie, Hyōgo, Kumamoto, Hiroshima, Tochigi, Saitama, Shizuoka, Osaka, and Nagano Prefectures.
The first live-action Rurouni Kenshin film opened in 2012 in Japan, while the first two sequels opened in August and September 2014. The films collectively grossed more that US$160 million internationally. Funimation screened all three films in United States theaters in August, September, and October 2016, respectively.
Watsuki's manga ran from 1994 to 1999 in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. A television anime series aired in Japan from 1996 to 1998 and spawned several anime video projects and an anime film. Viz Media published the original manga and the two-volume Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration reboot manga in North America, while Media Blasters released the television anime. ADV Films released the two Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal and Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection video anime projects and the Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture anime film on DVD, and Aniplex later released the three titles on Blu-ray Disc. Sentai Filmworks released the more recent Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc video anime series on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.
The Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal and Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection video anime projects adapted the same story arcs from the manga as the two upcoming live-action films will.