The official website for the ‘final chapter‘ films of the live-action film series based on Nobuhiro Watsuki‘s Rurouni Kenshin manga revealed a new cast photo for the films on Friday, and the photo shows five cast members. Among them, Riku Ōnishi is the only new cast member (seen third from left in image below), 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.
The site is also streaming a “digest” movie featuring footage from the previous three films.
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. 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 upcoming two live-action films will.