Rurouni Kenshin Live-Action Film Announced

Posted by Grey Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The much-beloved Rurouni Kenshin manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki gets a live-action film adaptation in 2012.

Having just celebrated its fifteen anniversary with a PlayStation Portable-exclusive game back in March, Rurouni Kenshin is coming back in a big way with a live-action film adaptation set to be released in 2012.

Commonly known as Rurouni Kenshin or Samurai X for the Western audience, Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story (るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚- Rurōni Kenshin Meiji Kenkaku Rōmantan) was first published in 1994, with its anime adaptation premiered in 1996. Both the anime and manga were met with tremendous success, with the manga translated in 23 countries all over the world. Our unabashed love for the manga/anime series should be no secret to long-time reader. And the most important thing that came to our mind would be the extreme difficult casting of the much-beloved characters of the series. With the main protagonist Himura Kenshin himself being arguably one of the hardest characters to nail in the Cosplay world, can the upcoming live-action film adaptation nail it? Thankfully, the announcement of the news came with a confirmed casting call to set our worries behind.

22-year-old actor Takeru Satoh (佐藤 健), who recently had a breakthrough performance in the NHK Taiga drama, Ryōmaden (龍馬伝), and perhaps most well-known for his role as the eopnymous character in Kamen Rider Den-O, has been confirmed to be cast as Himura Kenshin in the film.

While fans are likely to be complaining that Satoh is, simply put, not effeminate enough for the role, we tend to opine that the role of Kenshin needs to strike a good balance between the cold-bloodedness of "Hitokiri Battōsai" and the honest-to-god sweetness of Himura Kenshin. Satoh should do just fine with the right outfit and demeanour applied.

Nobuhiro Watsuki (creator of Rurouni Kenshin) himself has went on the record to comment on Sato’s casting for the role: "When this project just started, my wife and I were talking about who would suit the role of Kenshin, and Sato Takeru-san was the one who came up on our mind first. So, when it was confirmed (that Sato will be taking the role), I was surprised, but was also very happy. I’m looking forward to see his wonderful acting."

Currently taking intensive sword-fighting lessons for the massive amount of swordplay required in the film, Satoh has indicated that he was a huge fan of the original manga when he was in elementary school and when the manga was still running. He also commented: "The role of Kenshin is that of a well-known character, therefore, I think fascinating acting is needed. I would like to create the Kenshin image with the staff, while staying true to the details. I will try my best, so please look forward to it."

While other cast members for the film will be announced on a later date, filming is set to begin next month.

Not sure what I was referring to when I mentioned "not effeminate enough" earlier? Perhaps this image created by miyavik at deviantART can better illustrate the point.

In parting, here's another comparing shot of Kenshin and Satoh.

Now that's a Japanese live-action film adaptation worth watch out for. Yes, this is me making direct reference to the disappointing live-action remake of Gantz.

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