Rurouni Kenshin: New characters to watch for

By Gina Tumlos

"Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

“Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Us Movieclubbers are not just thrilled to watch Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno when it premieres in Manila tomorrow; we also want to share our excitement with our readers with this quick character guide, to help you guys navigate through the story.


In the first Rurouni Kenshin movie (2012), we were introduced to our hero Kenshin Himura (Takeru Sato), a former samurai assassin in search of atonement for his blood-stained conscience and mercenary past. In his journey to self-redemption, he meets the feisty dojo owner Kamiya Kauro (Emi Takei), who quickly becomes his love interest; the street fighter and zanbato-weilding Sagara Sanosuke (Munetaka Aoki); the doctor Takana Megumi (Yu Aoi), who gets embroiled in the drug trade and seeks Kenshin’s help; the young kendo student Myojin Yahiko (Kaito Oyagi); and, finally, Saito Hajime (Yosuke Eguchi), a police investigator who has a history with Kenshin dating back to Bakumatsu when they were fighting for opposite forces.

In Inferno, the film explores the Kyoto arc in which Shishio Makoto (Tatsuya Fujiwara), a samurai hailed to be Battosai’s successor, resurfaces to take his vengeance upon the government that betrayed him. After a decade in the shadows, Shishio has amassed enough power to overthrow the Meiji government, and Kenshin is once again faced with the decision as to whether he can or should kill.
The new characters to watch for in the movie are listed below.
Makoto Shishio in "Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Tatsuya Fujiwara as Makoto Shishio in “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara)
The cold-blooded and ruthless Shishio is perhaps Kenshin’s strongest nemesis. After the Meiji government deemed him to be too dangerous and unpredictable, they shot him in the head and tried to burn him alive. Shishio survived the attack but his entire body was charred, and he now must be covered by bandages at all times. His condition also damaged his sweat glands, thus rendering him incapable of fighting for longer than 15 minutes. Nevertheless, his former strength, intelligence, and stamina has returned after years of careful hiding and planning. Shishio’s idealism is what fundamentally keeps him going as he envisions a new Japan where only the strong is allowed to live. He creates the Juppongatana or the Ten Swords, a special attack force of elite warriors to lead his revolutionary army.
Maryjun Takahashi as Yumi Komagata as in "Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Maryjun Takahashi as Yumi Komagata as in “Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Yumi Komagata (Maryjun Takahashi)
Komagata Yumi is a former courtesan who joined Shishio’s forces because of her disgust for the government, particularly of its treatment of prostitutes. She becomes Shishio’s lover and is his most loyal cohort as she is willing to go to whatever lengths to protect Shishio from his enemies, and also from himself.

THE JUPPONGATANA (TEN SWORDS)

Ryunosuke Kamiki as Sōjirō Seta in "Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Ryunosuke Kamiki as Sojiro Seta in “Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Sojiro Sato (Ryunosuke Kamiki)
Sojiro is Shishio’s right-hand man. He was rescued from maltreatment by Shishio as a child, and he, in turn, helped nurse the latter back to health. Sojiro’s trademark smile is enigmatic, but later on it will be revealed this his ability to show no emotion when killing, along with his ungodly speed, makes him a worthy opponent of Kenshin’s.

Sadojima Hoji (Kenicho Takito)
Hoji shares in Shishio’s delusion of creating a Japan that fosters the principle of survival of the fittest. His faith in Shishio’s philosophy and strength makes him blind to the latter’s madness and limitations, making him Shishio’s most faithful servant.

Sawagejo Cho (Ryosuke Miura)
Cho is one of the members of the Juppongatana who is most distinguishable by his wild, punk-rock hair. Cho has a collection of rare and deadly swords which he wields with great precision, making him a very cool opponent and a highly enjoyable character to watch.

THE ONIWABANSHU (THE WATCHERS)

Tao Tsuchiya as Makimachi Misao in "Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Tao Tsuchiya as Makimachi Misao in “Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Makimachi Misao (Tao Tsuchiya)
Misao is a teenage member of the Oniwabanshu, a group of undercover agents tasked to gather information and provide security for the Edo Castle, but when the Shogunate ended, the group’s number and influence also dwindled. Misao, however, having been raised by Aoshi and later on by Okina, is determined to prove herself in battle. She encounters Kenshin on her way to Kyoto and she will later on prove to be a valuable ally, as well as a good friend to the roving samurai.

Min Tanaka as Nenji Kashiwazaki/Okina in "Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Min Tanaka as Nenji Kashiwazaki/Okina in “Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Kashiwazaki Nenji (Min Tanaka)
More popularly known in the series as Okina, he is an elderly member of the Oniwabanshu whose his strength and skills has not been diminished by age. When Misao was 8, Aoshi left her in Okina’s care. Okina was supposed to take the leadership of the Oniwaban, but he deferred to Aoshi.

Yusuke Iseya as Aoshi Shinomori in "Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno" (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Yusuke Iseya as Aoshi Shinomori in “Rurouni Kenshin: The Inferno” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Aoshi Shinomori (Yusuke Iseya) 
Aoshi became the leader of the Oniwaban at age 15 after displaying exceptional skills in swordfighting and kenpo. However, he was among the ninjas that strayed during the Meiji era as they were unable to adapt to a new way of life, working instead as mercenaries for mob bosses and corrupt businessmen. Aoshi displays great restraint both in his personality and his fighting technique: His mastery over his double kodachi is unparalleled and sets him apart from Kenshin and the rest.

We hope that this list gives our readers something to chew on while waiting for the movie. The first part of the Kyoto arc, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno will open in Philippine theaters Aug. 20, 2014 and the second installment, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, will arrive on Sept. 24.

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2 thoughts on “Rurouni Kenshin: New characters to watch for

  1. Pingback: #KenshinManila: Watch the press con here! | The Movie Clubbers

  2. Pingback: Fangirling at the Rurouni #KenshinManila premiere! | The Movie Clubbers

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