By Gina Tumlos
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.
THE JUPPONGATANA (TEN SWORDS)
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)
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.
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.
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.