He took Manila by storm last August during a historic Asian premiere (and press conference, too!). He wowed audiences and critics alike with a calm but fiery performance in Kyoto Inferno (read our review here!). Now, Takeru Satoh returns to Philippine cinemas as the legendary Kenshin Himura in the final chapter of the epic Rurouni Kenshin trilogy – Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends.
From the age of 14, amidst the chaos of the end of the rule of the Shoguns in 1860s Japan, Kenshin spent five years as an assassin for the anti-Shogunate forces, dreaming of an age of peace in which all could live in safety. Faster than a god, more powerful than a demon, wielding his sword in the “High Heaven” style designed for use against a number of opponents, Kenshin was feared as “Battosai the Killer,” but began to doubt his way of life when he took the life of a young man with a bright future awaiting him.
With the fall of the Shogun and the “restoration” of rule to the Emperor, Kenshin vowed he would never kill again, and set off to wander the land with a “back-blade” whose cutting edge was on the back of the sword. To save the life of Kaoru, he was on the verge of returning to his old ways, but managed to resolve her difficulties and still preserve his vow.
But now, with the emergence of ruthless killer Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara), who is plotting to bring Japan under his control, the question presses upon him: Can he beat a crazed enemy and still remain a peaceful man who does not kill?
“There are things this time that Kenshin must overcome to defeat his opponent, so Kenshin has to become a ‘new Kenshin,’” says Satoh of his character’s dilemma.
Of filming the sequels, Satoh expounds, “Every day brought another scene that was vital, and every scene was a highlight. Even now that filming is over, I’m still reacting to Kenshin. As I got deeper and deeper into the character, I became more and more attached to him. It’s like he’s a close friend who lives inside of me. He’s a friend that I love, that I want to protect, that I don’t want to let go. That’s how strongly I feel about him. I’ve never had this feeling about a character before. I have affection for every character I play, but this is the first time I’ve felt that I wanted to go on playing him forever. Playing him has been the kind of experience you don’t get in life very often.”
Born March 21, 1989 in Saitama Prefecture, Satoh’s first starring role came in Kamen Rider Den-O (TV Asahi, ’07). He came to wide attention in the 2008 Rookies TBS-TV series, and won a Television Drama Academy Best Supporting Actor award for Mei-chan’s Butler (Fuji TV, ’09). The NHK Sunday night drama Ryomaden (’10) marked his first period role, and the same year he took a starring role in the Q.10 drama serial (NTV), going on to win the All Nippon Producers Association Élan d’Or Newcomer of the Year Award in 2011. In 2012 he extended his activities to the live stage, playing Romeo in a production of Romeo and Juliet. Other television work includes Tonbi (TBS, ’13) and Bitter Blood (Fuji TV, ’14). Following his starring role in the first Rurouni Kenshin film (’12), he has appeared in Real and The Liar and His Lover (both ’13).
Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 24, 2014, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.