Samurai X-citement: The Long Wait for ‘Kyoto Inferno’ and ‘The Legend Ends’

Aside from my birth month, another exciting thing that August has in store for me is the Philippine screening of Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (るろうに剣心 京都大火編), the sequel to the successful 2012 Rurouni Kenshin live action film.

I’ve always been a HUGE fan of this Nobuhiro Watsuki creation, which is also known in some countries as Samurai X, since my childhood years.  While I haven’t even read the manga, I’ve made up for this shameful shortcoming by watching each and every episode of the anime.  I even own an original cassette tape of the soundtracks (and I have the digital ones loaded on my iPod, of course) and don’t be surprised that I’ve memorized the Japanese lyrics of each song by heart.  You get the point.  True, the show is not without its flaws, but I can say with complete confidence that Rurouni Kenshin is the best anime ever.

I mean, can you really contain yourself when you see Kenshin doing this while Sobakasu plays in the background, knowing full well what happens next?

And doesn’t this scene just make you want to burst out and sing the opening verses of 1/2?

And don’t you just fear Kenshin a tiny bit when shit gets real and his usually large doe-eyes are replaced by these menacing-looking, slanted ones?

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And did you ever really move on from this scene, where Kenshin embraces Kaoru-dono and says a tearful goodbye before he leaves for Kyoto to face Shishio?

And please. Don’t get me started with the OVAs.

Watching the first live action film in 2012 didn’t disappoint.  Anime-turned-live-action films are known to be notoriously corny, suffering from low budget, poor directing, unenthusiastic cast, and shallow plot holes, but Rurouni Kenshin was different.  In fact, it was brilliantly made.  It was funny and exciting, the effects were amazing, the casting was perfect — it’s every RK fan’s dream come true.  And of course, when our Kenshin defeated Jin in the first movie, fans only thirsted for more.  They knew what was coming: the cold-blooded Shishio Makoto and his band of goons, the Juppon Gatana.

Here are the cast in action.  This trailer is EVERYTHING.

The best thing about the second movie (and the third, probably?) is that it focuses on the Kyoto/Shishio Arc, which is the best and most exciting part of the anime.   What’s in store for us fans?  These:

Kenshin Himura donning his popular red samurai garb.

Kenshin Himura donning his popular red samurai garb.

The tall and brooding Aoshi Shinomori -- he appears!

The tall and brooding Aoshi Shinomori (Yusuki Iseya) — he appears!

The hot-headed and feisty Misao Makimachi meets our Battousai.

The hot-headed and feisty Misao Makimachi  (Tao Tsuchiya) meets our Battousai.

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We’ll finally get to see how this iconic scene plays out using real talented actors Takeru Satoh (Kenshin Himura) and Emi Takei (Kamiya Kaoru).

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An incoming showdown between Kenshin and the ever so charming Seta Soujiro (Ryunosuke Kamiki).

THIS.

And of course, the most awaited battle between Kenshin and Shishio Makoto (Tatsuya Fujiwara)

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (るろうに剣心 伝説の最期編) opens in Manila on August 20 and September 24, respectively.  Might seem like eons away for us fans, but I’m sure we all know that those two films will be totally worth the wait.

I really miss this gang.

I really miss this gang.

*Post-script:  A huge thanks (どうもありがと!) to the creators and owners of the images and gifs used in this post.  You guys are awesome.

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