A young, fencing mistress devoted to a reformed assassin. A beautiful healer making amends for her past. A young Oniwabanshu operative that leads a double life as an innkeeper. And a former courtesan madly in love with a psychopath. Meet Kaoru, Megumi, Misao and Yumi, the strong women characters who make their mark in Warner Bros.' “Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends,” the final chapter to director Keishi Otomo's blockbuster “Rurouni Kenshin” trilogy.
Popular Japanese actress Emi Takei plays Kaoru Kamiya. As the young fencing mistress of the Kamiya Dojo, which she inherited from her father, she teaches the sword as ‘a way of life, rather than of death’. She is strong-willed but also capable of great consideration for others. She refuses to ask about hero Kenshin Himura’s past; ‘Everyone has things they don’t want to talk about,’ she says, but she is terrified that Kenshin will return to his old ways, and wants him to keep his vow.
“Director Keishi Otomo asked me this time to play a Kaoru who has matured a little,” explains Takei. “And this time, Kaoru fights, too! Not with a wooden sword, but with a halberd. They let me do some real stunts, so it was a lot of fun. People love the character of Kaoru, so I’ve tried to play her as someone who deserves that. On these shoots, you have to be living in the world of the film, and the director gives hints, but he never tells me exactly what the answer to any questions that arise might be. You have to find it in yourself and express that. I’m really honored to be in a film like that.”
Multi-awarded actress Ya Aoi portrays Megumi Takani. A brave, determined, and also beautiful physician, the descendant of a long line of doctors whose family was wiped out in the wars accompanying the end of the Shogunate. She began making opium to keep herself alive, but reformed after Kenshin Himura saved her life, and now dedicates herself to the service of those in need. She is enraged when the new government puts pressure on Kenshin to help them by threatening to reopen her past in the opium trade. Her habitual sarcasm masks a warm heart, and she encourages Kaoru to follow Kenshin to Kyoto by suggesting that she will regret not going. When Sanosuke is setting out as well, she gives him a healing salve, the secret of which is known only to her family.
Filipino-Japanese star Maryjun Takahashi appears as Yumi Komagata. A bewitchingly beautiful woman, deeply in love with Shishio, and always by his side. Originally a courtesan in Edo’s Yoshiwara pleasure quarter, she took great pride in her work there, but when the new government, under Western influence, declared the sale of women to be barbaric, she was forced to leave. Declaring the new government to be comprised of sub-human animals, she joined Shishio in his hatred of it. As one of his inner circle she benefits greatly from his care, but in her heart she regrets that she cannot be of more use to him in his battle.
|Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Japan|
Tao Tsuchiya is no stranger to Japanese pop culture. She was in Jin-Roh, Ouran High School Host Club and Ultraman Retsuden. She plays Misao Makimachi, a young girl who was raised as part of the Oniwabanshu, an elite guardsmen during the Togukawa era that specializes in information gathering and covert operations similar to ninjas. She harbors a hidden love for Aoshi Shinomori, one of the last surviving Oniwabanshu member that guarded Edo Castle.
Based on the Kyoto arc of the popular manga series written & illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki, the “Rurouni Kenshin” sequels follow the story of Kenshin Himura (Takeru Satoh), a legendary swordsman in the wars accompanying the turbulent fall of Japan's Shogunate in the 19th century. Once feared as 'Battosai the Killer', he has adopted a peaceful life since the arrival of the 'new age'.
But Makoto Shishio (Tatsuya Fujiwara), the 'Shadow Killer' and successor to Kenshin's position as the deadly assassin, has since then been scheming in the Kyoto underworld, raising an army of disaffected former samurais with the aim of overthrowing the new regime.
“Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends” stars Takeru Sato (Kenshin Himura), Emi Takei (Kaoru Kamiya), Munetaka Aoki (Sanosuke Sagara), Kaito Oyagi (Yahiko Myojin), Yu Aoi (Megumi Takani), Yosuke Eguchi (Hajime Saito), Min Tanaka (Nenji Kashiwazaki), Tao Tsuchiya (Misao Makimachi), Ryunosuke Kamiki (Soujiro Seta), Maryjun Takahashi (Yumi Komagata) and Tatsuya Fujiwara (Shishio).
“Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Bloggers note: Most of this material are from the publicist of Warner Bros. Philippines. I just included my own material about Tao Tsuchiya who played Misao. Follow my blogs and like my Facebook page, L.E.N.S. blogs.