Rurouni Kenshin るろうに剣心(Japan, 2012)
New York Premiere
Co-presentation with Japan Cuts
134 minutes, 35 mm, in Japanese with English subtitles
Directed by: Keishi Otomo
Starring: Takeru Sato, Emi Takei, Yu Aoi, Teruyuki Kagawa
He wanders the countryside, haunted by his sins even as his hair remains perfect. He carries a reversed-blade katana as a symbol of his solemn vow to never again take a life. He has an X-shaped scar of shame on his cheek and the trauma of war in his dark eyes, and he is very, very pretty. There is only one warrior he can be: Himura Kenshin, the Heart of the Sword. That’s right: It’s RUROUNI motherfucking KENSHIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Adapted from the legendary manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki which spawned an even more popular anime series and infinite merchandising, RUROUNI KENSHIN is the live-action box office smash which brings this quintessentially Japanese hero’s journey to life, starring gorgeous Kamen Rider star Takeru Sato as the bishounen berseker. But don’t let his good looks fool you, driven into a dizzying dance of mayhem by veteran TV director Keishi Otomo, Sato is ready to bisect with the best of ‘em, propelling his way through staggering, stroboscopic swordfights with severed limbs flying to and fro like he was born to the steel.
“When one person kills, resentment is born,” Kenshin muses. That’s why he walked away from his job as an assassin at the dawn of the Meiji era. In a modern, industrializing Japan with a new government, there’s no place for the lone swordsman with the model-perfect face. But when a doppleganger begins murdering innocents – and taking our hero’s notorious hitokiri mantle for himself – Kenshin is tasked by the Meiji government to bring the killer in and take down a cruel opium druglord (played with scene-chewing glee by NYAFF regular Teruyuki Kagawa, last seen in Tormented) before a pretty kendo instructor (Emi Takei) and her dojo are struck down by vicious ninja terrorism. Before it’s all over, there’ll be swordfights, kendo duels, samurai showdowns, cannon fire, and Teruyuki Kagawa making the pretty men strip for him from the business end of a newfangled gatling gun. Yes, RUROUNI KENSHIN has everything for the fanboy otaku hidden deep inside you. It’s a dangerous time out there in the world of hot-blooded live action adaptations of animated series, and Kenshin has come to end that vicious cycle of violence and hate by being beautiful and kicking as many people’s asses as possible. Don’t look away; you love it.
Tuesday July 9, 7:00PM Walter Reade Theater Buy Tickets
Sunday July 14, 2:30PM Walter Japan Society Buy Tickets