The last time we reported on the sequel to the Japanese comic book-based Rurouni Kenshin, there was mention of villain named Shishio Makoto. Readers of the original comic book (or manga if you want to get authentic-ish) likely gave a collective squeal, as the character – despite being the ruthless leader of a group of assassins responsible for a good number of deaths – is a fan favorite. The film’s teaser barely gave a glimpse of the character, but the newer, longer trailer should have enough of him to satisfy the most rabid of fangirl/boy.
Shishio is played by Tatsuya Fujiwara (Battle Royale, Death Note) – not that anyone could tell by looking, as the character is a severe burn victim covered head to toe in bandages. Other villains from the manga who pop up in the trailer include Shishio’s Girl Friday, Komagata Yumi (Maryjun Takahashi); psychotic wunderkind, Seta Sojiro (Ryunosuke Kamiki); and sword-collector Sawagejo Cho (Ryoskuke Miura).
One last thing to note about the sequel: like many western adaptations of reading material, the film is divided into two parts – Kyoto Inferno and The Legend Ends - to be released successively. Unlike Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows – Part 2, or The Twilight Saga: Part 2 which came out about a year after their respective sequels, The Legend Ends is set to come out a mere two weeks after Kyoto Inferno‘s August 1st release. Imagine waiting two weeks in between the two Hunger Games: Mockingjay halves.
Look forward to the Rurouni Kenshin movies stateside at film festivals, anime conventions, DVD, and VOD sometime after their Japanese release.