Rurouni Kenshin - Kyoto Inferno ("Ruroni Kenshin – Kyoto Taika-hen")
Quick, cunning, and unstoppable with a sword in his hand, Himura Kenshin was once a fearsome warrior-assassin. The day came when he could no longer face the consequences of his actions, and so he turned his back on these violent ways. The violence, however, didn’t turn away from him… following the criminal conspiracy and furious conflicts in Tokyo, Kenshin is sure that he can now live the quiet, peaceful life he desires in the company of Kaoru and his other friends. But the tranquility is interrupted by a call of duty that cannot be ignored. Makoto Shishio, a high-ranking assassin like Kenshin, was seen as a liability by the new Meiji government. Their efforts to eliminate him left him horribly burned — but alive, and hungry for vengeance. He has gathered a host of killers in Kyoto, and now the reluctant killer Kenshin must draw his sword once again, for the sake not just of his loved ones but of the entire nation.
Following the huge popular success of RUROUNI KENSHIN, both at home in Japan and when it screened at Fantasia last year, we’re pleased to unveil the second work in the trilogy of live-action adaptations of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s celebrated manga (the third and final film, THE LEGEND ENDS, will follow fast enough). Takeru Sato returns as the handsome, taciturn hero, while his nemesis this time is played by Tatsuya Fujiwara of BATTLE ROYALE and DEATH NOTE fame (he’s also in MONSTERZ at the fest this year) — a pretty face all but hidden in this unusual role. A grand epic set at a time of great change for Japan, the RUROUNI KENSHIN arc is an imaginative revisiting of history, the backdrop for a complex and emotionally resonant drama bound together by outbursts of superior-grade samurai swordplay. Given the love out there for the manga series, the first film didn’t disappoint, and its sequel won’t either. Get ready for the kind of spectacular summer thrills that could only come from the Land of the Rising Sun!
— Rupert Bottenberg