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Yosuke Eguchi Returns to Play Hajime Saito + Mackenyu Joins Cast of Live-Action Rurouni Kenshin “Final Chapter” Films

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The official Japanese website of the live-action film adaptations of the highly-popular Rurouni Kenshin series has announced that Yosuke Eguchi will be reprising his role as Hajime Saito, captain of the Shinsengumi third unit.

Accompanying this announcement was a message from Eguchi, which was translated by Crunchyroll News as such:

"It is a great honor to play the same role for many years. On the other hand, I can’t escape from him and do freely, because he is the character we have created until now, these were tough things. In particular, it took more than six months to shoot these two films, and I had a hard time maintaining a sense of tension all the time, but when I thought that all the scenes we shot would be connected, I was convinced that these would be magnificent films (laugh).

I used a lot of energy. The stories and times of ‘The Final’ and ‘The Beginning’ are completely different, so the tone of the dialogues had to be changed as well. As the era changes from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period, Kenshin and Saito are also changing along with the flow of the world. I think it’s worth very much if you watch the two films in a row."

Eguchi has played Saito since the first live-action Rurouni Kenshin film released in 2012. Like Eguchi, most of the cast—Takeru Satoh (Kenshin Himura), Emi Takei (Kaoru Kamiya), Munetaka Aoki (Sanosuke Sagara), and Yuu Aoi (Megumi Takani)—have played their respective roles since 2012. Only Riku Onishi (third in the picture below) is new to the cast, replacing Kaito Oyagi as Yahiko Myojin.

Just last week, the film’s official website announced that Mackenyu/Mackenyu Arata will be joining the cast as antagonist Enishi Yukishiro, the younger brother of Kenshin’s wife Tomoe Yukishiro. He is described in the official website as “a mysterious arms dealer who controls the underworld of the Chinese continent, and a man who sent weapons and warships to have manipulated Makoto Shishio. He has a strong grudge against Kenshin, and sets up the ‘Jinchu’ to destroy not only Kenshin but everything related to Kenshin, and the new era he has created!”

A visual for his character was also released:

Two films dubbed as the “Final Chapter” are set to be released this year. The first of the two films, entitled The Final, will center on the Jinchu arc and Kenshin’s conflict with Enishi. The second film, entitled The Beginning, will tell the story of how Kenshin got his famous cross-shaped scar.

The first film The Final will be released in Japan on July 3. The second, The Beginning, will be released on August 7. The director of the first three films, Keishi Otomo, returns to direct the Final Chapter films.

Source: Crunchyroll News

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See also: Funimation Delays SimulDubs for Current and Upcoming Anime

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