In a world of panned live-action anime adaptations, Keishi Ōtomo’s Rurouni Kenshin trilogy is a comfort to fans. The films are often regarded as some of the best live-action takes on manga, and it looks like a fourth film may be in the works.
According to Daily Sports, a new Rurouni Kenshin movie might already be in development. The Japanese newspaper spilled the beans in a recent article concerning actress Emi Takei, the woman who plays Kaoru Kamiya.
The original article examines an on-going controversy surrounding Takei over in Japan. The actress made an announcement recently that she’s married to a member of the band Exile and is expecting their first child. The growing family may be excited, but the marriage and pregnancy break clauses in Takei’s contract with her talent agency. Oscar Promotions is currently negotiating penalties for Takei’s breach of contract, and it looks like her involvement with a fourth Rurouni Kenshin film is now up in the air as well.
According to the article, Takei’s role in the live-action trilogy is an “important one that cannot be written out.” The actress also has deals with brands such as JTB which may be in jeopardy now.
If you are not familiar with Takei’s role in Rurouni Kenshin, then you should know it is a major one. The actress plays the heroine Kaoru. In the manga, the character runs a dojo where she teaches swordsmanship, and she offers refuge to Himura Kenshin after he steps between Kaoru and an attacker. The pair grow close despite Kaoru learning about Himura’s time as a assassin. The manga ends with the pair marrying and settling down, so it’s easy to see why Takei’s role cannot be written out.
For now, fans will have to wait and see whether an official announcement about Rurouni Kenshin is made soon. The controversy surrounding Takei could cause the film to be put on hold indefinitely if recasting isn’t an option, so otakus will want to keep an eye on Warner Bros. Japan for the time being.