Kenshin Himura’s battle to get to Philippine Cinemas

The characters from the Rurouni Kenshin anime series.

Kenshin Himura from the anime Samurai X is probably one of the most recognizable anime characters that even non-Otakus would be familiar with. He is the reluctant hero with a dark past, who is trying to atone for his sins as a ‘wanderer’.

Based on the manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki. Rurouni Kenshin has been loved by millions across  the globe. Children have been named after this timeless Samurai

Himura’s Legacy

The anime series was very popular during its run in the late 90’s to early 2000. The series was shown (repeatedly)  locally (Studio 23) and on cable (AXN).

There was a lot of buzz during the anime’s 15th year in 2011. There was a new OVA series (Shin-Kyoto-Hen) that was launched but the biggest buzz that was created was of course the live action movie adaption.

Rurouni Kenshin Theatrical Poster

Directed by Keishi Otomo. The movie stars Kamen Rider Den-O actor Takeru Sato as Kenshin Himura and Emi Takei as Kaoru Kamiya and was released in Japanese cinemas on August 25 by Warner Bros. Pictures Japan.

The movie received positive reviews that even those who have not seen the anime would enjoy the movie. And for those who have grown up and loved the series they won’t be dissapointed either since reviews have showed that the live action movie has stayed true to the original story.

The first few trailers that came out would really send chills down any fan’s spines and even loyal Filipino Otakus would  pay to see this in the big screen it was only a matter of time whether we would know if this was an even near possibility or if we would have to resort to just downloading it online.

Not Interested

Since the movie was produced by Warner Brother Japan it was thought that Warner Brothers Philippines would be the one distributing the film to the Philippines but a  post last August 23, 2012 WB Philippines said that have no rights to release Rurouni Kenshin in the Philippines.

I have no idea why Warner Brother’s Philippines would not want to get the rights to show this movie- have these guys been to an Anime convention? The long lines and the suffocating venues because of the huge crowd of people definitely means that there is a huge following for this movie.

Online Petitions 

So after the disappointing news from Warner Brothers Philippines fans took it on themselves to be heard online petitions started to appear. I know since I signed one and asked my family and friends to do so.

When I first encountered the online petitions I also saw that Movie Punch  which is the official trade name of Pioneer Films Philippines has announced that they will be the the official distributor of the movie to Philippine Cinemas.

As details of the negotiations about the film’s release to the Philippines began to surface it seems that the Philippines was not included in the 64 countries to which the film was supposed to be released. Movie Punch has said via their Facebook page that negotiations for the film’s release is ongoing.

Disappearing Posts 

I personally have shared posts from Movie Punch’s Facebook page on updates about their negotiations with regards to the release of the film but going back to those posts now I can’t seem to find them anymore and apparently that wasn’t the only post that was going to ‘disappear’.

A new player in the game has also joined and this is SM Cinemas who also confirmed on their Facebook page that they will be exclusively showing the movie in their movie theaters starting on October 17, 2012. The screenshot below of SM Cinema’s page announcing that it will be showing the movie on October 17, 2012 has also already been removed. SM Cinemas marketing has later confirmed that October 17, 2012 is still a tentative date and is still subject to change. SM has gone on to say that the movie will be a regular screening meaning it will be shown for at least one week.

Updates from Movie Punch have confirmed that they have partnered with SM to exclusively show the movie. Movie Punch has also confirmed that the contract for the release of the movie has not been signed yet.

Screenshot of SM Cinema’s Facebook page with the announcement of the October 17 showing of the film.

Right now it seems to be an ongoing battle as to whether Rurouni Kenshin will be shown in Philippine Cinemas but we fans can only hope that just like in the series-Kenshin will also win this one.