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Shonen Jump Editor-in-Chief Andy Nakatani on the Return of Rurouni Kenshin

By May 10, 2012

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Rurouni Kenshin in Jump SQ June 2012Now that the final chapter of Bakuman has been featured in the pages of Shonen Jump Alpha, the big question many readers had was, 'What new Shonen Jump series will take its place in the weekly manga magazine?'

The answer? A series that's both new and old at the same time: Rurouni Kenshin Restoration, a.k.a. Rurouni Kenshin Cinema-Ban by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It made its debut in the June 2012 issue of Jump SQ in Japan, and the first chapter will be featured in the May 21, 2012 issue of Shonen Jump Alpha.

Originally published in Japan from1994 - 1999 in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump, and later collected in 28 volumes, Rurouni Kenshin was published in North America by VIZ Media between 2003 - 2006, and more recently as 9 omnibus editions under VIZ's VIZ BIG imprint from 2008 - 2010.

This historical drama set in Japan's Meiji Era about a traveling swordsman who tries to redeem his past sins by helping others has been adapted as an anime series, feature-length anime movies, video games and novels. It's mix of action, drama and romance made it a fan favorite in both Japan and North America. But why is Rurouni Kenshin returning now?

Takeru Satoh in RuThe short answer is because Rurouni Kenshin has been adapted as a live-action movie from Warner Brothers Japan. The Rurouni Kenshin movie is directed by Keishi Otomo and stars Takeru Satoh (Kamen Rider Den-O) as Himura Kenshin. The film is due to be released in theaters in Japan on August 25, 2012, and with an eye towards a possible North American release. You can see a trailer and see photos from the film at Warner Brother's Rurouni Kenshin movie website.

I wanted to know more about this new/familiar addition to the Shonen Jump Alpha line-up, so I shot a few questions to the editorial team at Shonen Jump, and got replies from Editor-in-Chief Andy Nakatani. Here's what he had to say:

Q: Can you share a little info about this "new" Rurouni Kenshin series? Is it a continuation of the old series? a prequel? or something else?

Andy Nakatani: This will be something completely new. The series promotes the upcoming live action Rurouni Kenshin movie which will hit theaters in Japan on 8/25 (I believe), but the storyline will be different from the movie.

Q: As I understand it, this Rurouni Kenshin series will be featured monthly in Jump SQ magazine in Japan. So will new chapters be featured weekly in SJ Alpha, or monthly?

Andy Nakatani: It will appear monthly in Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, or to be more exact, a couple of weeks after each chapters appear in Japan. So, just like the other series, if it takes a break in Japan, it won't appear in the corresponding issue of Alpha.

Q: I'm assuming that the first chapter of Rurouni Kenshin will be featured in the May 21 issue of SJ Alpha -- is that correct?

Andy Nakatani: Yes, correct.

Q: Could you, or any of the other editors share a comment or two about why they selected this series to fill the slot in Shonen Jump Alpha?

Andy Nakatani: We want to put cool stuff in Alpha, and Rurouni Kenshin the first time around was such a great series!

Also, I wouldn't necessarily call it "filling a slot." Sure, Bakuman ended and that left Alpha with only five instead of six series, but at the same time, I wouldn't equate a monthly series (albeit with a slightly higher page count) to a weekly series. We want to keep making Shonen Jump Alpha better, and adding this new Rurouni Kenshin series is just one of the things we have in store...

Nakatani also went on to explain that VIZ will be launching a landing page for Rurouni Kenshin Reboot in a few days that will have even more details for readers.

Shonen Jump Alpha will be taking a break, so you won't see a new issue on Monday, May 14 -- but look forward to checking it out when it returns on May 21 and get your first look at this new Rurouni Kenshin series. Visit the Shonen Jump Alpha website for more updates, and visit VIZManga.com to read the latest issue today.

Haven't subscribed yet? You're missing out on lots of great manga straight from Japan, as well as exclusive interviews and videos featuring Shonen Jump Alpha manga creators. Sign up before June 22, and you'll also get an exclusive limited edition Yu-Gi-Oh! card too. Visit Shonen Jump Alpha's website for more details.

So now that we know what the latest addition to Shonen Jump Alpha will be, what do you think? Add your comments below!

Image credits: RUROUNI KENSHIN 1994, 2012 by Nobuhiro Watsuki/SHUEISHA Inc., Rurouni Kenshin Film Partners / Warner Brothers Japan


May 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm
(1) Tony Yao says:

I think it’s great promotion for the movie. I do applaud VIZ’s decision for putting the new RK manga onto SJ Alpha. Though I think it will be even better if they managed to do the upcoming “Chapter Zero” set to be published in the August 2012 issue of JUMP SQ.

Also, there should be an effort to bring the film here to America so Western fans (new and old) are rewarded for supporting the series. Though I think that won’t happen until next year.

May 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm
(2) luckee says:

I’ve been praying for there to be a limited release of the new live action film here in the US! If they can do it for FMA, then surely it shouldn’t be too hard for RK! (I hope, anyways haha)

May 15, 2012 at 7:03 pm
(3) Myki says:

I love Shonen Jump Alpha and Roroni Kenshin in all of its incarnations, but I’m frankly disappointed. I was hoping they would bring out something completely new. After all, Shonen Jump was where I saw Bleach the first time. And, like all of the series it carries, they were seen there before they went to anime. Now both Bleach and Naruto seem to be on their last arcs and Bakuman has reached its romantic conclusion. No offense to Toriko, which reminds me of old fashion Comics from the 60s, with its fan submitted absurdities; or One Piece which seems like a D&D gamers wet dream; but only the Nura Clan is hanging in there for me. I was hoping to see something Completely fresh to remind me that Shonen Jump can be counted on to come through over the long run. Instead, it seems to be the source for material that has to have a hundred chapter history and an anime to qualify.
Does SJA require a series be proven before they add it? That ruins the excitement. I wanted the same thrill, that I had with Bleach #1, Nura’s one shot beginning, and Bakuman, (Naruto, One Piece and Toriko were was already aired when I read their first issues) of seeing something that hasn’t proven itself in anime. That feeling of discovery was, frankly, my reason for subscribing to SJA. I’d given up, years ago, on piling up SJ issues and was sticking with my favorites (Including all 28 volumes of RK) But I was hoping to recapture the feeling of discovery that came with reading the the first issues before they went to volumes.

August 29, 2012 at 11:36 am
(4) awesome says:

i love it i was so depressed when kenshin died in the end just reading samurai x review pissed me off i will support this series in every way so that kenshin does no die in he end this is great news i will tell all my friends about this!!!!!!!!!!!!

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