With a new manga series, anime, and a summer live-action movie, the classic SHONEN JUMP series, Rurouni Kenshin, is making a big-time comeback with multimedia projects that have all of us salivating! As the original creator, Nobuhiro Watsuki shares his thoughts on the Kenshin revival and how it inspired him to draw the new Shonen Jump Alpha series, Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration.
Q: How did Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration come about?
Nobuhiro Watsuki (NW): With the production of a new anime to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the original anime series and the release of a live-action movie, I thought I’d contribute to that excitement by creating a new manga. I sat in on a production meeting for the live-action movie and had some ideas and stories I came up with for the film, but some of them weren’t used.
Those ideas that emerged from the planning of the movie were intended to give readers a glimpse into Himura Kenshin’s origin. It made me want to repurpose the ideas by drawing the new manga Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration in a way that will reintroduce it to readers.
The other thing was, while it was running in Weekly Shonen Jump, I was in a “charge-ahead” mentality. I didn’t get an overall perspective on my work. Twelve years after the fact, I finally took a bird’s-eye view of it. That’s when I thought about things like “this part could be interpreted like this” or “why did Kenshin feel this way?” I noticed things I never would have during the serialization, and it made me want to include those ideas.
About Nobuhiro Watsuki
Nobuhiro Watsuki earned international accolades for his first major manga series, Rurouni Kenshin. Serialized in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump from 1994 to 1999, Rurouni Kenshin inspired an animated TV show and the upcoming live-action movie. Watsuki’s next hits, Buso Renkin and Gun Blaze West, were also serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump. His most recent series, Embalming and Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration are currently seriazlized in Jump SQ.
Interview originally appeared in Jump SQ #6 2012
Translation by Joe Yamazaki