The announcement of the English dub cast for the Rurouni Kenshin reboot back in October 2023 had sparked controversy due to the tarnished reputation of the series’ mangaka Nobuhiro Watsuki.
The author had faced legal action in the past due to charges related to the possession of child pornography.
In light of this, several voice actors who were involved in the new Rurouni Kenshin English dub, came forward to address the elephant in the room.
Howard Wang, who portrays Kenshin Himura in the English dub, took to social media to acknowledge Watsuki’s crimes and made it clear that he does not condone or support the author’s actions. In an effort to contribute positively, Wang declared that a portion of his earnings from the anime have been donated to charity.
Similarly, Darius, who will voice the character Sanosuke from the anime, also emphasized that he doesn’t support the author’s actions.
He revealed that many members of the cast, such as such as Risa Mei, Yong Yea, and Billy Butts, including himself, have chosen to donate to the Child Rescue Coalition, an organization dedicated to protecting children from sexual exploitation.
Even though their action garnered decent number of likes, a section of fans, who were already against the new Rurouni Kenshin anime and its subsequent English dub, did not take this new development well either. They were of the opinion that despite the amount they donate, they are still enabling ‘a real life predator to profit.’
New Rurouni Kenshin anime, animated by Liden Films, started airing on July 6, 2023. An English dub premiered in October 2023.
Aniplex’s official YouTube channel said that this work used latest technology to reconstruct the original story from the first episode to create an anime that can appeal to the current anime fans.
Studio Gallop, Studio Deen, and SPE Visual Works had previously adapted Rurouni Kenshin into an anime television series, which aired from January 1996 to September 1998.
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story is a manga written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump from 1994 to 1999, with its chapters collected into 28 tankobon volumes.
The manga has over 72 million copies in circulation as of 2019.