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The Rounin are the elite warriors of the land of Lumeria. Led by Cadmus (Diether Ocampo, fourth from left), they protect the land against the threats of Helion, the City of Death. The Rounin—composed of Leal (Nikki Gil), Aura (Angelica Panganiban), Juris (Luis Manzano), Creon (Rafael Rosell), and Venom (Jhong Hilario)—must adhere to five tenets, one of which is that they cannot fall in love with each other. Photo: Courtesy of ABS-CBN

 

After one year and a half, the tele-epiko Rounin will finally premiere tonight, April 16.

 

This ABS-CBN production will run for 16 weeks and is considered to be the country's first high-definition TV series.

 

The Rounin are the elite warriors of the land of Lumeria. They are tasked to protect the city and its inhabitants against the threats of Helion, the City of Death. Each Rounin specializes in a martial arts discipline and is able to control various elements such as fire, wind, earth, water, and lightning.

 

The show centers around the quest of a young Rounin warrior, Mythos (Rayver Cruz), as he tries to piece together his past to unlock his true identity.

 

Cast members were given three months of training in various martial arts such as capoeira, muay thai, judo, kali (arnis at knife-fighting) and wushu. "Kung ano ang pinag-aralan nila na martial arts, kelangan alam ko kasi ako ang master dito," narrates Diether Ocampo about his role as Cadmus, the master Rounin.

 

The five Rounin are Leal (Nikki Gil), Aura (Angelica Panganiban), Juris (Luis Manzano), Creon (Rafael Rosell), and Venom (Jhong Hilario). They are joined by the Rounin-in-training: Raysian (Melissa Ricks), Mythos (Rayver), Selene (Shaina Magdayao), and Thalon (Joross Gamboa).

 

The lives of the Rounin-and their forbidden passion and love-are at the center of this highly ambitious project from the Kapamilya network.

 

Directed by Erik Matti, along with co-directors Jerome Pobocan and Richard Somes, Rounin is the country's first high-definition series. It was shot with state-of-the-art HDP2 cameras, giving the production a movie-quality look that is apparent even to the casual viewer.

 

When PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked why it took so long for ABS-CBN to release this show, executive producer Joan del Rosario explained: "Ayaw naman namin ilabas ng hindi pinaghandaan. Alam naman namin from the start na matagal ang pre-prod nito, matagal ang taping, lalo na ang post prod. 'Yon iyong binibigyan namin ng time.

 

"As early as July, gumagawa na ang Larger Than Life ng CGI [computer generated images]. So nakikita niyo naman sa trailer na maraming mga effects na 'yong isang shot lang, gagawin nila ng isang buwan. Kailangan paghandaan."

 

The Kapamilya network built three distinct kingdoms—Lumeria, Vesta, and Helion—from the ground up in an abandoned cement factory in Binangonan, Rizal. The fierce and fearless men and women of Rounin live in a unique universe-a land of two suns, three continents, and one world vast enough to contain its people's passion, bravery and glory.

 

With all of these preparations, viewers can look forward to high-tech animation and amazing visual effects sequences along with a gripping storyline that transcends our universe.

 

 

Rounin, which is produced by ABS-CBN, Reality Pictures and Larger than Life, premieres on April 16, after Maria Flordeluna.

 

Click MORE PICTURES to get a sneak peek of this grand tele-epiko.