Casting News + Scoop! [April 3-May 2] “Chihayafuru” 3rd film coming up! + Nagano Mei celebrates her new movies + Chinen Yuri, Nakagawa Taishi & Komatsu Nana headline “Sakamichi no Apollon” Live Action!

Fans of Chihayafuru must rejoice as a third installment was announced! Perhaps with an impressive box office showing, there could even be a 4th movie? 

New cast includes Yuuki Mio who will play a romantic interest, M!lk’s Sano Hayato as a new member of the karuta team, and Kiyohara Kaya is a rival from a competing team perhaps? The consistent and often underrated Kaku Kento will star as a mentor. The new film is set for release in 2018.

The first two installments of the Chihayafuru LA represent one of the finest examples of how manga should be adapted to the silver screen. For me, the movies were successful because of many factors – (1) Director Koizumi Norihiro was able to condense the story and managed to include relevant scenes that provide smooth character development and story progression; (2) Acting from the leads, especially Mackenyu, Nomura Shuhei, and Matsuoka Mayu, was excellent; (3) The card game battles were both revealing and exciting, and (4) There are no side stories that would have complicated the movie and confuse the audience.

Chihayafuru Chart of Characters

The chart above provides information on how the characters are related. It appears Mackenyu’s role (Arata) is involved with new cast Yuuki Mio and it’s going to be romantic. 


So much excitement is generated by the live-action casting scoop for Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon).

Chinen Yuri plays the main character, a smart kid who transfers school and has to live with his uncle. He meets a notorious “bad boy”, Sentaro Kawabuchi (Nakagawa Taishi). He begins to open up to people, and even discover music. Komatsu Nana plays Mukae Ritsuko, a classmate of Kaoru and Sentaro and an old friend of the latter.

Nakagawa Taishi and Komatsu Nana in Sakamichi no Apollon

Here’s a comprehensive description of the manga:

Introverted classical pianist and top student Kaoru Nishimi has just arrived in Kyushu for his first year of high school. Having constantly moved from place to place since his childhood, he abandons all hope of fitting in, preparing himself for another lonely, meaningless year. That is until he encounters the notorious delinquent Sentarou Kawabuchi. Sentarou’s immeasurable love for jazz music inspires Kaoru to learn more about the genre, and as a result, he slowly starts to break out of his shell, making his very first friend. Kaoru begins playing the piano at after-school jazz sessions, located in the basement of fellow student Ritsuko Mukae’s family-owned record shop. As he discovers the immense joy of using his musical talents to bring enjoyment to himself and others, Kaoru’s summer might just crescendo into one that he will remember forever. Sakamichi no Apollon is a heartwarming story of friendship, music, and love that follows three unique individuals brought together by their mutual appreciation for jazz. [ source ]

Chinen Yuri in Sakamichi no Apollon

What got me interested in the LA is a review from Inverseman for the anime version, regarding the rivalry and friendship of the two male characters:

… but part of the strengths of Sakamichi no Apollon is the interaction between Kaoru and Sentaro. As the two get caught up in love triangles and misunderstandings, you see a raw and real friendship. Not every time is pleasant between them, they do have rough patches. Neither of them has it all figured out, and problems aren’t always over in one shot, but it all hashes out with their mutual support. And the key to this is through the natural elements of good romance. [ read more ]

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Above video is the trailer of the anime version.  

Mixing friendship, romance and music is nothing new, and if you’re into anime then you are familiar with such themes. 


With five movies in 2017, Nagano Mei is definitely on the roll!

Aside from a lead role in Daytime Shooting Star with Miura Shohei and Shirahama Aran, Nagano is also part of the cast for Parks, the film celebrating the 100th anniversary of Inokashira Park in Tokyo, Japan.

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Jun (Hashimoto Ai) is a university student. She meets high school student Haru (Nagano Mei). To Jun, Haru looks just like Sachiko who was the girlfriend of her now deceased father. Jun and Haru meet Tokio (Sometani Shota). Tokio is the grandson of Sachiko and they learn that Sachiko is now deceased. They find an open-reel tape from Sachiko’s articles. [ source ]

Nagano’s other movies for 2017 are Peach Girl, Mix, and Teichii no Kuni.

Daytime Shooting Star remains her biggest movie to date:

Yosano Suzume’s parents have decided to move to Bangladesh when her father’s job gets transferred there. However, they’re not taking her with them. So Suzume moves to Tokyo to live with her uncle, Yukichi. On her way to moving into her uncle’s house, she runs into a strange man who helps her since she is initially lost. When she starts school, it turns out that he is none other than her homeroom teacher, Shishio Satsuki. Between him and making new friends, Suzume’s first year of high school in Tokyo will be full of fun and adventure.

Suzume moves from the countryside to Tokyo to live with her uncle while she goes to high school. When she was in middle school, she saw a shooting star during the daytime and till “today” is still convinced that she can see one again. At school, the high schooler hangs out on the rooftop frequently. She often skips class, and has relatively poor grades. While she sits next to Mamura in class, she falls in love with Shishio after running into him on the streets and who appears to be her homeroom teacher. Since he knows her uncle, the two see each other fairly often. Suzume confesses her feelings at some point but is rejected yet finds herself unable to get over him and thus confesses once more. This time Shishio accepts and they date in secret. This only lasts a short time since Shishio thinks their love for one another is not really love. Feeling upset and rejected, Suzume becomes slightly depressed. Mamura tries to make her feel better by taking her to an aquarium she went to with Shishio. At first she rejects going but she slowly begins to realize why Mamura is taking her. The girl begins to see how much Mamura cares for her, and realizes she is in love with him. She runs to his house and confesses to him, which he accepts.

More reveals and photos are available from the official Instagram of the movie.

 

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