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Arashi's Kazunari Ninomiya, Kou Shibasaki Star in Ōoku Film

posted on 2009-12-23 18:50 EST

Arashi J-pop group member Kazunari Ninomiya and singer/actress Kou Shibasaki will star in the live-action film adaptation of Fumi Yoshinaga's award-nominated Ōoku: The Inner Chamber manga. ASMIK Ace will release the film in Japan on October 1, 2010.

The historical science fiction story takes place in an alternate history version of medieval Japan, in which a bizarre disease has dwindled the male population. This has led to a matriarchal society where women outnumber men by 4 to 1. The shogun and de facto ruler of Japan keeps her own harem of men, or Ōoku. The film will adapt the story in the first volume of the manga.

Ninomiya (Tekkonkinkreet, Letters from Iwo Jima) will play Hiroyuki Mizuno, the young man rising through the ranks of the Shogunate, while Shibasaki (Battle Royale, Dororo, Sekai no Chūshin de, Ai wo Sakebu) will play Shogun Yoshimune herself. Fuminori Kaneko, a director best known for the live-action Kisarazu Cat's Eye and Ikebukuro West Gate Park television series, is overseeing the Ōoku film project. Natsuko Takahashi scripted the animated television version of another Yoshinaga work, Antique Bakery, before tackling this project.

The manga has been running in Hakusensha's Melody magazine since 2005, and Viz Media began releasing the manga in North America in August. Ōoku was nominated for Japan's prestigious Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize for the third year in a row this year, and it finally won the Grand Prize in April. The manga was also nominated for the first Manga Taisho Awards last year.

Source: Comic Natalie


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