Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
NTV's Zip! television program aired the first exclusive footage from the live-action film based on Yana Toboso's Black Butler manga on Tuesday morning. Zip! revealed that the film will open on January 18, 2014.
While the original manga is set in 19th century England, this new film is set more than 130 years later in 2020, in an Asian city where Western and Asian cultures freely intermingle. Since only males can take the reins of the Phantomhive family, a young woman named Shiori dons male clothes and the name Kiyoharu to lead the massive Phantom Corporation.
The film stars Hiro Mizushima (Zettai Kareshi - Kanzen Muketsu no Koibito Robot) as Sebastian, a demonic "super butler" with impeccable knowledge, manners, grace, cooking skills, martial arts, looks, and more.
Ayame Gōriki plays Sebastian's new master Shiori. Like the master Ciel in the original manga, Shiori has a seal in her right eye as a symbol of her contract with Sebastian. Sebastian watches over and protects Shiori, but at a price — he consumes her soul.
Rounding out the cast are Mizuki Yamamoto as the maid Lin, Yuka as Shiori's aunt Hanae, and fashion model Louis Kurihara as the undertaker Jay. This will be the first time since Beck three years ago that Mizushima is starring in a film. Mizushima previously played another eminently capable butler inspired by a manga series, Mei-chan no Shitsuji.
The manga debuted in Square Enix's Monthly G Fantasy magazine in 2006, and its 16 volumes thus far have 15 million copies in print, including those published in 42 countries and territories. The manga already inspired a television anime series in 2008, a television anime sequel in 2010, and a stage play in 2009. (Junichi Suwabe played the similar Undertaker role in the anime.)
The manga received the top prize in the shōnen manga category of France's Japan Expo Awards in 2010 and the Best International Manga Award in Germany's Animagic in 2011. Yen Press will release the 14th volume in the series in North America this month.
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