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Live-Action Chihayafuru Films Slated for March 19, April 29

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda

The official website for the live-action films of Yuki Suetsugu's Chihayafuru manga revealed the opening dates of both films on Tuesday. The first film, Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku (Chihayafuru: Upper Phrase), will open on March 19, and the second film, Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku (Chihayafuru: Lower Phrase), will open on April 29.

Starting on December 12, participating theaters will begin selling advance tickets. Those who purchase the tickets will receive a clear file (pictured above) featuring the films' visual on one side, and art drawn by Suetsugu on the other side.

TOHO previously streamed a teaser video for the films.

The film stars (from left to right in below photo):

  • Yūki Morinaga (Kanojo wa Uso o Ai Shisugiteru) as Tsutomu Komano, a member of the Mizusawa High School Competitive Karuta Club
  • Yūma Yamato (Silver Spoon, Crows Explode) as Yūsei Nishida, a member of the Mizusawa High School Competitive Karuta Club
  • Shūhei Nomura (Taifū no Noruda, live-action Daily Lives of High School Boys, Hibi Rock: Puke Afro and the Pop Star) as Chihaya's childhood friend Taichi Mashima
  • Suzu Hirose (Crows Explode, Umimachi Diary, Mamoru Hosoda's The Boy and The Beast) as Chihaya Ayase
  • Mackenyu (Kamen Rider Drive: Surprise Future) as Arata Wataya, the childhood friend who leads Chihaya and Taichi into the world of karuta
  • Mone Kamishiraishi as Kanade Ōe, a member of the Mizusawa High School Competitive Karuta Club

Norihiro Koizumi (Midnight Sun, Kanojo wa Uso o Ai Shisugiteru, pictured far right) is directing the films.

The rest of the cast includes:

  • Jun Kunimura (Black Rain, Kill Bill, live-action Attack on Titan's Kubal, The Wind Rises' Hattori) as Chiba's teacher and mentor Harada (top row, far left)
  • Mayu Matsuoka as the "karuta queen" Shinobu Wakamiya (bottom row, far left)
  • Miyuki Matsuda (Hot Road, ZOO) as the teacher Taeko Miyauchi (bottom row, second from left) at Chihaya's Mizusawa High School
  • Hiroya Shimizu (Slayer's Chronicle) as Akihito Sudō (bottom row, second from right), a member of the Hokuo Academy Competitive Karuta Club
  • Ryōtarō Sakaguchi as Hiro Kinashi (bottom row, far right), a member of the Hokuo Academy Competitive Karuta Club

The cast filmed scenes against the backdrop of the Rōmon gates of Shiga Prefecture's Ōmi Shrine — the real-life "karuta holy land" or "karuta shrine." Not coincidentally, the film began shooting during the real-life All Japan High School Karuta Tournament – the same championship seen in the manga. In particular, the film recreates the scene from the manga's fourth volume when the club members pray at the shrine just before the tournament.

Suetsugu's manga follows a schoolgirl named Chihaya who competes in the Japanese card game of karuta. Suetsugu launched the manga in Kodansha's Be-Love magazine in December 2007, and Kodansha has published over 13 million copies of the manga's 28 volumes. Kodansha also released a bilingual edition of the first two volumes in Japan in 2011-2012.

The manga won the Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) award in 2009, and also won the Best Shōjo Manga award at Kodansha's 35th Annual Manga Awards in 2011.

The series inspired the first 25-episode television anime season from October 2011 to March 2012, and the second 25-episode season aired in Japan from January-June 2013. Additionally, the 22nd volume of the manga bundled an original anime DVD when it shipped in September 2013. Crunchyroll streamed both television anime series outside Japan as they aired.

Source: Comic Natalie


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