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Viz Pictures Adds Maiko Haaaan!!! Live-Action Film

posted on by Egan Loo
Distributor also ties manga-based Ping Pong film to charity event

Viz Pictures, the sister company of Viz Media, will release screenwriter Kankurō Kudō's Maiko Haaaan!!! live-action comedy film in the United States. The distributor plans to open the film in theaters in New York, San Francisco, and three other cities in March, and then bring the film to other locations. The film's official Japanese website hosts two teaser trailers and two regular trailers.

The film centers on a Japanese salaryman (male corporate worker) named Kumihiko Onizuka (Sadao Abe) who dumps his girlfriend because he believes he can only fall in love with a maiko (apprentice geisha). He decides to pursue his dream of meeting a real maiko …to play rock-paper-scissors. His rival in his quixotic pursuit is a pro baseball player (Shinichi Tsutsumi) who makes 800 million yen (about US$8 million) a year, while his girlfriend (Kou Shibasaki) tries to win him back by quiting her office-lady job and becoming a maiko herself.

Kudo is best known for his award-winning writing on the Go live-action film and the Ikebukuro West Gate Park television series. He also voiced Sawada in the Tekkonkinkreet anime film and Ryunosuke in the live-action film adaptation of Socrates in Love.

Viz Pictures also announced Monday that it will be co-sponsoring JT's Ping Pong Smash 4, a celebrity charity table tennis event hosted by defensive end Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins football team. Viz Pictures released PING PONG, the live-action film based on a manga by Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet) and directed by Fumihiko Sori (Vexille) on DVD on September 4. The charity event supports South Florida's children in need and will be held at the Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood, Florida on December 17.

Thank you to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.

Source: Variety

Image © 2007 Maiko Haaaan!!! Production Committee

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