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Report: Ashita no Joe Boxing Manga Goes Live-Action

posted on by Egan Loo
Tomohisa Yamashita of idol group News said to star in film remake of classic

The Daily Cyzo web magazine reports that Asao Takamori and Tetsuya Chiba's classic boxing manga Ashita no Joe will be adapted into a live-action film. According to Daily Cyzo's source who is connected to the film plans, Tomohisa Yamashita (Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Kurosagi) of the idol group News will star as an orphan named Joe Yabuki who rises from the Tokyo slums under the tutelage of a former boxer. Filming will reportedly run from the end of March to May.

Takamori and Chiba's original 1968-1973 manga is among the most critically acclaimed stories in Japanese popular culture, and Osamu Dezaki's television series added to the story's iconic status. It would later influence two generations of sports and shōnen manga, including Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit). A crucial twist in the Ashita no Joe television anime's plot made headlines in Japan as people marked the occasion with public ceremonies.

Tai Seng licensed the first Ashita no Joe anime film for North America in 2008. A relatively new anime distributor named AnimeWho also released the Joe vs. Joe video anime series that same year. There was an earlier live-action film directed by the late Yasuharu Hasebe.

Yamashita is currently starring in the live-action television drama series Code Blue Doctor Heli Kinkyūkyūmei, which premiered with a 18.8% rating in Tokyo's Kantō region and has averaged a 16.9% since. He also starred in the live-action television and film adaptations of the Kurosagi manga and the live-action television version of Ikebukuro West Gate Park. The Kurosagi film earned 1.7 billion yen (about US$19 million).

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