Former ImaginAsian Execs Put Gundam, TokiKake, Boys on the Run on VOD
posted on by Egan Loo
By Egan Loo
Michael Hong and David Chu, the former CEO and Senior Vice President at the cable channel ImaginAsian TV, will launch a new video-on-demand (VOD) brand on December 1 with 180 Asian entertainment titles such as Gundam films, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (both animated and live-action), and the manga-based Boys on the Run.
Hong and Chu co-founded the media distributor Asian Media Rights after leaving ImaginAsian. (ImaginAsian's TV channel has since relaunched as Mnet Television.) Under its Asian Crush brand, Asian Media Rights will be providing video-on-demand content to 50 million American households on television service providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, and Bresnan. Among the first titles that Asian Crush will show is Mamoru Hosoda's acclaimed 2006 anime film version of Yasutaka Tsutsui's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (TokiKake) novel. Bandai Entertainment is providing Asian Crush with this film along with several films from the long-running Gundam robot anime franchise.
At this week's American Film Market in Southern California, Asian Media Rights licensed the rights to 11 new titles. One of the new titles is Time Traveler: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Masaaki Taniguchi's 2010 live-action film re-imagining of the same Tsutsui novel that inspired Hosoda's anime. Riisa Naka, the actress who made her film debut as the lead voice in Hosoda's anime version, starred as a different character in the new live-action film. She played 18-year-old Akari Yoshiyama, the only daughter of the novel's heroine Kazuko. After a car accident puts Kazuko in a coma, Akari leaps back to the year 1974 to find Kazuko's first love.
Asian Media Rights also licensed Daisuke Miura's 2010 live-action film adaptation of Kengo Hanazawa's raunchy comedy manga Boys on the Run. Ginnan Boyz singer Kazunobu Mineta stars as Toshiyuki Tanishi, a 29-year-old virgin stuck in a dead-end job filling vending machines with prizes. Despite his many embarrassing social and sexual faux pas, Tanishi has a shot at romance with a co-worker named Chiharu until a slick rival named Aoyama wins her heart. The only way for Tanishi to redeem himself is take up boxing and fight Aoyama for Chiharu's affections.
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