Haruka Ayase Stars in 1st Live-Action Himitsu no Akko-chan Film
26-year-old actress Haruka Ayase (Socrates in Love, Ichi) is starring in the live-action film adaptation of Himitsu no Akko-chan, the shōjo comedy classic by the late creator Fujio Akatsuka. Director Yasuhiro Kawamura (Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujo, Nodame Cantabile: The Final Score Part II) will begin shooting the project in late October for release next September. This film is not only the first live-action film of Himitsu no Akko-chan, but also the first live-action film adaptation of any manga by Akatsuka.
In the manga, the title fifth-grader Akko-chan receives a magical compact from the mirror spirit. With the compact, Akko-chan can cast spells and transform herself into anything or anyone she wishes, and she uses the power to help others.
In the original romantic fantasy story for the film, Akko-chan transforms into a 22-year-old woman who meets her fateful love. 22-year-old Masaki Okada (Otomen, Mahō Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto, Space Bros./Uchū Kyōdai) will play the love interest, an "elite salaryman." Over the course of the film, Ayase will transform into a figure skater, an airline cabin attendant, an office lady, a female police officer, a motorcycle racer, and more.
Akatsuka launched the manga in Ribon magazine in 1962, and the manga already inspired three anime series in 1969, 1988, and 1998. (Next year marks the manga's 50th anniversary.) It also inspired two anime films and a 1987 live-action television drama version. In addition to Akko-chan, Akatsuka created Tensai Bakabon, Osomatsu-kun, Hennako-chan, and Mooretsu Atarou — all of which were eventually animated.
Ayase led the live-action television version of the bittersweet romance novel Socrates in Love and Ichi, Fumihiko Sori's live-action re-imagining of the famous blind swordmaster character Zatoichi. Her other projects include the popular live-action television versions of the historical medical manga Jin and the romance manga Hotaru no Hikari, as well as the title role in the Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror anime film.
Source: Sports Hochi
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