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Manga-Based Afro Tanaka Comedy Film's TV Ad Streamed

posted on by Egan Loo
Masaharu Noritsuke's story about wayward Afro-haired man (Liar Game/HanaDan's Shota Matsuda)

The Japanese website Cinema Today began streaming a 22-second television commercial for the live-action film adaptation of Masaharu Noritsuke's Afro Tanaka comedy manga on Saturday. Shota Matsuda (Liar Game, Hana Yori Dango [2005]) stars as an odd, Afro-haired young man named Hiroshi Tanaka who faces his greatest challenge at the age of 24: his first potential girlfriend (live-action Sazae-san special and Kaitō Royale's Nozomi Sasaki). The girlfriend is a new character that does not appear in Noritsuke's original manga. Daigo Matsui is directing the film.

Launched in Shogakukan's Weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine in 2002, the manga has gone several title changes as it follows Tanaka through every stage of his life: Kōkō Afro Tanaka (High School Afro Tanaka), Chūtai Afro Tanaka (Dropout Afro Tanaka), Jōkyō Afro Tanaka (Tokyo-Bound Afro Tanaka), and Sasurai Afro Tanaka (Wandering Afro Tanaka). The manga has sold 3.6 million copies so far, and it already inspired an animated music video from the three-man rock band Tsuru (GeGeGe no Kitarō, Cross Game, Soul Eater).

The film, which loosely adapts the Jōkyō Afro Tanaka (Tokyo-Bound Afro Tanaka) story, will open in Japan on next Saturday. Atsushi Tsusumishita of the comedy duo Impulse and Kei Tanaka also co-star in the film. The commercial features the theme song "Yoru o Koete" that Tsuru performed.

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