Live-Action Chibi Maruko-chan Special's 4 Promos Streamed

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Videos introduce story, supporting cast for 1st remake in 5.5 years

The official website for the new live-action adaptation of Momoko Sakura's Chibi Maruko-chan manga began streaming four promotional videos on Friday. The videos include story highlights, showcase Sō Takei (Pokémon Smash, Nippon Sunday) as a mailman, and introduce Maruko-chan's classmates.

Naoko Iijima (Last Cinderella, Nasake no Onna) will play Maruko's mother, Kazuya Kojima (Hana no Zubora-Meshi) will play Maruko's father Hiroshi, Fuyuki Moto will reprise his role as Maruko's grandfather Tomozō, Machiko Washio (Urusei Yatsura's Sakura) will play Maruko's grandmother, Aju Makita (Going My Home) will play Maruko's older sister, and Shinsuke Kasai will reprise his role as Togawa-sensei.

The new adaptation, titled Special Drama Chibi Maruko-chan, will be the first live-action adaptation of Sakura's manga and anime in five and a half years. For the upcoming new adaptation, eight-year-old Maki Shinta — an actual third grader like Maruko — will play the lead role. The new version will be an omnibus of four stories: "Maruko, Congratulate Your Grandfather," "Maruko, Moving to New Seats," "Maruko, Let's Eat Natto," and "Maruko and Tama-chan, Find a Balloon Letter." The special will air in Japan on October 1 at 7:00 p.m.

The first live-action television adaptation aired in April 2006 with Ei Morisako in the title role. It earned a 22.8% rating and spawned a sequel that earned a 17.7% rating that October. The following year, Ayaka Itou became the second live-action actress to assume the role in a full-fledged television series.

Sakura serialized the original manga in Shueisha's Ribon shōjo manga magazine from 1986 to 1996. The manga inspired the Chibi Maruko-chan television anime that is consistently the #2 rated anime series after Sazae-san. The first anime series ran from 1990 to 1992, and the ongoing second series premiered in 1995.

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