Tori Matsuzaka Stars in Film of Akira Saso's Maestro Manga
posted on by Egan Loo
Actor Tori Matsuzaka (Gatchaman, .hack//The Movie , live-action Kyō, Koi o Hajimemasu, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger) will star in the live-action film adaptation of Akira Saso's popular manga Maestro next year. He will co-star for the first time with Toshiyuki Nishida (Tsuri Baka Nisshi films, live-action Space Battleship Yamato, A Letter to Momo). Matsuzaka will play Kōsaka, a brilliant concert master, while Nishida will play the mysterious conductor Tendō.
The story begins when a group of musicians looking for new work gather at a practice room. There, they find the mysterious conductor Tendō. Although these prospective members are put off at first by this man's unknown origins and background, his unorthodox leadership guides them past their individual emotional issues and setbacks and gradually restores their confidence.
Shōtarō Kobayashi is directing the film, and filming will begin in March. This will be the first project that requires Matsuzaka and Nishida to perform a musical instrument and conduct an orchestra, respectively. Matsuzaka acknowledged that this is the first time he touched a violin, and he felt both joy and fear over this fresh new challenge.
Saso launched the manga in Futabasha's Manga Action magazine in 2003, but later moved it to the Futabasha Web Magazine site. He finished the manga in 2007, and Futabasha published the third and final compiled book olume in 2008. Saso won an Excellence Prize at the 12th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards in 2008 for Maestro, and the same manga earned him a nomination in the 13th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize a year later.
Saso was directly and indirectly involved in two headline-making movies during that time: the manga adaptation of the Oscar-winning Departures (Okuribito) film, and the live-action adaptation of his Kodomo no Kodomo (Child of a Child) manga about a pregnant 11-year-old girl.
Source: Manichi Shimbun's Mantan Web