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Kenichi Matsuyama Stars in Shonen Jump Comedy Dokonjo Gaeru's Live-Action Sequel

posted on by Egan Loo
July show is set 16 years after boy becomes friends with squished frog

Ken'ichi Matsuyama (Death Note, Gantz, NANA, Detroit Metal City, Usagi Drop, Kamui Gaiden) is starring the first live-action television series based on Yasumi Yoshizawa's popular gag comedy manga Dokonjo Gaeru. The original manga follows a boy named Hiroshi who accidentally squishes a frog. However, the "Flat Surface Frog" Pyonkichi turns into an imprint on Hiroshi's shirt, and the two become constant companions.

The live-action series is a brand-new story set 16 years after that fateful meeting, and Hiroshi has now turned 30. It will start running on Saturdays this July on NTV and its affiliates. It will be the first live-action commercial television series starring Matsuyama since NTV's 2009 Zeni Geba series about six years ago.

The Dokonjo Gaeru manga series launched in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1970. The gag manga follows the antics of Hiroshi, Pyonkichi, the heroine Kyōko, the delinquent gang member "Gorillaimo," the sushi shop worker "Ume-san," and others. It inspired two television anime in 1972 and 1981. More recently, an adult Hiroshi and Pyonkichi have appeared in television commercials for Taiho Pharmaceutical's Solmac medicine for the digestive system.

The television anime ranked #100 in TV Asahi's nationwide poll of the top 100 anime in 2009. It also ranked #56 in TV Asahi's 2006 poll of 100 Japanese celebrities. Director Masaaki Yuasa (Kaiba, Mind Game, Ping Pong) personally recommended two episodes from the anime to run in a screening of his Kick-Heart short. The story inspired a 2013 American hybrid live-action/animated pilot under the English title Gutsy Frog with Frankie Jonas (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea) and Mischa Barton (The O.C.).

The new television series will run at 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Yoshikazu Okada (Zeni Geba, Antique Bakery, Ohisama, Nakuna, Hara-chan) is writing the scripts.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web

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