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'Orange' Shōjo Film Casts Kenshin's Tao Tsuchiya, Death Note's Kento Yamazaki

posted on by Egan Loo
Misao actress, live-action Death Note show's L actor in December time-travel romance

Actress Tao Tsuchiya is playing the heroine Naho Takamiya in this December's live-action film of Ichigo Takano's popular manga series Orange. In addition, Kento Yamazaki — Tsuchiya's co-star in the ongoing NHK live-action television series Mare — is reuniting with her as Kakeru Naruse, a transfer student with a deep emotional wound due to a tragedy with his mother.   

Seven Seas Entertainment will publish the manga in North America, and it describes the story:

Everyone has regrets in life. So who wouldn't take the chance to change the past if given the opportunity? When sixteen-year-old Takamiya Naho receives a mysterious letter, claiming to be from her twenty-seven-year-old self, her life is suddenly thrown into flux. The letter tells her that a new transfer student by the name of Naruse Kakeru will be joining her class, and to keep her eye on him. But why? Naho must decide what to make of the letter and its cryptic warning, and what it means not only for her future, but for Kakeru's as well.

Tsuchiya played Misao Makimachi in the live-action Rurouni Kenshin films, Maki/Satsuki Nagase in the live-action Arcana film, and Marie Nakazawa in the upcoming live-action Library Wars (Toshokan Sensō) television special sequel and film sequel. Tsuchiya said that she read the original Orange manga when she herself was in high school, and it made her feel "such emotions as deep sadness, the importance of living, and the sparkling emotions of high school life." She added that when she received the offer to star in the film, she intuitively thought, "Wouldn't Kento make a good Kakeru?" She was delighted that Yamazaki did eventually earn the role of Kakeru.

Yamazaki starred as Koichi in the live-action film of the suspense novel Another, Nishiki in the live-action Kyō, Koi wo Hajimemasu film, Rita Terasaka in the live-action Heroine Shikkaku film, and Shūsei in the live-action L DK film. He is now playing L in the ongoing live-action Death Note television series. He said that he also read the Orange manga with the fantasy of receiving a letter from your future self. It became a favorite story of his due to the strong bonds between Naho, Kakeru, and other friends, even during the parts that were a little sad and painful.

Mitsujirō Hashimoto (Sprout) is directing the film after his Suzuki Sensei series received The Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association's top live-action series award, the Galaxy Awards, and other honors. Orange is his first feature film in the director's chair.

The other cast members include:

Ryō Ryūsei (Zyūden Sentai Kyoryuger) as Haruto Suwa, the soccer player who has feelings for Naho even as he supports her relationship with Kakeru

Hirona Yamazaki (Takashi Miike's live-action As the Gods Will) as Takako Chino, the cool, big-sister-type classmate

Dōri Sakurada (The Prince of Tennis musicals' Ryōma) as Saku Hagita, the strange, geeky classmate

Kurumi Shimizu (The Kirishima Thing) as Azusa Murasaka, the moodmaker of the group

Arisa Kaneko (Densha Otoko film, Helter Skelter) wrote the scripts, and Yoshihide Otomo (Amachan, live-action Boku wa Imōto ni Koi o Suru) composed the music. Filming will run from late August to early October in expansive shooting locations at Nagano Prefecture's Matsumoto City — the real-life setting of the original manga.

The film will be completed by mid-November, and it will open throughout Japan on December 12.

Takano (Yume Miru Taiyō) began the shōjo manga in Shueisha's Bessatsu Margaret magazine in 2012, but moved it to Futabasha's seinen magazine Monthly Action in 2013. Futabasha published the fourth compiled volume of the manga on February 20. The series has more than 1.6 million copies in print. The manga series ranked at #5 in on Honya Club's Top 15 Recommended Manga by Bookstores list for 2015.

Crunchyroll publishes the manga in English digitally. According to Seven Seas, each of its two English-language omnibus volumes will have the same number of pages as 2.5 Japanese volumes. The manga has yet to end in Japan, so this would be the first confirmation of how long the series will eventually be.

Sources: Eiga.com, Oricon

Update: Hirona Yamazaki's spelling corrected. Thanks, #842519

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