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Live-Action Chihayafuru Films' 1st Visual Mimics Manga's 2nd Volume Cover

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
2 films adapting Yuki Suetsugu's karuta manga open in March, April

The staff of the two live-action films based on Yuki Suetsugu's Chihayafuru manga revealed the films' first visual on Saturday. The visual emulates the second volume cover of Suetsugu's manga.

(Click on images to see their full sizes.)

The film stars (from left to right in below photo):

  • Yūki Morinaga (Kanojo wa Uso o Ai Shisugiteru) as Tsutomu Komano, a member of the Mizusawa High School Competitive Karuta Club
  • Yūma Yamato (Silver Spoon, Crows Explode) as Yūsei Nishida, a member of the Mizusawa High School Competitive Karuta Club
  • Shūhei Nomura (Taifū no Noruda, live-action Daily Lives of High School Boys, Hibi Rock: Puke Afro and the Pop Star) as Chihaya's childhood friend Taichi Mashima
  • Suzu Hirose (Crows Explode, Umimachi Diary, Mamoru Hosoda's The Boy and The Beast) as Chihaya Ayase
  • Mackenyu (Kamen Rider Drive: Surprise Future) as Arata Wataya, the childhood friend who leads Chihaya and Taichi into the world of karuta
  • Mone Kamishiraishi as Kanade Ōe, a member of the Mizusawa High School Competitive Karuta Club

Norihiro Koizumi (Midnight Sun, Kanojo wa Uso o Ai Shisugiteru, pictured far right) is directing the films.

The cast filmed scenes against the backdrop of the Rōmon gates of Shiga Prefecture's Ōmi Shrine — the real-life "karuta holy land" or "karuta shrine." Not coincidentally, the film began shooting during the real-life All Japan High School Karuta Tournament – the same championship seen in the manga. In particular, the film recreates the scene from the manga's fourth volume when the club members pray at the shrine just before the tournament.

The first film, Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku (Chihayafuru: Upper Phrase), will open in March 2016, and the second film, Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku (Chihayafuru: Lower Phrase), will open in April 2016. The film titles refer to the two halves of each poem that are key to the Japanese card game of karuta.

The rest of the cast includes:

  • Jun Kunimura (Black Rain, Kill Bill, live-action Attack on Titan's Kubal, The Wind Rises' Hattori) as Chiba's teacher and mentor Harada (top row, far left)
  • Mayu Matsuoka as the "karuta queen" Shinobu Wakamiya (bottom row, far left)
  • Miyuki Matsuda (Hot Road, ZOO) as the teacher Taeko Miyauchi (bottom row, second from left) at Chihaya's Mizusawa High School
  • Hiroya Shimizu (Slayer's Chronicle) as Akihito Sudō (bottom row, second from right), a member of the Hokuo Academy Competitive Karuta Club
  • Ryōtarō Sakaguchi as Hiro Kinashi (bottom row, far right), a member of the Hokuo Academy Competitive Karuta Club

Suetsugu's manga follows a schoolgirl named Chihaya who competes in the Japanese card game of karuta. Suetsugu launched the manga in Kodansha's Be-Love magazine in December 2007, and Kodansha has published over 12 million copies of the manga's 28 volumes. Kodansha also released a bilingual edition of the first two volumes in Japan in 2011-2012.

The manga won the Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) award in 2009, and also won the Best Shōjo Manga award at Kodansha's 35th Annual Manga Awards in 2011.

The series inspired the first 25-episode television anime season from October 2011 to March 2012, and the second 25-episode season aired in Japan from January-June 2013. Additionally, the 22nd volume of the manga bundled an original anime DVD when it shipped in September 2013. Crunchyroll streamed both television anime series outside Japan as they aired.

Source: Comic Natalie

Update: Typo fixed. Thanks, traveling


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