Live-Action Chibi Maruko-chan Cast Voices Guest Roles in Upcoming Anime Film
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
The staff of the upcoming Eiga Chibi Maruko-chan: Italia kara Kita Shōnen (working English title: Chibi Maruko Chan -A Boy from Italy-) film revealed on Wednesday that Ei Morisako, Katsumi Takahashi, and Michiko Shimizu will be cast in guest roles in the film. All three previously acted in the 2006 live-action Chibi Maruko-chan television special, with Morisako playing the titular Maruko-chan, and Takahashi and Shimizu playing Maruko-chan's father and mother, respectively.
In the upcoming anime film, Morisako (seen below, left) will portray the Italian boy Andrea in his early life. Takahashi (center) and Shimizu (right) will voice key characters that tie Andrea to Japan.
In addition, the film will feature a scene where Maruko's group find themselves at Osaka's Nanba Kagetsu Theater when it was still open in 1949. Japanese comedian duo Kausu and Button Nakata (left), rakugo comic story teller Nikaku Shōfukutei (center), and comedian Kanpei Hazama (right) will portray themselves in the film. All four performed at Nanba Kagetsu before the theater closed in 1988.
The film's previously announced guest cast includes (pictured below, from left to right):
- Taishi Nakagawa as Andrea, a boy from Italy
- Hitori Gekidan as Shin, a boy from India
- Papaya Suzuki as Nepu, a boy from Hawaii
- Naomi Watanabe as Julia, a girl from Brazil
- Rola as Xin Ni, a girl from Hong Kong
The cast will star in an anime special on December 27 titled "Chibi Maruko-chan ~Arigatō! Anime 25 Shūnen & Eiga Kōkai Kinen Sakura Momoko Gensaku 1-jikan SP~" (Chibi Maruko-chan ~Thank You! 25-Year Anime Anniversary & Film Opening Commemoration: Momoko Sakura's Original Work 1-Hour Special~) commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chibi Maruko-chan television anime series, as well as the upcoming film's opening.
Eiga Chibi Maruko-chan: Italia kara Kita Shōnen is the first new anime film for Momoko Sakura's Chibi Maruko-chan manga in 23 years. The film features six children from around the world who visit Maruko's town. One of them, an Italian boy named Andrea, confesses his love to Maruko and tries to court her. The film will also follow Maruko and her classmates as they travel to Kyoto and Osaka. The anime film opens in Japan on December 23.
Sakura herself is in charge of the film's script. Jun Takagi (Chibi Maruko-chan television anime, Legend of the Condor Hero) is directing the film at Nippon Animation, and Fuji Television is producing the film. TOHO will distribute the film.
Sakura serialized the original manga in Ribon from 1986 to 1996. The manga has approximately 32 million copies in print. She launched a four-panel version in a Japanese newspaper in 2007, and she ended that version in 2011.
The original 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. The 1,000th television anime episode aired in 2012, and the show now has more than 1,100 episodes.
The manga has also inspired several live-action specials and television series.
Source: Comic Natalie