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Live-Action Blade of the Immortal Film's Trailer Reveals Miyavi's Theme Song

posted on by Kevin Yuan
Takuya Kimura, Hana Sugisaki star in director Takashi Miike's April 29 film

The official website for the live-action film of Hiroaki Samura's Blade of the Immortal "neo period drama" manga began streaming a trailer on Monday. The trailer previews some fighting scenes, introduces the main cast (including Takuya Kimura as the lead Manji), and features the film's theme song "Live to Die Another Day ~Sonzai Shōmei~" (Live to Die Another Day ~Proof of Existence~) by guitarist MIYAVI.

MIYAVI commented that director Takashi Miike wanted the song to be a "bridge between the movie's worldview and the real world" for the audience. He added that he wants the song to portray Manji's struggle, and the theme of "Are you truly alive?"

MIYAVI previously composed the songs "Top of the World" and "Otherside" for his friend Kimura's former band SMAP, and he played the guitar with SMAP during their NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Song Battle) performance of "Top of the World" in 2014.

The website also unveiled a new visual:

Movi-Ticke-Cards will go on sale on this Saturday, and advance copies will come will with a clear file folder featuring art by Samura and a visual of Kimura as Manji:

The staff of the film previously revealed stills of Hana Sugisaki in costume as Rin Asano, Ichikawa Ebizō XI in costume as Eiku Shizuma, Erika Toda in costume as Makie Otono-Tachibana, and Sōta Fukushi in costume as Kagehisa Anotsu. Warner Bros. Japan also began streaming two teaser trailers for the film in November.

The manga follows Manji's journey of revenge as the yōjinbō (bodyguard) of Rin, a young woman who swears vengeance against a group of sword fighters who murdered her parents.

The film's lead actors include Takuya Kimura (seen above) and Hana Sugisaki (seen right). Kimura (Howl's Moving Castle, Redline, live-action Space Battleship Yamato) plays the lead character Manji, a rōnin warrior cursed with an immortal body. Sugisaki (When Marnie Was There, live-action Humanoid Monster Bem, Tsukuroi Tatsu Hito) plays heroine Rin Asano.

Prolific filmmaker Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Yatterman, As the Gods Will, Crows) is directing the film. Filming took place in Kyoto in extremely cold weather, and the climax of Manji and Rin versus 300 enemies took about 15 days to shoot. The film will open in Japan on April 29.

The additional cast members include:

(Top row, from left to right):

  • Sōta Fukushi as Kagehisa Anotsu
  • Hayato Ichihara as Shira
  • Erika Toda as Makie Otono-Tachibana
(Middle row, from left to right): (Bottom row, from left to right):

Samura launched the Blade of the Immortal manga in Kodansha's Monthly Afternoon magazine in December of 1993, and he completed the series in 2012. The manga's 30 volumes have 5 million copies in print, and the series has been published in 22 countries and territories. The manga earned an Excellence Prize in the manga category of the 1st Japan Media Arts Festival Awards in 1997, and it won the Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material in 2000. The manga is getting a reprint in Japan with new covers.

Dark Horse Comics published the Blade of the Immortal manga in North America, and is rereleasing it in omnibus form. The first omnibus volume shipped last month. The manga already inspired a television anime in 2008, and Media Blasters released it in English. The manga also inspired a stage play that starred Tomokazu Seki, who reprised his role from the anime as Manji.

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