Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms Show Stars Takako Tokiwa, Former AKB48 Idol Rina Kawaei

posted on by Egan Loo
Actresses play family members dealing with Hiroshima's atomic bomb aftermath

Actress Takako Tokiwa (20th Century Boys, Brave Story, pictured below left) will star as Nanami Ishikawa in the live-action television adaptation of Fumiyo Kouno's Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms (Yūnagi no Machi, Sakura no Kuni) manga this year.

Former AKB48 idol singer Rina Kawaei (pictured above right) will co-star as Minami Hirano, a girl who was 13 years old when the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima. The other cast members include Fūka Koshiba (live-action Kiki's Delivery Service), Yūna Taira (live-action Miseinen dakedo Kodomo ja Nai, Honey So Sweet), Asuka Kudō (live-action Princess Jellyfish series), Yōsuke Asari (live-action Space Battleship Yamato), Shosuke Tanihara (Vexille - 2077 Isolation of Japan, Pokémon the Movie: Black - Victini and Reshiram, live-action Ranma ½), Shūji Kashiwabara, Mitsuo Sagawa, Midoriko Kimura (The Case of Hana & Alice), and Isao Hashizume (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, live-action Space Battleship Yamato).

The manga's story follows two young women in a family dealing with the aftermath of the Hiroshima atomic bombing — a woman in 1955 and her niece decades later. While the original manga divided the story between the "Town of Evening Calm" story in Hiroshima in 1955, and two other "Country of Cherry Blossoms" stories set in Tokyo's Nakano ward in 1987 and 2004, the new live-action version will move the "Country of Cherry Blossoms" story to the present day in 2018 with an original story added.

As before, the "Country of Cherry Blossoms" story will focus on Nanami Ishikawa, who is working as an editor in a publishing company. She suspects her 80-year-old father, Asahi, of growing senile, and follows his unannounced trip to Hiroshima where he traces the life of his sister and Nanami's aunt, Minami, who died in 1955 as a victim of the long-term effects of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.

The original 2003-2004 manga won the Grand Prize at the 2004 Japan Media Arts Festival and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize's Shinsei Award in 2005. After Last Gasp Publishing and jaPress released it in North America, the manga won one of New York Magazine's 2007 Culture Awards. The manga previously inspired a live-action film in 2007.

Ritsuji Kumano is directing the new live-action version, while Tadashi Morishita (Yona of the Dawn episodes, live-action Battery) penned the script. Izumi Tanaka is credited for production supervision.

Kouno, a Hiroshima native, also published the In This Corner of the World manga, which similarly centers on a woman's life at at both Kure and Hiroshima. That manga received a live-action television film in 2011, and an anime film adaptation by Sunao Katabuchi and MAPPA in November 2016. Shout! Factory and Funimation Films screened the film in the United States and Canada last August. The film went on to win the Fujimoto Award, the Daijin (Minister) Prize from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Hiroshima Peace Film Award at the Hiroshima International Film Festival, Kinema Jumpo magazine's best Japanese movie of the year, the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, and the Jury Award in the Feature Film Category at Annecy. Seven Seas Entertainment released the manga last October.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web

Update: Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms 2018 will premiere on August 6 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:43 p.m. The date marks the 73rd anniversary of the bombing. Thanks, #Verso.Sciolto

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