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Tobaku Haōden Zero Live-Action Series to Cast Role by Auditioning 9 Johnny's Jr. Members

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Audition will be shown in separate 4-episode show in July

The official Twitter account for Zero Ikkakusenkin Game (Zero: Get Rich Quick Game), the live-action television series based on Nobuyuki Fukumoto's Tobaku Haōden Zero gambling manga, revealed on Thursday that the staff will cast one of nine members of the Johnny's Jr. male idol group for the role of Shirube, Zero's rival. The role will be chosen through an audition that will be shown in a four-episode program titled Jr. Senbatsu! Shirube e no Michi (Jr. Selection! The Path to Shirube).

The program will involve the Johnny's Jr. members making a remake of four episodes from the Nekketsu Renai Dō series, and one episode from the Kowai Nichiyōbi series. Both 1999 series starred Johnny's Jr. members at the time. NTV will air the audition program on July 2, 9, 11, and 16.

The other cast for the live-action Zero Ikkakusenkin Game series includes:

(Front row, left to right)

  • Shōtarō Mamiya as Seigi Suezaki
  • Shigeaki Katō as "Zero" Ukai
  • Eiko Koike as Mineko Gotō
(Back row, left to right)
  • Amane Okayama as Hiroshi Sashima
  • Yūta Koseki as Yūki Hikawa
  • Ryo Kato as Chikara Manabe
  • Yōsuke Sugino as Sunao Saotome

Shunpei Maruyama is directing the series, and Shinji Obara is penning the scripts. The series will premiere on NTV on July 15 at 10:00 p.m., and the show will air every Sunday at 10:30 p.m. from the second episode onward.

In the manga's story, teenager "Zero" Ukai is a gambling genius who enters a trillion-yen (about US$12-billion) survival game. In the television show, Zero is a substitute teacher at a local cram school.

The manga launched in 2007 and took a two-and-a-half-year hiatus after finishing its first story arc. The manga resumed with the second part, Tobaku Haōden Zero Gyanki-hen, in 2011. Kodansha published the first part in eight compiled volumes and the second part in 10 compiled volumes.

Fukumoto is best known for his long-running Kaiji gambling manga, which inspired two television anime series, two live-action films, a reality show, and a VR game. The spinoff manga Chūkan Kanriroku Tonegawa is inspiring its own anime that will premiere in July.

Fukumoto also drew the mahjong manga Akagi, which ended in February after 27 years. Akagi inspired a television anime and a live-action series. A new three-episode mini-series premiered on May 25.

Sources: Zero Ikkakusenkin Game series' official Twitter account, Comic Natalie

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