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Live-Action Yowamushi Pedal Film Completes Filming After COVID-19 Delay

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Movie to open on August 14 despite temporary halt due to state of emergency

The official website for the live-action film of Wataru Watanabe's Yowamushi Pedal manga announced on Friday that the film had officially wrapped up principal photography. The filming for the movie had begun in early February, but had to stop due to the government declaring a state of emergency over the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Filming resumed in early June.

The site unveiled a photo of lead actors Kentaro Ito (left in image above) and Ren Nagase, with their customary bouquets given to cast members after filming the last take. Nagase said that the final day's steep incline was intense, but everyone has been giving their all since training. Despite the occasional rough times, he has wonderful memories. Itō agreed that the final day was the most intense. He added that filming stretched from the cold season to the hot season, but they were able to wrap filming without injuries. The two stars noted that, in these times when we cannot experience things we once took for granted, they want fans to see their hard work in theaters and experience a quintessential coming of age.

The film will open in Japan on August 14. Ren Nagase of the idol group King & Prince will star as Sakamichi Onoda, and has been bicycle training since December.

The film will also star Kentaro Ito (Ride Your Wave, live-action Kyō Kara Ore wa!!, pictured below left) as Sakamichi's rival Shunsuke Imaizumi and Kanna Hashimoto (live-action Gintama, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., Assassination Classroom, Kaguya-sama: Love is War, below right) as the cycling team manager Miki Kanzaki. Kōichirō Miki (live-action Anonymous Noise, Shokubutsu Zukan: Unmei no Koi, Hiroimashita) is directing.

Other cast members include: (Top row, left to right in image above)

  • Ryōta Bandō as Shōkichi Naruko, the classmate who invites Sakamichi to the bicycle club
  • Ryō Ryūsei as Shingo Kinjō, the captain of the bicycle club, who always wears glasses and looks older than his age
  • Shuntarō Yanagi as Yūsuke Makishima, a third-year like Kinjō, who has greenish hair and an unusual dancing technique
(Bottom row, left to right)
  • Ken Sugawara as Jin Tadokoro, a third-year known as the "Human Bullet Train" for his explosive muscular power
  • Mizuki Inoue as Terufumi Sugimoto, a freshman member of the bicycle club who supports the team
  • Sarutoki Minagawa as Kōji Kanzaki, a film-original character, and the father of Miki Kanzaki

The story of the original manga centers around Sakamichi Onoda, an otaku at Sōhoku High School in Chiba. He loves anime and games so much, that he would ride his commuter bicycle to and from Tokyo's Akihabara shopping district in a 90-kilometer (about 60-mile) round trip over steep slopes after school. Onoda's life changes when he encounters his high school's cycling team, and he ends up joining the competitive sport of bicycle racing.

Watanabe launched the original Yowamushi Pedal manga in Akita Shoten's Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine in 2008, and Akita Shoten published the manga's 66th compiled book volume on April 8. The manga has over 25 million copies in circulation. Yen Press is releasing the manga in English.

The first season of the television anime adaptation premiered in 2013. The second season premiered in Japan in 2014 and ended in March 2015. Yowamushi Pedal New Generation, the series' third season, premiered in January 2017. Yowamushi Pedal Glory Line, the fourth season, premiered in January 2018. Crunchyroll streamed all four seasons as they aired.

The manga also inspired several anime movies, an original video anime, a live-action television adaptation, and 14 stage play productions.

Sources: Yowamushi Pedal live-action film's website, The Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web

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