Live-Action Series About Baki BL Essay Casts Baki Anime's Akio Ohtsuka, Yoshihisa Kawahara

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Ohtsuka to play Baki manga creator Keisuke Itagaki 'in some form'

The official website for the live-action series based on Grappler Baki BL de wa Nai ka to 1-Nichi 30-Jikan 30-Nichi Kangaeta Otome no Kiroku (Notes of a Girl Who Spent 30 Hours a Day for 300 Days Thinking "So Baki The Grappler Is BL, Right?"), sociologist Junko Kaneda's essay book about Keisuke Itagaki's martial arts manga Baki The Grappler, announced two more cast members on Friday. The site also unveiled a new visual.

Akio Ohtsuka, the Baki anime voice actor for the protagonist's demonic martial artist father Yūjirō Hanma, will voice Baki manga creator Keisuke Itagaki himself, who will appear "in some form" in the show. Yoshihisa Kawahara voices the formidable karate practitioner Katsumi Orochi in the Baki anime, and he will play the same role in the live-action series.

The series will premiere on the satellite television station WOWOW on August 8, and will star Honoka Matsumoto as protagonist Akane Kojima.

Amane Okayama (left in image above) will play Kōhei Takeno, a subordinate at protagonist Akane's workplace. Fuju Kamio (right) will play Taiju Shibamoto, an old classmate of Akane's from high school that exposed her love of BL to classmates.

In the live-action series, protagonist Akane Kojima works under a stationery company and maintains a normal life, while keeping her fujoshi (female fan of BL) life a secret. When she first reads Baki The Grappler, she is drawn in by the physical beauty and alluring attitudes of the characters, and begins imagining BL encounters between the characters. At work, she performs her work flawlessly, but at home, she draws comfort from imagining her ships. But between her colleague Takeno's upcoming work presentation, her boss Kashiwara, and her reunion with her old classmate Shibamoto, her life starts getting unstable.

Santa Yamagishi is directing the series, and Europe Kikaku's Makoto Ueda (The Tatami Galaxy, Night is Short, Walk On Girl, Penguin Highway) is penning the scripts. CHAI is performing the series' theme song "Wish Upon a Star."

Kaneda published the original essay as a book in November 2019.

Itagaki's original Baki The Grappler martial arts manga ran for 42 volumes in Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine from 1991 to 1999. The manga has more than 63 million copies in circulation. The Baki sequel manga ran for 31 volumes from 1999 to 2005. Media Do releases the manga in English. After Baki, Itagaki published the 37-volume Hanma Baki manga in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 2005 to 2012. The first Baki-Dou manga, the overall fourth manga in the franchise, launched in Weekly Shōnen Champion in March 2014 and ended in April 2018 with 22 volumes. The new Baki-Dou manga uses different characters for "Baki" in the title from the previous Baki-Dou manga, although it retains the name "Baki-Dou." The new manga launched in Weekly Shōnen Champion in October 2018.

Sources: WOWOW, Comic Natalie

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