Nao Matsushita and Dean Fujioka Star in Manga Artist Tsukasa Hojo's Directorial Debut

Movie icons Nao Matsushita and Dean Fujioka star in legendary manga artist, Tsukasa Hojo's directorial debut!

Tokyo, Japan - Monday, 24th June 2019.

The main cast of the Silent Manga movie project directed by Tsukasa Hojo has been announced.

The live-action movie "Angel Sign”, the directorial debut of City Hunter and Cat's ❤ Eye creator Tsukasa Hojo, is a cinematic adaptation of SILENT MANGA AUDITION®'s award winning entries from Asia, Europe and South America.

Selected from among 6888 manga, from 108 countries and regions around the world, the movie is a feature length anthology, bookended by two original works penned by Tsukasa Hojo himself.

Both the "Prologue" and "Epilogue" play a vital role in linking each works, with Hojo's inaugural role as a general director. A film with no dialogue, the story is told using only imagery and music, allowing viewers across all languages and cultures to empathize and enjoy the film's message.

The main cast for the "Prologue" and "Epilogue" feature Nao Matsushita, an actress and accomplished musician who performs all over Japan and Asia, and celebrated actor Dean Fujioka.

Matsushita plays the role of Aika, a cellist, with Fujioka starring opposite as Takaya, a pianist. The two talented actors play a young couple chasing their mutual dream of performing music on the world stage.

Be sure to pay close attention to each of their silent performances as they tell their story under the close direction of Hojo. In addition to the main cast, we are pleased to share an image of the two lovers performing together in an affectionate selfie taken by the sea.

Furthermore, we are delighted to announce the release of the first teaser trailer!

■ Watch the teaser trailer here:

“The first thing that surprised me when I received the script, was that it was a storyboard without any dialogue. What's more, I was really impressed to see that the storyboard was drawn entirely by Hojo-sensei himself! Shooting the movie required a great deal of concentration for me since I have never acted in a silent film, nor have I played the cello before. Since the film has no dialogue, Dean and I would work together in expressing our feelings in each scene, which created the perfect level of tension between us. Regardless of where you're from or which language you speak, the feelings of the protagonist will be easily understood by everyone. Being on the set of this movie really made me feel this. Along with the beautiful music, I hope this movie is one that brings joy to all who see it.”
Nao Matsushita (Aika)

"Hojo-sensei looks really great in sunglasses! Come to think of it, the only people who can make sitting in the directors chair while wearing sunglasses look cool, are probably Wong Kar-wai or Hojo-sensei! (laughs).

Despite his hard-boiled image, he was unimaginably kind and allowed us a great deal of freedom on set. I'm pretty sure most guys from my generation grew up dreaming of becoming Ryo Saeba, so having the opportunity to work with Hojo-sensei was a tremendous honor for me."
Dean Fujioka (Takaya)

Silent Manga Audition®
Now in its 12th round, the Silent Manga Audition® is one of the world's largest manga competition. Aimed at crossing language and cultural barriers with dialogue-free storytelling, the contest has attracted over 3000 manga creators from over 100 countries, in its mission to find, foster and debut the careers of manga artists from every corner of the globe.

With Monthly Comic Zenon presiding over the domestic version of the audition, the Japanese competition has proven a hotbed for creativity. Responsible for discovering young artists such as Trace - Recollections of a Forensic Researcher creator, Kei Koga, the power of silent manga is apparent. Now a major live-action drama starring Ryo Nishikido and developed by Fuji TV, the success of Trace continues to prove the endless possibilities for manga, in the development of art, drama and cinema.

North Stars Pictures Inc.
Founded in 2004 by Nobuhiko Horie, Tsukasa Hojo, Tetsuo Hara (Fist of the North Star), and Ryuji Tsugihara (Yoroshiku Mecha-Doc), North Stars Pictures Inc. is a multimedia production company based in Musashino-Shi, Tokyo, Japan ( )

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