Thursday, July 10, 2008

A rare victory (?) for live-action over anime

As Jason Gray pointed out in the comments of this post, the long-running buddy cop TV series and recent hit film "Partners" (Aibo) is attempting to emulate the "Bayside Shakedown" franchise with a spin-off picture of its own. "Kanshiki: Yonezawa Mamoru no Jikenbo" elevates supporting cast member Rokkaku Seiji to marquee status (might be a hard-sell as a leading man) as his character, forensic specialist Yonezawa Mamoru, teams up with detective Aihara Makoto (Hagiwara Masato) for some CSI-style investigative action. Series stars Terawaki Yasufumi and the rejuvenated Mizutani Yutaka return.

But all of this pales into insignificance next to the realisation that the director will be the legendary Hasebe Yasuharu, possibly best known for his numerous Nikkatsu classics from the 60s and 70s including seminal yakuza tales "Shima wa Moratta" and "Blood for Blood" (Soshiki Boryoku - Ryuketsu no Koso), three films in the "Stray Cat Rock" series, and Kaji Meiko's last "Sasori". Although he hasn't made a feature since 1994, he's been a regular fixture behind the scenes of countless TV cop shows and will hopefully be given some room to work his mojo.

Strangely enough, the emergence of the spin-off in conjunction with Kudo Kankuro's "Shonen Merikensack" has forced Toei to take the unprecedented step of skipping next year's instalment in the "One Piece" series of animated features, despite it being a valuable source of guaranteed income for the studio (the last two films brought in 900 million yen each). Variety Japan speculates this also may have something to do with One Piece manga publishers Shueisha, who don't want to see the U.S. live-action adaptation of their property "Dragonball" clash with the pirate saga.

1 comment:

  1. [...] It first broke on Ryuganji, and now it’s pretty much everywhere: Japanese detective drama Aibou, whose film adapatation [...]