Rookies’ Sato to star in Manzai Gang

11 05 2010

Ryuta Sato

Ryuta Sato, who played Kowato-sensei in the drama and movie versions of Rookies, will star in a new film called Manzai Gang.

Based on a novel by Hiroshi Shinigawa, Sato plays Kurosawa, one half of a comedy duo whose partner has quite and who has drowned his sorrows in sake. After being locked up he meets another prisoner, a natural straightman, and the two take their act to the streets.

Filming is expected to wrap up in June, with an undetermined 2011 release date.

J Geeks in Japan: Akihabara and then some

13 07 2009

The journey continues, with some intersting otaku buiness to report.

Yesterday, I went to see Rookies, the movie that finishes the drama`s story of a group of deliquent high school baseball players straightening up and pursuing their dream of a national championship. I`ll be the first to admit that my understanding of Japanese is still lacking, and I understood only about half of what was said. However, the movie, which was a lot like a longer episode (though perhaps more dramatic) employs enough other elements that, even when the words are not understood, the situation is impossible not to grasp. The dramatic power of Rookies was apparent as even my skeptical girlfriend (who is Japanese)  was in tears for about half the film. It`s definitely worth checking out.

Also made a short journey to Akihabara, impromptu, and found To Love Ru figures and, to my surprise and delight, a machine containing Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo keitai figures. Of course I plugged the machine full, and got each one (only one duplicate!).

Well, that:s the report for today. Later,  Iwill report on my trip through Osaka and Kyoto (the former of which I now am). Ja mata!

Greeeen’s latest album cracks one million

22 06 2009

JG GreeeenThe latest album from J pop band Greeeen, Shio, Kosho, became the second in the band’s career to top the one million units sold mark. 

Greeeen may be best known for providing the theme song for the drama Rookies, extremely popular in 2008 and recently made into a box office-smashing movie. 

The album sold nearly half a million copies in its first week. Greeeen’s other one million unit selling album is A, Domo. Ohisashiburi desu. (Aprox. “Ah, Yes. It’s Been a While”).

Rookies shatters Japanese box office

2 06 2009

JG Rookies filmAs was largely predicted, the film version of Rookies, based on a TBS drama, destroyed box office numbers, taking in 1.2 billion yen during its opening weekend.

Some 980,000 people saw the film that continued Rookies’ storyline about a high school teacher’s attempts to revive the school’s baseball club and help them realize their dream of going to the national tournament. The film had the biggest opening weekend this year and beat last year’s top box office earner’s weekends. Rookies is expected to out-earn both in its theatrical run.

If the film surpasses the 10 billion yen ceiling, it would be only the fourth live action movie to have done so in Japanese history.

Rookies set to smash box office totals

29 05 2009

JG Rookies premeirThis weekend will see the release of the new Rookies movie, continuing the saga of the TBS drama; and if the buzz surrounding the movie is any indication, it may set box office records. 

The film has already sold 240,000 advance tickets, more than last year’s box office success Hana Yori Dango (Boys Before Flowers), and a stadium event held for the movie, the largest event for a film in Japanese history, sold out of its 12,000 tickets in two minutes. 

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Rookies movie coming – as well as some competition…

17 04 2009

jg_rookiesYou couldn’t exist in Tokyo last summer without being inadvertently exposed to the theme song from Rookies, a show about a high school baseball club banned from playing the sport and subsequently becoming delinquents. The drama inspired a two-hour special and a movie this summer (Rookies: Graduation), but a similar movie, Slackers, will be debuting on the same day. 

The story centers on a group of delinquents forced to revive their school’s baseball team. The movie deals with a rivalry between two high school groups, which looks to be settled on the diamond instead of the streets (though baseball bats would presumably be used in both cases, as is the Yanki style). 

The movie looks similar to Rookies (violence and baseball) though the trailer makes the film appear to have more of a comic bent. It will likely face tough competition from an audience already weened on the Rookies drama.

For the trailer, click: Here!

For the Rookies: Graduation trailer, click: Here! 

Note: Above picture is from Rookies, not Slackers.