2019 Japanese Live-Action Adaptations You Need to Watch!

  • It’s another new year, meaning there are new live-action adaptations that will be released. The Japanese entertainment industry has been churning out numerous live-action adaptations recently, and 2019 is no different. So, what are the adaptations that we can look forward to?

    1. 4-Gatsu no Kimi, Spica

    It was announced last year that Miwako Sugiyama’s ‘4-gatsu no Kimi’ (After-school Starlight), Spica will be getting a live-action film in Spring 2019. The film stars Haruka Fukuhara as Sei Saotome, Taiki Sato as Taiyo Udagawa, Jin Suzuki as Mizuki Otaka, and Igeta Hiroe as Saki Amakawa. The series is about high school student Sei Saotome who is prepping for her next exam after failing the first one. She then meets Mizuki and Taiyo, who both invite her to join the astronomy club. Like any other high school student, Sei is searching for a place where she belongs, and with her joining the astronomy club, she takes a step towards her goal.

    4-Gatsu no Kimi, Spica Website

    2. Boku no Hatsukoi o Kimi ni Sasagu

    ‘Boku no Hatsukoi o Kimi ni Sasagu’ (I Give My First Love To You) is getting another live-action adaptation. Compared to the 2009 film, the 2019 remake will be a series. The 2019 cast includes Shuhei Nomura as Takuma Kakinouchi and Hinako Sakurai as Mayu Taneda. The story focuses on Mayu who experiences her first love with Takuma, a boy with a heart condition that is being treated by her father. Takuma tries to keep his heart condition a secret, even though Mayu already knows.

    3. Touken Ranbu

    Ever since its release in 2015, Touken Ranbu has enjoyed immense popularity. The franchise will finally be getting its first live-action film this 2019. Most of the cast for the live-action film also played the same role in the stage plays. The returning casts include Hiroki Suzuki as Mikazuki Munechika, Yoshihiro Aramaki as Yamanbagiri Kunihiro, Ryo Kitamura as Yagen Toushirou, Masanari Wada as Heshikiri Hasebe, and Taizo Shiina as Fudou Yukimitsu. The film will focus on the Honno-ji incident, where Oda Nobunaga met his demise after being betrayed by Akechi Mitsuhide. The Touken Danshi’s mission is to stop their enemies from preventing Nobunaga’s death and stop them from changing history. In this released poster, the characters read, “Mission: Assasinate Oda Nobunaga”.

    Touken Ranbu Website

    4. School-Live

    School-Live or ‘Gakko Gurashi!’, is a series about the members of the School Living Club who enjoy school life after surviving a zombie apocalypse. The manga already inspired a 12-episode anime and Yen Press will be publishing the manga in English. The 2019 live-action film’s cast are all members of the subgroups of the idol group, Last Idol. Nanami Abe is cast as Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Midori Nagatsuki as Yuki Takeya, Wakana Majima as Yuri Wakasa, and Rio Kiyohara as Miki Naoki. Prior to the live-action film’s release, it was announced that there will be a live-action mini-series with four episodes, entitled ‘Gakko XXX ~ Mo Hitotsu no Gakko Gurashi!’ (School XXX – Another School-Live!).

    School-Live Website

    5. LDK

    LDK is another series that will be getting another remake this 2019. LDK is about Aoi Nishimura (played by Mone Kamishiraishi) and Shusei Kugayama (played by Yosuke Sugino) who starts living together when they are discovered by Shusei’s cousin, Reon Kugayama (played by Ryusei Yokohama). This popular manga by Ayu Watanabe was first published in 2009 and finished serialization last August 2017. Kodansha Comics is the publisher responsible for the English versions.

    LDK Website

    6. Cheer Boys!!

    The Cheer Boys!! or Cheer Danshi!! novel has inspired a live-action film that is slated to premiere on May 2019. The story follow two friends who establish a men-only cheerleading team and their determination to overcome prejudices and challenges. The Bandai Namco Arts YouTube channel also released a behind-the-scenes video of the cast practicing with the alumni from Shockers, the male cheerleading team that inspired the original novel.

    7. Hot Gimmick

    The ‘Hot Gimmick’ live-action film will star Nogizaka46 member Miki Aihara as Hatsumi Narita, Hiroya Shimizu as Ryoki Tachibana, Mizuki Itagaki as Azusa Odagiri, and Shotaro Mamiya as Shinogu Narita. ‘Hot Gimmick’ is a manga by Miki Aihara and the story begins when Hatsumi was asked by her sister to buy a pregnancy test kit. She was then seen by Ryoki, a kid that used to bully her. Suddenly, Azusa saves her from the situation and moves back into the apartment.

    8. Yube wa Otanoshimi Deshita ne

    ‘Yube wa Otanoshimi Deshita ne’ (It Was Fun Last Night) is a romantic live-action series starring Tsubasa Honda as Miyako Okamoto or Goro and Amane Okayama or Powder as Takumi Satsuki. The story is about Powder who plays the game ‘Dragon Quest X’ everyday. His life changes when he suddenly has to share his room with his teammate Goro. It has been revealed that popular voice actor Mamoru Miyano (notable roles include: Light Yagami in Death Note, Rin Matsuoka in Free!, and Tokiya Ichinose in Uta no Prince-sama) will be appearing in this live-action series. Mamoru Miyano will be playing Onida, an Animate shop manager in the drama.

    9. Wakako-zake

    The popular food and cuisine manga, ‘Wakako-zake’ by Chie Shinkyu, is back for another live-action series! This marks the fourth season of the ‘Wakako-zake’ live-action series. It was announced that Rina Takeda would be reprising her role as Wakako, a 26-year old office worker who frequents different bars and restaurants every night, eating and drinking alone and savoring the delicious foods she encounters.

    Wakako-zake Website

    10. Miyamoto kara Kimi e

    ‘Miyamoto kara Kimi e’ (From Miyamoto to You) is a manga by Hideki Arai. It is one of the many manga that will also be adapted in to a live-action film. The manga already had live-action series last year. The manga is about Miyamoto, a rookie salaryman that works at a stationary factory who perseveres despite being frustrated with his own insignificance. Reprising their roles are Sosuke Ikematsu as protagonist Hiro Miyamoto and Yuu Aoi as Yasuko Nakano.

    11. Setsuyaku Rock

    ‘Setsuyaku Rock’ (Rock Savings) is a comedy manga by Hiromi Okubo that is about 30-year old bachelor Takao Matsumoto who loves rock music and has no money savings. Tatsuya Ueda from KAT-TUN will be playing Takao Matsumoto and fellow Johnny’s Entertainment talent Daiki Shigeoka from Johnny’s West, will be playing Kota Inaba.

    Setsuyaku Rock Website

    There are lots of live-action adaptations in 2019 and these are just some of them. Fans of Japanese shows and movies will definitely stay busy this year!