Monday, April 13, 2009

Teppei Koike is set to work for a "black company"

by Chris MaGee

Back in 2005 the popular novel "Densha Otoko (Train Man)", which was based on a thread on a message board set up by a young otaku who fell in love with a woman he saved on a commuter train, was turned in a hit movie by Toho and director Shosuke Murakami. Now four years later another film based on a chatroom thread is being out into production by Asmik Ace.

“Black Gaisha ni Tsutometerundaga, Mou Ore wa Genkai Kamoshirenai” which translates out to "The company I work for is black, and I've reached my limit" began as a thread on the Japanese online forum 2chan set up by a 26-year-old computer nerd who called himself Hayako Kuroi (kuroi being Japanese for "black"). After the death of his mother Kuroi, who'd spent the better part of a decade living at home and conducting his entire life online, was forced to join the real flesh and blood world get a job. That job ended up being an IT support person at a black gaisha, a company that works its employees to death while not offering them any kind of benefits or sick leave. Like in "Densha Otoko" Kuroi turned to his online friends for advice in the stressful situation, and their online chats morphed into a book which was published last year by Shinchosha. Sounds a lot like the contemporary comedic flipside to Takiji Kobayashi's 1929 Marxist novel "Kanikōsen" which became a surprise bestseller amongst young disgruntled Japanese workers last year and is currently being adapted to the screen by Sabu.

For the film version of "Black Gaisha" Asmik Ace has tagged Yuichi Sato to direct and Teppei Koike (Homeless Chugakusei) to take the lead role of Kuroi. Rounding out the rest of the cast will be Maiko, Kei Tanaka, Hiroshi Shinagawa, and Seiichi Tanabe. Filming begins later this week and Asmik Ace is shooting for a theatrical release later this year or the beginning of next.

Thanks to Nippon Cinema for the details on this.

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