by Chris MaGee
Last year saw some very popular Japanese TV series making the the transition to very popular films. Both "Hana yori Dango" and "Partners (Aibô: gekijô-ban)" were adapted to the big screen and ended up raking in billions of yen at the Japanese box office, making them two of the biggest Japanese films of 2008. Now that 2009 has almost reached the halfway point it begs the question; what will the big TV-to-film adaptation will be this year's blockbuster hit? Most industry insiders are betting that "Rookies: Sotsugyo" will be the film that will really hit it out of the park. Based on the highly rated TBS series about a high school literature teacher (Ryuta Sato) who takes a rag tag group of thugs and under-achievers lead by a boy named Keiichi (Hayato Ichihara) and turns them into a successful baseball team, the film will follow the boys as they make the jump from their school's baseball diamond to the big leagues.
"Rookies: Sotsugyo" is set to open this weekend in Japan, but already the buzz has already far exceeded everyone's expectations. At a promotional event held by Toho 12,000 fans of the series packed Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo to catch a glimpse of the film's stars, and 240,000 advance tickets have already been sold, a number that smashes last year's record set by "Hana yori Dango: Final". Frankly, Japan is baseball mad, so it doesn't surprise me at all that "Rookies" is gearing up to be one of if not the blockbuster success this year.
Check out the trailer for "Rookies: Sotsugyo" below, and thanks to Tokyograph for the details on this.