by Chris MaGee
Osaka people are tough, resourceful, creative... but could they found their own Osaka fiefdom in the middle of Japan? That's the concept behind a new comedy due out later this year. "Saraba Itoshi no Daitouryou (Good-bye, Dear President)" is the feature directorial debut of TV comedian Sekai no Nabeatsu (a.k.a. Atsumu Watanabe). In the film, co-directed by Daisuke Shibata, Sekai no Nabeatsu gets elected as the Prefectural Governor of Osaka, but we can only assume power goes to his head because he quickly transforms Osaka Prefecture into The United States of Osaka and appoints himself President. Take that, Tokyo! Only problem is that a plot is hatched to assassinate the President of Osaka...
This sounds so goofy it might just be entertaining (Sekai no Nabeatsu is calling his film the "most popcorn-and-cola movie"), but after schooling myself in his comedy act by running through a bunch of YouTube videos I can't say I'm holding out much hope for "Saraba Itoshi no Daitouryou". Nabeatsu's Conan O'Brien hair and pencil mustache combined with his shtick of spastic word delivery got pretty tiresome after about 20-minutes of videos. I can't see how many folks would want to sit through 90-minutes of it, President of Osaka or no. "Saraba Itoshi no Daitouryou" does have a pretty good supporting cast though - Ren Osugi, Toru Nakamura, and Junichi Kimoto, amongst other - so you never know.
Thanks to Tokyograph for this news item and Sankei Sports for the above promo still.