by Chris MaGee
It looks like Toho and director Takashi Yamazaki have got a huge hit on their hands with Yamazaki's live-action reboot of Yoshinobu Nishizaki's 1970's anime series "Space Battleship Yamato". According to Tokyograph the film which stars SMAP member Takuya Kimura, Meisa Kuroki and veteran actor Tsutomu Yamazaki raked in nearly ¥1 billion within its first five days of release. How will Yamazaki follow up on this phenomenal success? By teaming up with another SMAP member of course!
According to a report posted at Anime News Network Yamazaki (above left), whose previous credits include the 2002 time travel adventure "Returner" and the two nostalgic "Always" films, is teaming up with SMAP's Shingo Katori for an upcoming 3D animated film titled "Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki". Based on a fairy tale story by Hirosuke Hamada Katori will voice the character of Naki, a red demon who is partnered up with fellow demon pal Gunjo, voiced by veteran voice actor Kouichi Yamadera. These two demons end up befriending a human child who you can see in the above right teaser poster for the film. Additional voice talent is being provided by Sadao Abe, Seishiro Kato and actress You.
Look for "Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki" to hit Japanese theatres in December 2011. Thanks to Oricon for the above poster.