by Chris MaGee
One of the most successful, creatively and financially, manga-to-movie adaptations in recent memory has to be 2006's "Death Note". That film, which told Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's story of a high school boy who wields a book that kills whoever has their name written in it, not only was a huge winner at the Japanese box office, but it has since become a cult favorite for Japanese film fans worldwide. "Death Note" was helmed by director Shunsuke Kaneko, and now Tokyograph is reporting on Kaneko taking another crack at adapting a popular manga to the screen.
Kaneko is currently putting the finishing touches on "Messiah", the film adaptation of Akira Hiyoshimaru's spy manga currently published in Kadokawa Shoten’s Gekkan Asuka Magazine. The manga tells the story of an elite group of spies within Japan's public security bureau called Sakura. The Sakura erase their original identities and go deep under cover on top secret missions. In Kaneko's film version actor and pop star Atsushi Arai stars as Eiri Kaido, a new recruit to the Sakura who must go under cover at a high school to monitor a dangerous student. The rest of the cast of "Messiah" is being rounded out by Masahiro Inoue, Minehiro Kinemoto and Sho Jinnai, amongst many others.
Will "Messiah" capture the imaginations and hearts of young moviegoers in Japan and abroad like "Death Note" did? We'll have to wait until October 15th to find out. That's when "Messiah" is scheduled to open in Japanese theatres. Thanks to Cinema Today for the above promo image from the film.