By Kristen Olson
In a very Tarantino-esque anti-typecast, the live-action Bakuman trailer was released this week and the casting decisions are not what audiences would expect.
Brought to us by none other than Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (the creative team behind Death Note), the highly-anticipated movie features Ryunosuke Kamiki playing aggressive manga writer Akito Takagi, while Takeru Satoh will play Moritaka Mashiro, a somewhat passive yet talented artist. The students combine their talents to get a manga published in the Weekly Shonen Jump and in Mashiro’s case, seek to marry the girl of his dreams. Anime fans seem to rejoice about the lead actors chosen but would prefer to see their roles switched, with many worrying the casting oppositely complements the actor’s perceived personalities.
The slice-of-life storyline calls for minimal CGI work, thus freeing us from cheesy special effects. That said, CGI snippets from the trailer are ever in Bakuman’s favor and look promising.
The two lead actors happen also co-starred as Kenshin Himura and Sōjirō Seta in the live-action Rurouni Kenshin films. Takeru Satoh said that he wants to convey the “history, present, and marvelousness” of Japanese manga and anime to the people of the world. Ryunosuke Kamiki commented that he considers it an honor to be able to work on such an amazing story. He added that he loves the original manga himself.
Here’s a peeky-poo of their combat chemistry, from Ruroni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qMmagfjZTg
Call me a cockeyed optimist, but Bakuman has the makings of a manga/anime adaptation that will give us something to cheer about. It was the anti-typecasting of Mia Wallace that saw Uma Thurman as the idling, seductive boss’s wife in Pulp Fiction. Not to mention Margot Robbie as supervillain Harley Quinn in the upcoming Warners/DC comic film, Suicide Squad. And the fact that Dwayne “Don’t Call Me The Rock” Johnson stars in kid’s movies drives home the point. Casting against type is just as much an opportunity for actors to showcase versatility as it is for audiences to see something we’ve never seen before.
Movie official web site: http://www.bakuman-movie.com/