“I’ve been talking so much I’m losing my voice,” said one TV Tokyo international sales rep, Thursday, during TIFFCOM, the Tokyo Film Festival’s rights market.
Serialized since 2003, Hideaki Sorachi’s “Gintama” comic about a samurai in a feudal-era Japan that has been conquered by space aliens spawned a TV Tokyo series that has run, with pauses, since 2006. It has also give rise to films, games and other media iterations. Meanwhile the comic has sold more than 50 million copies in paperback editions.
Buyers from Asia “have been particularly attracted by the cast,” said the company. Pop-star-turned actor Shun Oguri plays the hero, Gintoku Sakata, with supporting roles going to such locally well-known names as Masaki Suda, Masami Nagasawa, Masaki Okada, Yuya Yagira, Nanao, Ken Yasuda and Akari Hayami – all of whom have had lead roles in recent films.
The director is Yuichi Fukuda, a TV drama veteran whose feature credits include the comedies “HK2: The Abnormal Crisis” (2016) and “HK: Forbidden Super Hero” (2013), which played widely on the international festival circuit.
Warner Japan will release the film next year, with an exact date yet to be penciled in.
TV Tokyo also reports strong interest at TIFFCOM in the third feature installment of the “Yo-kai Watch” children’s animation franchise, which opens theatrically in Japan on Dec. 17. A deal has been closed for Korea and more are on the way. “It’s been a very busy market for us. I’m going to rest my throat when it’s all over.”