‘Ranmaru’ Adaptation, Shimizu Shocker Head Shochiku Tokyo Slate

TOKYO — Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has unveiled a line-up that includes six new titles destined for wide release this year and next.

They were announced at TIFFCOM, the sales market that accompanies the Tokyo Film Festival.

Among the hottest in Japan is “Ranmaru: The Man With the God Tongue.” Based on a popular series broadcast on the TBS network July-Sept. this year, this mystery/comedy is about a shy guy (Osamu Mukai) with an unusual talent: He can solve crimes just by licking the ‘evidence’ with his tongue. The film will open on Dec. 3, at the start of the peak holiday season.

Further down the line is “Kodomo Tsukai,” a new shocker by horrormeister Takashi Shimizu, best known for the “Grudge” series. Children start disappearing in a village and when they return the adults who encounter them die three days later. As is often the case in J-Horror, the cause of the mysterious deaths is a curse, with the kids used as a conduit. Starring Hideaki Takizawa of the pop ensemble Tackey & Tsubasa, the film is scheduled for a second quarter 2017 bow.

Another shocker is “Tokyo Ghoul.” Based on a Sui Ishida comic with 1.8 million paperback copies sold, the film is set in a Tokyo where flesh-eating ghouls hide themselves among the populace — and spring on the unwary. First-timer, Kentaro Hagiwara directs, while Masataka Kubota, Fumika Shimizu and Yu Aoi star. Release is set for the third quarter of 2017.

Also fresh to the line-up are “What a Wonderful Family,” a sequel to veteran Yoji Yamada’s 2016 family comedy, “Peach Girl,” a romantic comedy based on a hit comic about the troubled loves and life of a teenage bimbo, and “P and JK,” hitmaker director Ryuichi Hiroki’s romantic drama about an age-inappropriate couple. All have been penciled in for a 2017 bow.

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