One of the best music-related manga projects, and perhaps one of the most enthralling anime-adaptation series that I have ever watched, has finally gotten the go ahead to transform itself into a live-action movie, scheduled for release in Japan in 2010.
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, finished its print run last year June in Japan, ringing in with a total of 34 volumes and having managed to sell around 15 million copies since it began publishing way back in 1998. Creator Harold Sakuishi’s rock ‘n roll-based story portrays the lives of five members in a Japanese rock band on the rise, led by the charismatic guitarist and band leader, Ryusuke Minami.
Now while the excellent 2004-2005 anime version focussed heavily on band member Koyuki as its protagonist of choice, the proposed live action feature, under the directorship of Yukihiko Tsutsumi (20th Century Boys, Trick, Ikebukuro West Gate Park, H2), will focus on Ryusuke, the role of which has been given to popular actor Hiro Mizushima, the 25-year-old star of the manga-based Absolute Boyfriend, Hana Zakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen Paradise, and Lovely Complex projects.
Other cast members linked to the project include 20-year-old Takeru Satoh (Princess Princess D, Kamen Rider Den-O, Rookies) as the vocalist and guitarist Yukio Tanaka/Koyuki, 29-year-old Kenta Kiritani (Crows Zero, Rookies) as the rapper Chiba, 18-year-old Aoi Nakamura (Shinigami no Ballad., Q.E.D., Koizora) as the drummer Yuji Sakurai, and 27-year-old Osamu Mukai (Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Monochrome Factor, Mei-chan no Shitsuji) as the bass guitarist Taira.
Apparently 30 original songs are currently being written for the actors to perform and the idea is that after undergoing some rather intensive training regimes, the actors will be required to actually perform the musical numbers using actual instruments on the fly!
Anyway, it is going to be interesting to see if the live-action version will manage to inspire as much as the anime and manga outings did, but needless to say, this is definitely one future project to certainly look out for!