GAKI ROCK: ASAKUSA 6TH- WARD HONOR STORY — Manga Adaptation Coming to Amazon Prime Video (Japan)
Drama Series About Honor Among Street-Punks in Downtown Tokyo to Start Streaming from April 14
Source: Amazon Prime Video, Wright Film Inc. press releases
Special Thanks to Richard Jeffery, Ayame Yamamoto and Sarasa Saiki
A SCIFI JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
Amazon announced its latest Japanese Amazon Original series GAKI ROCK: ASAKUSA 6TH- WARD HONOR STORY (ガキ☆ロック〜浅草六区人情物語〜, Gaki☆Rokku 〜 Asakusa Roku Kuhito Jomonogatari 〜), a dramatization of the popular comic book Gaki Rock (ガキ☆ロック) serialized in Young Champion, is to start streaming exclusively with unlimited viewing on Amazon Prime Video (Japan) beginning April 14. The 12-episode series will stream with new episodes every week on Fridays. Amazon Prime members can watch and download the series via the free Amazon Prime Video app for iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire tablets, game consoles, smart TVs and online at amazon.co.jp/primevideo.
The series is an adaptation of the comic book Gaki Rock by manga author Daiju Yanauchi, author of Gang King that was serialized in Young King magazine (Shonen Gahosha) and went on to sell over 10 million copies when published in book form. Despite being a single-volume work, Gaki Rock sold about 200,000 copies. It brings Yanauchi’s favorite “punk comedy” style to the forefront, and tells the story of the honor, affection and friendship between Gen Shimura, a guy who loves and is loved by Asakusa (downtown Tokyo), and his buddies.
In the lead role of Gen Shimura is Taiko Katono, who won the “Junon Superboy Contest 2010” and made his stage debut in the Japanese tour of the New York troupe “Les Ballets Grandiva” in 2014. Katono is now broadening his range with roles in TV dramas, movies and theater, and this will be his first starring role in a drama series. Actor Yuki Yamada, who appeared in such notable recent movies as AJIN and KOUYA, plays the key role of Gen’s childhood friend Ryuta Kanayama. The cast is filled out with colorful performers such as Ikumi Hisamatsu as Kyoko, Gen’s instant love interest, in her first role as heroine; Goki Maeda as Gen’s friend Makoto; Yosuke Kawamura as Asakusa’s information conduit Jimmy; and Ryoji Nakamura as the foolish but gentle monk Mattsun, who is helpless in a fight.
In addition, Tomomi Itano appears as the mama of a Girls’ Bar and Shizuka Nakamura plays the wife of the takoyaki restaurant owner. The supporting cast includes well-known faces such as Chihiro Otsuka, Katsuya, Aya Enjoji, Naomasa Musaka, Ryuji Harada, Yuki Sato, Reiya Masaki, Shimon Okura and Seiya Osada.
“We’re delighted to shine a spotlight on Asakusa, where Tokyo’s distinguished past continues to live in GAKI ROCK: ASAKUSA 6TH- WARD HONOR STORY, said James Farrell, Head of Asia Pacific, Amazon Prime Video. “Our previous Japanese Original drama series have been set in modern Tokyo (HAPIMARI and TOKYO GIRLS PICTURE BOOK) or traditional Kyoto (FUKUYADO HONPO KYOTO LOVE STORY), but none have captured the old-fashioned downtown community spirit before. We can’t wait to see how our members react to the adventures of the loveable rogues in GAKI ROCK.”
“I hope viewers will watch me play Gen as he twists and turns in Asakusa and gain a positive view of the town from the mood created by the characters,” said lead actor Taiko Katono. “Though it is an adaptation, there are many parts that link to the original manga and you can enjoy it despite not knowing the manga. I hope moms and dads watch it too and that they will want to foster Gen and the other three characters. (LOL) I hope I can show my pure, direct passion.”
“I was really excited to be cast this time,” said actor Yuki Yamada, who plays Ryuta Kanayama. “It reminds you of the goodness of people, the goodness of the town of Asakusa, and I think that is really important today. It’s not just about thinking of others or giving to others, it’s about facing up to others too. It’s about obligation and honor. While feeling the teamwork from the previous movie, I tried to change things in a good way. I hope you enjoy it.”
“This is my first role as heroine, so I was really nervous before the shoot,” said Ikumi Hisamatsu, who plays Kyoko. “I was able to talk to the director, however, and managed to create my own unique take on the role. Kyoko has a strong core and a straightforward character. She tries to protect Asakusa from the series of problems that face it. I tried to play her seriously and I hope that everyone will feel the town’s wonderful sense of obligation and honor.”
“I’ll be happy if the live-action dramatization on Amazon Prime Video shows the world even a little of the goodness of Japan, through the rough and tumble of unusual youngsters of today like Gen who cherish old-fashioned honor while raging with life in my beloved town of Asakusa,” said original manga author Daiju Yanauchi. “I’d be delighted if my other titles spread around the world too along with GAKI ROCK.”
Gen Shimura was born and raised in Asakusa 6th Ward and took his first bath in the waters of Sensoji Temple. He’s as popular as Tora-san, and when he strolls around Asakusa, the residents call out his name. Gen helps out at the family-run strip club, England Theater, with his three friends: rickshaw man Makoto (Goki Maeda), casual worker Jimmy (Yosuke Kawamura) and foolish monk Mattsun (Ryoji Nakamura).
One day, Gen meets Kyoko (Ikumi Hisamatsu), a girl working at a takoyaki restaurant. Just as he falls in love with her, the incident occurs. Norio (Katsuya) is hanging out at his tavern “Norio-Chan Pon!” shooting the breeze with Manami (Chihiro Otsuka) when he is suddenly punched by a man wearing a monkey mask. Then the soba-noodle shop owner collapses. Inexplicable incidents happen one after another in Asakusa, along with the inevitable redevelopment of the town. Gen and his friends vow to “defend our beloved Asakusa” with honor and obligation in their hearts.
Original author: DaijuYanauchi
Producer: Masato Kohno (Clustar)
■ Opening/Ending Theme Songs
The opening song “Akai Inochiga Moeteiru” (Red Life is Burning) is performed by The Inazuma Sentai, a rock band that performs 100 gigs a year. Lead vocalist Jouya Uenaka wrote the lyrics, and commented, “I hope it reaches all of those living recklessly through gritted teeth.”
Opening song: “Akai Inochiga Moeteiru” (Red Life is Burning) Lyrics: Jouya Uenaka/Composer: The Inazuma Sentai/Performer: The Inazuma Sentai
Ending song: “Gaki Rock” Lyrics: Daiju Yanauchi/Composer: Pistol Takehara/Performer: Pistol Takehara
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