Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
Amazon Prime Video recently announced its new original drama series Gaki Rock: Asakusa 6th-Ward Honor Story!, based on the famous Japanese manga Gaki Rock (ガキ☆ロック) written and illustrated by Daiju Yanauchi. Yanauchi serialized the manga in Akita Shouten’s Young Champion magazine in 2003, and since then its single compiled volume has been reprinted multiple times.
The series will premiere on April 14, just one week after the second season of Kamen Rider Amazons, for 12 episodes (new episodes every week on Fridays). The Gaki Rock manga is famous for its punk comedy style, and the new series will try to tell a new story different from both the manga and the live action movie, but one that retains the themes of honor, affection, and friendship that were prevalent in the original story of Gen Shimura and his buddies in Asakusa (downtown Tokyo). Fans of the 2014 live action film would be glad to know that the main cast members will reprise their roles.
The opening song Akai Inochi ga Moeteiru (Red Life is Burning) will be performed by the prolific rock band The Inazuma Sentai whom you may know from Fall 2006 anime Gin-iro no Olynssis. Lead vocalist Jouya Uenaka commented, ‘I hope it reaches all of those living recklessly through gritted teeth.’ The ending theme Gaki Rock will be performed by Pistol Takehara, the multi-talented actor, musician, and front-man of the Japanese folk band Yakozen. The lyrics were written by Yanauchi, the original manga author!
‘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. Our previous Japanese Original drama series have been set in modern Tokyo (Hapimari Happy Marriage 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. 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. The series 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. 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. I’d be delighted if my other titles spread around the world too along with Gaki Rock.’
The series will start streaming exclusively with unlimited viewing on Amazon Prime Video on 14 April 2017
Original author: Daiju Yanauchi
Producer: Masato Kohno (Clustar)
Amazon Video is a premium on-demand entertainment service by Amazon that offers customers the greatest choice in what to watch, and how to watch it. Learn more: www.amazon.co.jp/prime
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.
Akai Inochi ga Moeteiru (Red Life is Burning)
Lyrics: Jouya Uenaka
Composer: The Inazuma Sentai
Performer: The Inazuma Sentai
Lyrics: Daiju Yanauchi
Composer: Pistol Takehara
Performer: Pistol Takehara
Taikō Kato’ono asGen Shimura
Goki Maeda as Makoto
Yōsuke Kawamura as Jimmy
Ryōji Nakamura as Mattsun
Yūki Yamada as Ryūta Kanayama
Ikumi Hisamatsu as Kyōko
Tomomi Itano as ‘Mama’
Shizuka Nakamura as the mistress of the takoyaki restaurant
Chihiro Otsuka; Katsuya; Aya Enjouji; Naomasa Musaka; Ryuuji Harada; Yuuki Satou; Reiya Masaki; Shimon Ookura; Seiya Osada