Yuki Kodama’s popular manga Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon) will get a live action film adaptation! Protagonist Kaoru Nishimi will be played by Yuri Chinen from the idol group Hey!Say!JUMP, Sentarou Kawabuchi by Taishi Nakagawa, and Ritsuko Mukae by Nana Komatsu.
Kids on the Slope was serialized in Shogakukan’s Monthly Flowers from 2007 to 2012. In this love story, high school students deepen their relationships through the sounds of jazz. Protagonist Kaoru, a shy and lonely boy, transfers to a school in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, and meets two students: Sentarou, the school’s ‘bad boy’ who is also a great drummer, and Ritsuko, a kind and gentle classmate. Through these encounters, Kaoru starts to change and open his heart.
The manga won first place in the Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2009 (This Manga is Amazing! 2009) ranking in the Women Vote Division. It also won the 57th Shougakukan Manga Award in the General Public Division. It was adapted into a TV anime series in 2012.
Commemorating the manga’s film adaptation, original author Yuki Kodama commented, ‘I just can’t wait for the “original melody” of Kids on the Slope to get “arranged” in the live-action film adaptation and for the characters to have life breathed into them.’
The movie will be directed by Takahiro Miki, who is also well-known for directing Tomorrow I Will Date with Yesterday’s You (Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru) and Solanine. He commented, ‘I am so happy to have the opportunity to film a work that I have always loved with such a fabulous cast.’ Yuri Chinen, who has been practicing the piano since last September, commented, ‘Right now, I am practicing how to perform jazz, which is a key factor in the story. During the filming, I hope to enjoy performing jazz, just like Kaoru.’ Nakagawa, who has bought an electric drum set for himself to practice at home every day, commented, ‘I will try my best to express Sentarou’s powerful drumming sounds through the movie.’ Finally, Komatsu, who will challenge a Sasebo dialect along with Nakagawa, commented, ‘I am looking forward to playing the role of Ritsuko Mukae, a kind girl with a pure heart, in the most delicate way as possible.’
The live-action movie adaptation of Kids on the Slope will be released throughout Japan in 2018.
Comment from Yuki Kodama
‘After it was decided that Kids on the Slope would get a live-action film adaptation, I got the chance to see behind the scenes of the filmmaking process. I still cannot believe that my manga is going to be turned into a live-action film.
The characters are going to be breathing air and feeling sunlight in real life. I am just so excited to see them actually laughing, crying, running down the slope, and performing jazz on the big screen.
I just can’t wait for the “original melody” of Kids on the Slope to get “arranged” in the live-action film adaptation and for the characters to have life breathed into them.’
Comment from Yuri Chinen (Kaoru Nishimi)
‘I will be playing the protagonist Kaoru Nishimi in this film. When I first read the script, I felt that the movie had the soft and delicate aspects which were something new compared to the live-action films released in recent years.
I hope to express such charms of the story with director Miki and the marvelous cast members. Right now, I am practicing how to perform jazz, which is a key factor in the story. I hope to enjoy performing jazz during filming, just like Kaoru.’
Comment by Taishi Nakagawa (Sentarou Kawabuchi)
‘Hi, everyone. I’m Taishi Nakagawa, and I will be playing the role of Sentarou Kawabuchi in this film. When I first read Kids on the Slope, I was so fascinated by the energetic and passionate jazz performance scenes and the delicate, heart-warming relationships. I myself have always loved music, so I am very happy about joining this movie’s cast and having the opportunity to enjoy music while acting. I will try my best to express Sentarou’s powerful drum sounds through the movie screens. Sentarou is a kind and honest boy who is sometimes lonely but is living strongly, and I hope to express all these aspects of him with all my heart.’
Comment from Nana Komatsu (Ritsuko Mukae)
‘I have worked with director Miki a couple of times in the past, and I am honored to have received a role in his movie once again as a character who is completely different from my roles in the past. Although I have to speak in the Sasebo dialect which I am not used to, I will try my best to express my feelings and emotions as naturally as I can. I also am excited to find out what kind of chemistry there will be by acting with Nakagawa and Chinen, both of whom I have never worked with before. I am looking forward to playing the role of Ritsuko Mukae, a kind girl with a pure heart, in the most delicate way as possible.’
Comment from Takahiro Miki
‘By reading this story, the reader’s rising emotions start to beat out a rhythm and light a fire in the heart. I am so happy to have the opportunity to film a work that I have always loved with such a fabulous cast. I will put all my heart into illustrating the story of the young students who are all trying hard to find their true selves by playing music.’
Live-Action Film Kids on the Slope
Coming up in 2018
Director: Takahiro Miki
Screenplay: Izumi Takahashi
Original Work: Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon) written by Yuki Kodama (Shogakukan’s Monthly flowers, published by FCα)
Cast: Yuri Chinen (Hey!Say!JUMP), Taishi Nakagawa, Nana Komatsu