Kyoko Okazaki’s manga River’s Edge will be turned into a live-action movie with Fumi Nikaido in the role of heroine Haruna Wakagusa and Ryo Yoshizawa as her classmate Ichiro Yamada!
The director will be Isao Yukisada, known for Go, Crying out love in the center of the world and Year One in the North. The movie is scheduled to come to Japanese cinemas somewhere in 2018.
Youth Manga ‘River’s Edge’
River’s Edge was serialized in the girl’s fashion magazine CUTiE between 1993 and 1994.
‘River’s Edge’ re-print (Takarajimasha)
The story takes place in the 1990s when the economic bubble has just burst and the new century is about to start. It is a realistic shojo manga showing sex, violence and the insecurities, lust, and hopes of young people living in a big city.
Even though its original release was more than 20 years ago, it is still a monumental work that gains new fans even today.
Comments from Fumi Nikaido, Ryo Yoshizawa, and Isao Yukisada
Fumi Nikaido read the manga in her teens and was deeply attracted to it, ‘I think I was fortunate to read this story in my teens.’
Nikaido’s character is Haruna Wakagusa, a girl who lives together with her mother and has a boyfriend her age. Even though she isn’t dissatisfied with her current life, she somehow feels that she isn’t happy. About her character, Nikaido said, ‘She is far from feeling alive, and covers it with her youth and strength. I sometimes imagine what her future will be like.’
On the other hand is Ichiro Yamada, the mysterious boy played by Ryo Yoshizawa. He is gay and doesn’t go to school because he gets bullied a lot.
He commented on the original manga, ‘The young people of the 90s felt empty, as if they were trapped in a big wave, not able to move, but it isn’t that different from how high school students are feeling today.’
Director Isao Yukisada said, ‘I always resisted making live-action adaptations, but Kyoko Okazaki’s masterpiece is too tempting to miss out on it. I finally agreed to do it.’
To the fans, who wait for this release, he said, ‘I want to make a movie that vividly shows the 90s and how they were. I wanted to work with young actors from this generation and reach out to the hearts of the young people in the current time.”
There’s a river, close and wide and slowly drying out. On the growing island of the river, bullying-victim Ichiro Yamada (Ryo Yoshizawa) finds a decaying corpse. Kozue, a bulimic model, loved this corpse. Both of them open their hearts only to the honest and ‘cute’ Haruna (Fumi Nikaido). Relentlessly bullying Yamada is Haruna’s boyfriend Kannonzaki. Tajima Kanna is in love with Yamada. And there is Haruna’s friend Rumi, who is pregnant, not knowing who the father is. It is a realistic story that tells the mingled feelings of teenagers, who don’t know if they should follow their love, body or feeling and tell it straight as it is. And the dead body bears a new life.