Konnichiwa (Hello!), outside-the-box-office thinkers . . . Picture’s up! In truth, there are several Japanese motion pictures that will flood the SoCal silver screen soon . . . However, a singular title, BL METAMORPHOSIS, packs extra power across the otaku-verse.
Indeed, there is a great deal of buzz around the impending BL METAMORPHOSIS cinematic stateside reveal, en route Tuesday, September 28, on Hollywood’s storied Sunset Boulevard. If one is not a manga stan, then one might wonder why the commotion. Rest assured, there is ample reason for the building hubbub.
As of June 17, the bestselling, eponymous Kadokawa Shoten manga franchise is a hit live-action Japanese film (and incidentally, a 4-episode Hulu streaming series). The feature length film BL METAMORPHOSIS, heretofore unavailable outside Japan, is one of the all-star offerings at the in-person ACA Cinema Project film series: Emerging Japanese Films. This five-night program is part of the Japanese government Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Japan Film Overseas Expansion Enhancement Project and is a collaborative endeavor alongside Visual Industry Promotion Organization (VIPO of Japan). The celebration unveils four newly released, dramatic, and awards-worthy Japanese live-action feature films, plus presents a retrospective night that honors veteran auteur Hirozaku Kore-eda. Related activations take place from September 27 — August 1, 2022 at Harmony Gold Preview House in Hollywood and are free of charge for accredited entertainment industry professionals. Show business insiders and their guests are able to RSVP at www.aca-cinema-japan.com.
In terms of crowd-pleasers, director Shunsuki Kariyama’s BL METAMORPHOSIS indulges manga and slice-of-life anime fans alike. It is a live-action interpretation of the sweet, quirky female friendship and fandom story made famous first in book form circa 2017. A teenager and a retiree bond over their shared affinity for the boys’ love genre of Japanese graphic novels. The two ladies — one young, one young-at-heart — overcome a considerable age and cultural divide to collaborate on their own work of literary art. In short, from fictional male romance blooms female camaraderie.
Source material fun facts: BL METAMORPHOSIS, the manga serial written and illustrated by Kaori Tsurutani, has won numerous book awards, such as the New Face Award of the Manga Division at the 22nd Japan Media Arts Festival. It ranked #1 in the women’s manga category of Kono Manga ga Sugoi! periodical. It also snagged Best Manga of 2019 in Kono Manga o Yome! and appeared on the top 50 best manga roster in Da Vinci monthly magazine.
Needless to say, the corresponding BL METAMORPHOSIS screen adaptation is a hot ticket, albeit a complimentary one for entertainment industry insiders on Wednesday night. In fact, several esteemed show business pros plan to opine about it publicly. Panelists at the apres LA premiere on Wednesday, September 28 are screenwriter/producer/director Jeffrey Reddick (FINAL DESTINATION franchise, YOUNG CAPTAIN NEMO, SAMURAI RABBIT: USAGI CHRONICLES); producer and creative executive Geneva Wasserman (dentsu’s The Story Lab); producer and creative executive Kevin Nicklaus (Tapas Media); senior business development and consumer products manager Vincent Imaoka (VIZ Media); and screenwriter/podcaster/film fest founder Geoffrey Calhoun (WeFixYourScript). Additional presenter names for the other film panels are soon to be available on the event website.
For those unable to partake in ACA Cinema Project up close and personal, consider a future visit to the event website: https://www.aca-cinema-japan.com/films. Program organizers plan to record and upload the lively talk-back panels for the world to enjoy.