On May 30, 2019, a live-action film adaptation of Shintaro Hirota’s popular manga series Seikimatsu Blue published on WEB magazine Comic Gum Set by WANIBOOKS was announced. Set in the 1990s, Seikimatsu Blue is the story of the bond between two teenage girls (Kosaka and Tomine) and their fated encounter with the creature that will be responsible for the apocalyptic event in 1999. MNL48’s Abby, Coleen and Brei reached new heights and made it as cast members. Manga Planet attended the Seikimatsu Blue press conference held during Coslandia 2019 on November 2, 2019, in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Cast and Staff Attend Press Conference
Present at the press conference were Mr. Shintaro Hirota, author of Seikimatsu Blue, Mr. Keita Suzuki of WANIBOOKS, the publisher of Seikimatsu Blue, movie director Tetsuya Hashi, singer TOMOCA, and main cast members Abby (MNL48) and REIRA (1-Girl), as well as Colleen (MNL48) and Brei (MNL48), Ai Sawamura, Hazuki Tsubasa, Yuki Chika (GrazoRex NEO), and Hazuki Rino. They were also joined by the actor Masahiro Sagane, who plays the principal in the movie.
During the press conference, the author, Mr. Hirota, expressed his sentiments about a movie being based on his work. When asked what he thought about the movie, Mr. Hirota mentioned that he has not seen it yet. Hirota also said that at first, he couldn’t quite believe that a movie is being based on his work and even jokingly quipped that he wanted to ask them if they’re really sure that it’s his manga that they wanted to adapt.
Cast Shares Challenges Faced During Filming
The members of MNL48 and the other cast members discuss the various obstacles they had to overcome during filming. MNL48’s Abby mentioned that one of the most challenging parts was changing her personality to fit her character. She pointed out that normally she is a strong-willed person, but during the filming, she had to take on a meek persona. She then went on to state that it was very challenging, not only for her but also for her fellow MNL48 cast members to act in a foreign language like Japanese. The MNL48 girls were very grateful to the Japanese cast members who were very kind to them and helped them even though they were in the midst of shooting.
With regards to the language barrier, 1-Girls’ Reira stated that she was initially very worried about it but it was thanks to Abby being very friendly that they managed to perform their roles well together.
MNL48’s Coleen also cited the language barrier as one of her challenges. She then recounted that it was quite hard to shoot when the director was explaining while the cameramen were also giving her directions where to go and she wasn’t quite sure where she was supposed to stay.
During the talk, MNL48’s Brei mentioned that the part was excited about was the part where Abby gets bullied. This elicited a round of laughter from the audience. Brei then mentioned that she got excited because they got to see how well Abby acted when she switched from her usual personality to being kind as part of her character, to which Abby jokingly rebutted, “I’m actually kind.”
MNL48’s Kay recalls that during the filming she played two roles, as a cast member and a translator. She had to act as a translator even though this was indeed her first time shooting in Japan. She mentioned that the Japanese cast tried their best to speak in English while the MNL48 cast members who didn’t speak Japanese also did their best to communicate, so that ended up with a very memorable experience indeed.
Yuki Chika opened up that she was actually worried about Abby’s fans hating her because in the movie she bullies Abby’s character by dumping a bucket of water on her. She then proceeded to tell the fans that she and Abby are really good friends in real life.
Mr. Hirota then presented the MNL48 girls and REIRA with the surprise sketches he made based on their characters in the film.
Mini-exhibit and autograph signings at the Seikimatsu Blue booth
A Seikimatsu Blue booth was also present at the event. Here, fans could buy a special version of the manga and have them signed by the author and some of the cast members. The booth also showcased some of the concept arts for both the movie and the manga.
Manga Planet thanks the organizers of Coslandia 2019 for allowing us to cover the stage event.
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