KADOKAWA Pictures will be producing “セーラー服と機関銃 -卒業- (Sailor Fuku to Kikanjyu -Sotsugyo-, Sailor Suit and Machine Gun -Graduation)” to celebrate their 40th anniversary year. During their press conference on June 23, KADOKAWA announced that 橋本環奈 (Hashimoto Kanna) will play the lead role.
The movie “Sailor Suit and Machine Gun” was made in 1981 with Somai Shinji as the director and Yakushimaru Hiroko as the lead role. The movie, based on Akagawa Jiro‘s 1978 novel, became a huge hit.
The story revolves around Hoshi Izumi, a Japanese high schooler who becomes a head of a yakuza clan; it describes her hardships as she vigorously matures with the help of those who surround her.
“Sailor Suit and Machine Gun” has also been made into TV dramas in 1982 with Harada Tomoyo as the lead and in 2006 with Nagasawa Masami as the lead.
The original behind this upcoming film is Akagawa’s 1989 novel セーラー服と機関銃・その後─卒業─ (Sailor Fuku to Kikanjyu・Sono go-Sotsugyo-). The story is based one year after Sailor Suit and Machine Gun, with Hoshi Izumi trying to return to a normal life as a high school senior.
Maeda Koji will be directing the film, and Takada Ryo will be writing the screenplay.
The press conference consisted of Hashimoto, Akagawa, Maeda, and Takada, as well as Inoue (executive producer) and Kikuchi (planning producer). The members talked about the process until production, as well as their thoughts toward the film.
Hashimoto’s casting was influenced by a picture of her Inoue saw two years ago on the Internet. Inoue attended her group’s concert right away, and asked for her to star in his film. He made a deal, with a promise that Hashimoto’s first lead role will be a KADOKAWA picture. Inoue looked back on this event, stating “After a year and a half, I was finally able to choose a movie perfect for her.”
Akagawa mentioned, “I heard that Hashimoto was born in 1999, and couldn’t believe that someone growing up in the 21st century is at the age to play a leading role. If Yakushimaru were the 20th century version of Hoshi Izumi, I want Hashimoto to become the 21st century version using her own techniques.”
Maeda, who has been a huge fan of KADOKAWA Pictures, expressed his motivation towards the upcoming movie. “I want to be able to show Hashimoto the way she is now, at this moment.”
Hashimoto commented, “It’s like a dream to be able to play Hoshi Izumi, a role that has been played by Yakushimaru Hiroko, an actress I truly admire and respect.”
She has watched the 1981 film and mentioned, “The last scene, where Yakushimaru says ‘Ka・i・ka・n’ and shoots the machine gun left a strong impression. This is a role that amazing, great actresses have played in the past, so rather than acting similar to them, I would like to act out my own Hoshi Izumi.”
Near the end of the conference, Hashimoto was asked to perform the last scene in her own way. Although she seemed a bit bewildered, she said “Ka・i・ka・n… Kaikan?” very quickly and blushed. The entire audience applauded.
At the end, Hashimoto commented, “From today, I have decided to lock away the pressure I felt at the beginning because I can’t be losing to such pressure if I’m playing Hoshi Izumi, a strong character. I will face this film with all my effort, with the courage and positiveness like Hoshi Izumi, to create a film worthy of the first project of KADOKAWA Pictures’ 40th anniversary.”
The crew will begin shooting in early July, and is planned to be completed in November.