'Gintama 2' Trailer Features Lots of Live-Action 'Dragon Ball'

A new trailer for the Gintama live-action mini-series shows a whole of Dragon Ball references.A [...]

A new trailer for the Gintama live-action mini-series shows a whole of Dragon Ball references.

A new live-action Gintama adaptation is heading to dTV in Japan, and it is bringing with it a painful reminder of Dragon Ball Evolution. The trailer — posted to YouTube last week — shows actors dressed as Goku, Krillin, Freeza and a few other Dragon Ball characters.

The team behind Gintama will apparently stop at nothing to break Dragon Ball fans' hearts, as it looks like Yamcha will make an appearance. There is also an unrecognizable character standing in the middle of the wilderness, apparently winding up to launch a ki blast. He wears nothing but a scouter and his underpants, looking vaguely like an anime version of Walter White.

The Gintama franchise has been parodying other manga and anime — particularly Dragon Ball -- for years. The upcoming mini-series has been billed as a drama for the most part, though it looks like it will lean heavily on these spoofs, as well. The live-action Gintama series is under the supervision of writer-director Yuichi Fukuda, who has been in charge of both previous live-action versions of Gintama.

The series will reportedly be a loose adaptation of Hideaki Soachi's original manga. Three chapters will be covered, ranging from Hijikata's search for cigarettes, Kagura's insomnia and a trip to the dentist.

The series will debut on Docomo's dTV streaming service on Saturday, Aug. 18. It will try to capitalize on the publicity boost from Gintama 2: The Law is Surely There to be Broken. The film premieres on Friday, Aug. 17, making the timing perfect for a tie-in series.

Gintama has become one of the most popular series in Japan since its release in 2003. It is set in an alternate historical version of Japan's Edo period, where humanity is faced with an alien attack. The "Amanto" face off against Japanese samurai, while the shogun attempts to negotiate a peace with them for his own benefit.

Gintama has sold over 50 million copies as a manga, and counting. It has also been adapted into a highly successful anime, running from 2006 to 2010 in Japan. Since then, there have been repeated efforts to get a continuation off the ground, though it never seems to have found the right footing.

Those interested in Gintama can binge the entire anime series on Crunchyroll. The manga is also available in English from Viz Media. There is no telling when the live-action adaptations might make it over to the English-speaking audiences, however.