Fans have wished for a well received live-action anime adaptation for a long time, but neither Hollywood nor Japan have perfectly translated anime to live-action. The reception to Gintama's live-action film in Japan has been positive, and now fans in the West will soon get to see why.
According to a new report from Anime News Network, Well Go USA has secured the licensing rights to the Gintama live-action film. The film will release on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD in North America on March 6 next year.
The live-action film opened in Japan on July 14 and earned about $8.9 million USD in its first four days of release. The reception was so positive, it inspired a live-action webseries on Japan's Docomo dTV service one day after the film's release. The film has already screened in Canada at the Fantasia International Film Festival and will soon screen in other regions.
Director Yuichi Fukuda and star of the film Shun Oguri recently teamed up to announce that a sequel film, tentatively titled Gintama Part 2, will open in Summer 2018.
Hideaki Sorachi's Gintama is one of the most popular manga series in Japan with 50 million copies printed since it began in 2004. It has gained fame among fans online with its balance of humor, drama, and action while still jokingly referencing other popular Shonen Jump series like Dragon Ball. Its largely episodic nature has been a hit with fans, especially when it dives into longer story arcs like the final "Silver Soul" arc.
The "Silver Soul" arc is the 64th and final arc of series creator Hideaki Sorachi's manga. The longest running arc in the series to date, "Silver Soul" begins when Utsuro - whose immortality has forced him to find a way to truly die - reveals his final plan: to start a war that'll encompass the entire universe and lead to the destruction of the Earth. Gintoki then must team with old allies and make friends with older enemies in order to stop the rising army of space aliens - the Amanto - from wreaking havoc.
The series has seen different forms since its initial anime run from 2006 to 2010, with a second series airing from 2011 to 2013 with sporadic hiatuses in-between, a third series running from 2015 to 2016, two feature-length animated films, a few OVAs, and even a live action film releasing in Japan last July.
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