Live-Action Litchi Hikari Club ライチ☆光クラブ Film Preview

I reviewed the manga Lychee Light Club/Litchi Hikari Club at the beginning of the week and in the post I mentioned that there would be a live-action adaptation of the manga created by Usamaru Furuya in 2005. He was inspired to create it when he was a stage adaptation in 1985 that was put on by Tokyo Grand Guignol Theatre. Here are the details:

Litchi Hikari Club Film Image

Litchi Hikari Club / Lychee Hikari Club

Japanese: ライチ☆光クラブ

Romaji: RaichiHikari Kurabu

Release Date: Winter, 2015

Running Time: 114 mins.

Director: Eisuke Naito

Writer: Eisuke Naito, Keisuke Tominaga (Screenplay), Usamaru Furuya (Original Manga)

Starring: Shuhei Nomura (Tamiya), Yuki Furukawa (Zera), Shotaro Mamiya (Jaibou), Junya Ikeda (Niko), Amane Okayama (Yakobu), Ryo Matsuda (Raizou), Junki Tozuka (Dentaku), Kisetsu Fujiwara (Kaneda), Reiya Masaki (Dafu),

Website

UPDATE

New Teaser trailer:

The story focusses on nine students at an all-boys school who, under the leadership of the charismatic and slightly unhinged aesthete Zera, create a powerful robot named Lychee who is powered by lychee… His mission is to capture the beautiful women of the world but when Lychee becomes self-aware he becomes attached to one of his victims all the while the boys squabble and fight amongst themselves for power and Zera’s attention…

I was on the fence when I first heard about this one. The content is extreme with boy-on-boy violence and lust (see how the stageplay does it with this youtube video – it’s pretty funny and not as explicit as the manga despite the strings of liquid and noises. Also, spoilers) but Nikkatsu are a pretty ballsy studio who don’t skimp on violence and nudity when they are being extreme. This is the studio with a long history in great genre flicks like the Stray Cat Rock series and Tokyo Drifter (1966) but I’m thinking about more modern titles like their Sushi Typhoon stuff (some of which I am reviewing as part of my Splatter Season) like Cold Fish (2010) Deadball (2011). They also released the taboo-breaking Watashi no Otoko and Killers (2014). I’m pretty confident they won’t back down from this challenge.

I think there’s more cause for optimism because the director is Eisuke Naito. He has created an oeuvre of nasty horror flicks like Let’s Make the Teacher Have a Miscarriage Club (2012)  and he impressed me with one of his films, Puzzle (2014), a film about kidnappings and killings all played out to a seemingly childish game. I really, really dug that one and I wrote a review for it two months ago but I’m saving it for a special occasion. Admittedly, I hated one of his other films, The Crone (2013) which was pretty generic J-horror with an awful story and special effects. When Naito has money he makes some pretty over the top baroque horror films which utilise all sorts of editing and camera techniques to create an effect. Just looking at that PV one can see that he has captured the setting of the grimy industrial town. I love the rusted colours and the griminess of the setting we do see and the shots on the film’s website are also pretty evocative.

The casting is something I’m a little unsure of if only because I’m not too familiar with many of the actors.

For a film about young guys playing macabre games in a club, the actors lined up for the roles are appropriately fresh and handsome.

Although no roles have been announced some internet users in Japan have speculated who will play which character.

Although the characters in the manga are slimly written, they are visually distinct. This provides a certain degree of latitude for the actors to add embellishments if they are skilled enough but one of the main roles, Tamiya, may be played by Shuhei Nomura who is an actor to watch (not least because he’s in the upcoming live-action Chihayafuru) and proved his mettle in Puzzle. Junki Kaneda put in a pretty good performance in the film Remiges (2013) and Amane Okayama made a favourable impression in My Little Sweet Pea (2013) and I can just about remember him in the live-action adaptation of Another (2012).

Source Source Source

UPDATE (26/08/15): Roles were confirmed revealed  on the official Tumblr account for live-action Lychee Light Club manga. Here’s the final line-up:

Source

14 thoughts on “Live-Action Litchi Hikari Club ライチ☆光クラブ Film Preview

    1. Since it’s a massive part of the original story then the movie should have enough of what you want😉

      I suspect that there is going to be judicious use of camera angles and editing. I like how the stage play did the whole thing, funny without being excessive.

      The trailer was released not so long back and I tweeted it but didn’t put it up here. I have just done it!

      1. 123456789

        you wouldn’t happen to know the release date or anything about obtaining the previous stage play version, would you?

      2. There have been multiple stage plays. I did a quick search based on the YouTube clip I linked to and since this one features Yuki Tamaki then I think it’s the 2012/13 one which keeps cropping up on different Tumblr blogs.

        Obviously, be careful when clicking on links and buy the products to support artists if you can:

        http://obnoxious-acorn.livejournal.com/9980.html

        The stage-play is available to buy on DVD at Amazon JP and CDJapan. Just put 舞台ライチ☆光クラブ dvd into a search.

  1. Is this movie actually express ya know? the “yoai part” as much as the manga? Or did they make it’s seem suggestive. As a guy, just reading the manga itself already make me uncomfortable. so seeing in a a screen would be a bit awkward for me. Also it’s category as comedy. is that true? Since the manga is definitely not comedy. Overall how would you rate this move? Pg-13 or R?

    1. How much does it show? I think it’s THE question many readers of the manga were curious about aaaaand… I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t really answer that question. I did have a look at a few reviews and saw that the homosexual themes are there and pretty explicit and there’s this quote from Psycho-Drama (a great resource):

      Of course, the sex scenes between Shotaro Mamiya and Furukawa are not that graphic, except that the way it was shown has full frontal impact! [ now don’t get too excited since there are actually no sexual exposure to such extreme ] The way Naito made the scenes will keep audience excited and disturbed (with almost same intensity).

      As far as classing this as a comedy? There is some black humour but the manga is grim and it sounds like the film is intense with some of the more disturbing scenes depicted. Overall, knowing the contents of the manga I’d play it safe and rate it an R since it sounds like the film doesn’t skimp on the splatter and violence – .

      Here’s the Litch live-action review from Don Brown, a good critic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s