Indiewire is reporting via the Anime News Network that Japan is taking steps to bring “Tokyo Tribe 2” to the big screen. Director Sion Sono, who is said to be something of a controversial filmmaker is helming the project.
The film will be based on a series of graphic novels published since 1993 by author Santa Inoue, which were later adapted into a 13-part TV series.
I have not had the chance to see any of Sono’s films just yet. However, based on what I read in the report, and in other reports, the manga does not sound too far off from what the award-winning filmmaker and poet is capable of.
Set in a near-future Tokyo as a turf battle between street gangs, aka “tribes”, escalates into a large-scale war, this is the other side of Tokyo, a Tokyo of a different color. There, various tribes are living. The SARU from Japan’s Musashino, WU-RONZE of Bukuro, and HANDS of Shindyuku… Young men living in the city… these young men of the sordid side of life, a side called “reality,” are depicted here.
The report also indicates thusfar that contrary to what is illustrated in the artwork, Sono appears to be casting all Japanese actors instead of Black actors. Developments could take a turn so there is no knowing yet regarding what the cast will look like, but given the source material and the filmmaker involved, the film is turning out to look like a highly gritty, mature, extremely violent action thriller set in a fictionalized Japan that promises all the trimmings of a memorable piece of cinema for cult Japanese film fans. Or at least fans of the manga or the filmmaker, whichever fans choose at this point.
At any rate, the report only speculates that the image shared in the article is of a black characters, although it wasn’t confirmed. But now that I think about it, if Sono does decide to cast some Black actors in the film as part of the story, I have a few ideas on who Sono could bring on board. I’m not going to name any names, just yet-I’ll save that for one of my off-blog conversations.
For now, I want to know what readers think. Is the Indiewire reporter correct about the ethnicity of the characters in the artwork? And furthermore, who do you want to see cast in a Japanese gangster action film with Black characters? Comment below and share your opinion.
UPDATE (8:27pm EST): Click HERE to read the latest article from Twitch about Sono’s casting process.
Photo Credit: Indiewire
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.