Today it was announced that actress Takei Emi and actor Matsuzaka Tori are going to star in the live-action adaption of the best-selling manga "Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu".
Takei is going to play the role of 'Hibino Tsubaki', a senior high school student who strongly believes in old customs such as keeping your virginity until marriage and has no confidence in dressing herself fashionable. However, her first kiss gets stolen by 'Tsubaki Kyouta' (Matsuzaka), a typical playboy who often teases her for being old-fashioned.
The manga is immensely popular among female high school students, who often call it their 'love bible'. Even Takei is said to be a big fan of the manga and didn't hesitate at all when she received the offer for the live-action adaption, which is going to mark her first starring role in a movie.
Takei commented, "'Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu' is like the only popular girls' manga that hasn't been adapted into a movie yet. I'm already happy enough that it is finally being adapted, but to actually being able to play the protagonist is a really big honor for me." She continued, "I'm going to start 2012 with this very precious project and I'd like to exert myself with the utmost effort in order to create a beautiful and enjoyable love story for everyone."
Matsuzaka already worked together with Takei in the dramas "GOLD" and "Asuko March!" He also already challenged some difficult roles, like in the currently screening movie "Antoki no Inochi" or the upcoming movie adaption of the popular drama "Shinzanmono". However, "Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu" is going to be his first role in a real love story.
He commented, "It's a very precious work, focusing on the 'feeling of distance' between Tsubaki, played by Takei Emi, and Kyouta. Kyouta's character in the manga is really fascinating, from a guy's point of view. Including the scenes without any lines, I'd like to play this role to the best of my abilities."
The manga has yet to release its final volume, thus the movie is going to incorporate some original story elements. The filming is scheduled to begin in January.
The producer, who already worked on this adaption for several year, commented, "When I saw Takei, I knew that I found the perfect actress for the role of Tsubaki. Matsuzaka impressed me with his acting in 'Antoki no Inochi', but I've already had my eyes on him for quite a while now. I hope they can become the 'golden couple' of the Heisei era. I also would like it become THE national date movie of Japan."
A release date for "Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu" has yet to be announced, but it's supposed to open sometime in 2012.