Seikimatsu Blue, the upcoming movie adaptation of the manga of the same name, is among the headliners of Coslandia 2019. The cast and staff of the film adaptation including MNL48’s Abby, Coleen, Brei, and Kay are present during the said event.
This feature covers two press conferences: First is at the media room last Friday, November 01, and the main press conference at the Main stage last Saturday, November 02.
Seikimatsu Blue reflects Japan in the 1990s
The Seikimatsu Blue manga authored by Shintaro Hirota first ran on Wani Books’ Comic Gum from July to October 2018 and saw a full release two months after.
Set in 1990s Japan, Seikimatsu Blue tells the story of friendship between Kosaka and Tomine. Kosaka encountered the strange monster “Daiou” after helping bullied classmate Tomine, which led to the destruction of the world in July 1999.
The story’s timeline reflects Japan before the Millenium. According to an article published in The Asia-Pacific Journal, “Bullying (ijime) and school nonattendance (futoko) have been the key ‘behavioural problems’ among students in Japan since the mid-1980s.“
Director Tetsuya Hashi said that the live-action film adaptation gives more focus on select parts of the manga, such as the issue of bullying not only between kids but also between adults.
Challenges in producing the Seikimatsu Blue live-action film adaptation
During the main press con, MNL48’s Abby said that her biggest challenge is to change her personality for the movie: “Alam n’yo naman po na palaban ang isang Abelaine, ‘di ba? Pero pagdating doon, talagang tumahimik ako, hindi niyo ako basta-basta mapag-sasalita, at sobrang na-challenge ako, hindi lang ako, pati lahat ng MNL48 members […]”
Other cast members have their fair share of challenges. Chika from GracoRex Neo and Rino from Fairytales said in the previous press con that it’s their first time doing horrible things to someone and it’s a new experience for them.
Chika and Rino acted as the bullies in the said movie, but they stressed that they will never bully people in real life. Rino adds that being cast in the film is a good experience for her personally, and she hopes to take that learning experience with her.
Back to the main press con, another challenge in producing the movie, according to MNL48’s Coleen, is the language barrier: “[…] kasi ang hirap pong mag-shoot na nag-eexplain ‘yung director, ‘yung mga cameraman na, ‘Ay, dito ka, dito ka’, ‘di mo alam kung saan ka pupunta […]”
For MNL48’s Kay, she plays multiple roles – as a cast member and a translator: “First time ko din po mag-shoot sa Japan ng ganun and ako po din naging isang translat(or) doon sa shoot, siyempre hindi po nila kayang kausapin ‘yung mga cast na sign language lang kundi tutuling din po ako sa kanila para mag-translate […]”
Exciting Parts of the Seikimatsu Blue live-action movie
MNL48’s Brei got excited in the part where Abby will be bullied: “[…] Na-excite ako kasi doon natin makikita kung gaano talaga siya kagaling kasi alam naman natin ang character niya, tapos magsu-switch siya na mabait siya, ganun […],” to which Abby retorted, “Mabait naman ako…”
Kay seconded this: “Sobrang natatawa ako, kasi … iba talaga si Ate Abby; sabi ko, ‘Ayan na, bu-bullyhin na siya’, […] naka-abang na po ako, nanonood ako, […] sabi ko kay Ate Abby, ‘hala…’ ‘tas sobrang nakaka-awa hitsura niya […] iba talaga, kaya ‘pag napanood niyo talaga, magugulat kayo.”
Another exciting aspect of the film is the songs produced for it. “Wa-pop” singer Tomoca wrote a song for the movie, and she said that it is her first time to write songs with specific themes.
She even gave a sample of her song, which asks people to “don’t give up” and “love yourself.” Hopefully, she adds, that this fresh experience helps her write better songs in the future.
The bond that Seikimatsu Blue cast shared
The MNL48 cast members expressed their appreciation to the cast and crew as they share their stories on stage.
To Abby and Kay, there’s is no language barrier as they interact with the cast. Abby is much thankful for having the opportunity to be cast in a Japanese film: “Sobrang thankful kami kasi ‘yung mga cast tinuruan pa rin kami eh. Kahit na nagfi-film na, nagsu-shoot na, hindi sila nagsawa na turuan kami.”
“Sobrang nakaka-challenge kasi bilang Filipina na aacting ng first-ever, Nihongo pa yung gagamitin eh, sobrang nakakapagod– hala, naging Cavitena ako dito… (laughs)“
Kay also added that the Japanese cast did their best to reach out to the Filipinas: “[…] Nagkaka-usap po kami […] kasi madalas po kami magkakasama sa shoot. Hindi po sila nakakapag-salita (ng Nihongo) pero tina-try talaga nila, tapos sila, they really try na mag-English; sobrang… naging memorable ‘yung shoot na ‘to.”
As for Coleen, she will take the journey to heart. “[…] pero ang saya po ng shoot namin ‘tsaka noong journey namin sa Japan. Kahit na hindi kami nagkakaintindihan, sobrang saya po kasi kahit na ganun, ‘yung body language lang namin, tingin lang namin, nagkakaintindihan po kami. […] Shortly, nag-enjoy po talaga ako kasi sobrang bago po ito sa akin, yung ganitong challenge.”
We remember Abby saying these words, to sum up the experience: “Sobrang gaan ng trabaho na ito.”
Rino opens up about the cast. She was worried at first but after feeling the warm reception of the cast, they became close to her. Chika told Abby’s fans that they are best friends, so let’s be nice to her as well.
The Director and the Manga Author’s thoughts
Director Hashi, who already did the Talulot ng Sakura music video for MNL48, told the press and the audience that directing the cast was easier than we thought.
He chose the roles for the cast which comes naturally as he interacts with them. To note, one of the conditions that he set out in order to direct the movie is that the cast will endure long hours of filming and won’t complain easily, something that they have achieved.
We also had the opportunity to know the manga author better. Hirota-sensei said that he thought twice about getting his story adapted, to which he verified if it’s the real deal as there are a lot more titles that can be adapted.
He has not yet watched the movie himself but we are sure that he is looking forward to it. After all, he gave a surprise sketch of the MNL48 ladies and REIRA from 1-GIRLS who is cast as Kosaka.
After the press conference, the cast proceeds to sign autographs for the fans. Seikimatsu Blue is set to be shown in theaters February next year. MNLoves are already looking forward to it.