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Threads of Destiny
INTRODUCTION STORY CAST
STAFF Original Work  
WMPREAL
Lives entwine, fates unravel

INTRODUCTION

It exemplified the immense power of new media - a serialized novel distributed over the Internet and subsequently read by tens of millionsc on their cell phones! Now the cultural sensation that was "Akai Ito" prepares to make its traditional media debut, but not before setting a new precedent as a feature film and TV series collaboration!

"Akai Ito" became the most visited site on the popular cell phone portal, "Magic Library", resonating through the hearts and minds of millions of wired-in teens in 2006. The online story initially garnered over 16 million unique views. But that swelled a mind-boggling 36 million soon after the announcement of the feature film and television project. The print version of "Akai Ito", meanwhile, has sold over 1.8 million copies since its release in 2007.

"Akai Ito" is a teen romance that deals with the universal innocence and burgeoning idealism of post-pubescence along with the confusion, disillusion and struggle that accompanies the transition from teen to young adult. But it also serves as a window into contemporary teenage life in Japan, filtered through lives of Mei and Atsushi, middle school classmates who find each other in their search for relationships that are meant to be no matter how much the world tries to intervene. Imparting extra emotional weight to the story's themes is the love ballad, "366 Days," written and performed by popular Japanese "indie" band, HY.

A Cross-Media Project Unlike Any Other!

"Akai Ito" brings to the world a new collaborative form of entertainment, with the simultaneous release of both a feature film and television drama that harnesses the strengths of both media and integrates them so they are compatible down to the last detail. With the same cast and production crew on both projects, the story centers on the love interests of its two young protagonists while providing an evocative portrayal of contemporary teenage lives in Tokyo. By weaving together the dynamism and expressive power of cinema with the carefully measured plot and character development of a serial drama, "Akai Ito" seeks to build two unique yet mutually-informing viewpoints of a single narrative. Audiences and fans of the novella are sure to delight in the combined rendering, which is designed to provide them with a richer and more rewarding entertainment experience. This winter, cinema, television, music and the Internet join forces like never before!

STORY

Mei has been in love with Yuya all her life. They've grown up together. But when they reach their second year of middle school, Yuya suddenly professes his love for her older sister, Haruna.
     Struggling to rebound from her decade-long crush, Mei finds comfort in the close camaraderie of her school friends, Taka, Mia, Yuri, Natsu, Mitsu and Sara and then meets a reticent and gentle-natured boy named Atsushi. The two begin to realize that they share many things in common that seem to transcend mere coincidence: the same birthday (February 29th, 1992) and a previous encounter when they were both 8. Feeling a bond of fate, they grow closer.
     But destiny can have a dark side to it, too, and a shocking revelation from both of their pasts compels Atsushi to pull away from Mei. The devastating separation then unleashes a wave of misfortune upon Mei: the death of a loved one, drug addiction and domestic violence. As circumstances seek to take control of her life, Mei struggles to maintain her faith in the tenuous thread of destiny that will reunite her with her true love.

CAST

Mei Takemiya -Nao Minamisawa
A typical teenage girl blessed with a cheerful disposition, friends and a loving family. She still harbors a childish belief in the magical forces of life, but is at her core well grounded, strong-willed and a self-motivated. She'll bring an unmitigated zeal and effort to any task, and holds fast to her convictions.

Atsushi Nishino ("Akkun") -Junpei Mizobata
Second and third year middle school classmate of Mei's, Atsushi was raised by a single mother and carries a mature adult air that is accentuated by a cool and composed nature that shields his feelings. But his encounter with Mei gradually lures him out of his self-protective shell.

Riku Takahashi ("Takachan") -Ryo Kimura
Third year middle school classmate of Mei's, Riku sports an outgoing and free-spirited personality. At first glance, he seems the playboy type, but is dead serious when it comes to affairs of the heart. He and Mei toy with a relationship after graduating from middle school.

Mia Yamagishi -Rei Okamoto
Classmate of Mei's close friend and classmate all through middle school, Mia is a trend-sensitive, gregarious type who's always on the prowl for boys.

Mami Tadokoro -Anna Ishibashi
Atsushi's long-time friend whose parents got divorced due to his father's drug problems, Mami has been Atsushi's confidante since childhood as they both shared in a sense of isolation.

Sara Nakagawa -Nanami Sakuraba
Third year middle school classmate of Mei's, Sara by day is a plain and unassuming student. But by night, she turns to Goth fashion and follows around her favorite band.

Natsuki Fujiwara ("Natsu") -Tomo Yanagishita
Second and third year classmate of Mei's, "Natsu" is the athlete of the group as member of the school's soccer team.

Yuka Nakanishi -Kasumi Suzuki
Mei's second and third year middle school classmate and close friend. She's a serious student who gets good grades and is always tending to people's needs.
Mitsuru Kamiya ("Mitsu") -Ryo Tajima
A second and third year middle school classmate of Mei's, Mitsu is the group mood setter who has devoted himself entirely to his band.

Haruna Takemiya -Sayuri Iwata
Mei's compassionate and doting older sister by two years.

Toshihisa Takemiya- Masahiro Kohmoto
Mei's father.

Natsumi Nishino -Mirai Yamamoto
Atsushi's mother currently hospitalized for drug addiction.

Takamichi Morisaki -Shigemitsu Ogi
A local Shinto priest who cares for Atsushi after his mother is hospitalized.

Sachiko Takemiya -Noriko Watanabe
Mei's gentle and caring mother who always puts her daughter's interests first.

STAFF

Director
Shousuke Murakami
Born 1963 in Saitama Prefecture, Shousuke got his professional start working for Fuji Sankei Communications Group's Kyodo Television where he staged a great many landmark TV dramas that included "Waterboys" ('03, Fuji TV), "Shiroi Kyotoh" ('03, Fuji TV), "A Liter of Tears" ('05, Fuji TV) and "The Fantastic Deerman" ('08, Fuji TV). "Akai Ito" is his third feature film directorial work following "Train Man" ('05) and "Christmas on July 24th Avenue" ('06).

Producers
Yoshihiko Taneda
Major feature film works include "Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust" ('07, Yasuo Baba), "Season of Snow" ('08, Eiichiro Hasumi) and "Homeless Chugakusei" ('08, Tomoyuki Furumaya).

Masayuki Sekiya
Major works include "Aishi Kimi e" ('04, Fuji TV), "1 Liter of Tears" ('05, Fuji TV) and "Supli" ('06, Fuji TV).

Aya Moriyasu
Major works include "Waterboys 2005 Summer" ('05, Fuji TV), "Dance™Drill" ('06, Fuji TV), "Tsubasa no Oreta Tenshitachi" ('06, Fuji TV) and "Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Ikemen paradise" ('07, Fuji TV)

Original Work

gAkai Itoh by MEI (GOMA-BOOKS)
Following up on the format and enormous success of gKoizora,h gAkai Itoh was issued as an online novel over cell phone networks through the portal site gMaho no Toshokanh (lit. gMagic Libraryh), gAkai Itoh jumped to No. 1 in the sitefs rankings and remained there for 18 consecutive days, recording over 16 million unique views. Its realism and poignancy as a pure love story won overwhelming support among middle and high school age teens. In its published form, gAkai Itoh has sold over 1.8 million copies as a series.
Its popularity continues to grow even after the final installment online with unique viewer hits now totaling a remarkable 36 million. Published editions include gAkai Itoh (Parts 1 & 2), gAkai Ito destiny (Parts 1 & 2), and gAkai Ito precioush.

Mei Takemiya: Nao Minamisawa
Atsushi Nishino: Junpei Mizobata
Riku Takahashi: Ryo Kimura
Mia Yamagishi: Rei Okamoto
Mami Tadokoro: Anna Ishibashi
Sara Nakagawa: Nanami Sakuraba
Natsuki Fujiwara: Tomo Yanagishita

Yuka Nakanishi: Kasumi Suzuki
Mitsuru Kamiya: Ryo Tajima
Haruna Takemiya: Sayuri Iwata
Toshihisa Takemiya: Masahiro Kohmoto
Natsumi Nishino: Mirai Yamamoto
Takamichi Morisaki: Shigemitsu Ogi

Director of Photography: Yoshihiro Kitayama
Lighting by Hidezi Mikami
Sound by Mituaki Sekine

Production Design by Kazuo Yanagawa
Edited by Masaaki Yamamoto
VFX supervisor: Osamu Izumiya

Executive Producers: Takashi Ishihara / Ko Wada / Kazutaka Akimoto
Pruducers: Yoshihiko Taneda / Masayuki Sekiya / Aya Moriyasu
Associate Producer: Hiroyuki Seta

Music by Yugo Kanno
Original Work: gAkai Itoh, gAkai Ito Destinyh by MEI (GOMA-BOOKS)
Theme Song: g366 Daysh by HY (Higashiyakena Sound builder)

Produced by Chihiro Kameyama / Suketsugu Noda / Yoshiaki Yamada / Toru Ota
Written by Chiho Watanabe

Directed by Shousuke Murakami

(C)PONYCANYON