The Japan premiere for the movie Tonde Saitama, which is releasing on 22 February, was held on the 28th at Tokyo Dome City Hall in Suidobashi, Tokyo. Lead stars Nikaido Fumi-san and GACKT-san were gathered with the dazzling cast.

This movie is a live-action adaptation of Tonde Saitama, the manga that Maya Mineo wrote around 30 years ago, and was brought to life by director Takeuchi Hideki who was known for his direction in Thermae Romae and other series.

The extreme “Saitama jokes” featured in this work was a hot topic, while the original work sold over 690,000 copies since Heisei 31 until now.

Many Actors From Saitama Were Cast

The two lead actors appeared by sashaying down the green carpet. While tossing colourful balls referencing “Sai no Kuni (彩の国)” into the audience, they were greeted by loud cheers from the approximately 1000 people gathered in the venue.

There are many Saitama-born actors who are included in the cast. Brother Tom, who was born in Kumagaya City, loudly declared, “This is the only movie that can beat Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody)”, but without skipping a beat, director Takeuchi retorted with “I don’t think so”.

Shimazaki Haruka-san said shyly, “Something the Saitama can be somewhat proud of has been made”, and the audience clapped.

Masuwaka Tsubasa-san recalled, “I was troubled when I received the offer. I then decided to take on it and going into filming, we’ve made a fun movie that has a lot of love-filled disses”.

Nikaido-san appealed, “Please do watch until the very end, and I hope that through this movie, your love for your hometown will grow too”.

GACKT-san spoke of the movie’s highlights, saying, “When you think that it’s funny, I’d want you to let your voice out and laugh aloud. It would be nice if you would experience this spectacle that can only be understood in a theatre”.

Event Venue Packed With Saitama Punchlines

Based on the catchphrase “the grass over there” from the line “Feed Saitama citizens
the grass over there!”, a green carpet of artificial grass was laid out in the hall, inciting laughter from audience who gathered ahead of time.

Last year on 14 November, the official social media accounts selected people from those who trended the hashtag #埼玉県民の日 (#SaitamaCitizenDay) and baptised them with “loving disses” while giving them seats of aluminium folding chairs on straw called SSS seats (Saitama Super Sheet).

A female high school student (16) from Iruma City who was chosen was smiling as she said, “The name of my hometown appeared in the trailer so I retweeted without much thought. I’ll look forward to the movie going forward”.

In addition, the Prefectural Tourism Division distributed pamphlets of sightseeing destinations created by the prefecture and so on, spreading Saitama punchlines all over.


Translation: GACKT ITALIA Team

Translation © GACKT ITALIA