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At “BIKUU” world premier, actress Sayaka Akimoto shows the world her passion for “GARO”


©2015 TIFF

Produced in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Keita Amemiya’s popular SFX action series GARO, the world premiere screening of spin-off feature film BIKUU THE MOVIE was held on October 22 at the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival. Leading actress Sayaka Akimoto and co-stars Kenta Suga, Erika Asakura, and Shiro Sano greeted from the stage at the TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills, presenting the film together with director Akira Ohashi and executive director Amemiya.

Depicting the battles of the Makai knights and priests with horrors descended from the darkness, in the ten years since its first telecast in 2005, the GARO franchise has enjoyed popularity in the form of TV dramas, film spin-offs, novels, pachinko games, video games and other media. After the world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival, lead actress Akimoto declared enthusiastically as she gazed out across the audience, “I’d like to use this film festival screening as an opportunity to tell the entire world about the wonders of GARO!” She went on to reveal her thoughts about the film, saying, “What I thought was just a single performance got turned into an entire film, really leading to the next. I took on the challenge feeling like I had been given an opportunity.”

Akimoto’s physical beauty and ability put the shining charm throughout the film. Ohashi, who served as a director in the TV series and the spin-off film The Secret Flute: GARO Side Story, said, “During production, executive director Amemiya had requested only that we create a new world, one that had never been seen in GARO before. I myself come from a stuntman background, and when I heard his request I knew that we needed to challenge a different kind of action from what has been performed till today.”

Two months after filming began, actress Akimoto started to build up her physique with visits to the gym three times a week. “But I really could have tried harder,” she said with a cool expression. Further, she continued enthusiastically, “If there was another sequel, I’d put more effort into working out and build my body until I looked like Rocky!” eliciting laughter from the crowd.

The film’s protagonist is Bikuu, a Makai priestess and darkness hunter who stands up against Makai knights and priests who have fallen into darkness. Bikuu first debuted in TV Tokyo’s 2014 series GARO: Makai no Hana. In the film, Bikuu investigates into the heart of Makai Priest Usami. Sensing an abnormality in his spirit world, she visits master Priest Byakkai in order to find the truth.

The 28th Tokyo International Film Festival runs until October 31, with screenings taking place at TIFF’s main venue at Roppongi Hills, as well as Shinjuku WALD9, Shinjuku Piccadilly, and TOHO CINEMAS Shinjuku, and other facilities. BIKUU THE MOVIE will be released at Shinjuku WALD9, Tokyo and other theaters nationwide beginning November 14.

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)