CLAMP, the manga development team behind xxxHOLiC, recently drew an illustration of the live-action film’s original character, Akagumo. A fan on Twitter challenged CLAMP to draw their original character, and they revealed their illustration on April 29, 2022 – the film’s premiere in Japan.
Akagumo is subordinate to the villainy Jorogumo, who controls malevolent spirits. In the manga and anime, Jorogumo is a spider yokai (demon) connected to spider-like spirits that capture part of Watanuki’s eyes. Jorogumo kidnaps Zashiki-Warashi to lure Watanuki into a trap so she can get her hands on one of his eyes.
In xxxHOLiC, Ro Jorogumo comes into the shop disguised as a customer and asks Watanuki to get her a Carmesi Pearl, which he happens to have thanks to Ningyo (Mermaid). Jorogumo is mentioned again by the mermaid in xxxHOLiC Rei when she gives a shamisen to Watanuki. Now Jorogumo is appearing in the xxxHOLiC movie. She is played by Riho Yoshioka in the film.
Akagumo, the new original character, is already a hit with fans
Akagumo is played by Hayato Isomura. Director Mika Ninagawa (live-action Sakuran and Helter Skelter) commented, “I felt bringing a new character into the franchise was risky, but I wanted to stay true to my vision and decided to take the risk.”
The manga and anime story follows Kimihiro Watanuki, a high school student who is cursed to see ayakashi (ghosts and spirits) who are attracted to him because of his vast spiritual powers. One day, Watanuki stumbles upon a wish-granting shop run by a mysterious witch named Yuuko Ichihara.
When Watanuki discovers that Yuuko is granting people’s wishes in exchange for something the person deems valuable, Watanuki wishes to be rid of the spirits that plague him. Yuuko tells Watanuki that the prize must be Watanuki’s wish and that in payment he must become Yuuki’s helper and also help her fulfill people’s wishes.
The xxxHOLiC franchise currently consists of two TV anime series, one anime film, several original video anime projects and most recently the live-action film xxxHOLiC. The manga was adapted into an anime series by Production IG in the mid-2000s.
For those of you who may have missed this news, xxxHOLiC has been adapted into a live-action film adaptation, which will hit theaters in Japan on April 29, 2022, starring Ryunosuke Kamiki. Known for her role as Seta in the Rurouni Kenshim film series, Kamiki is joined this time by Battle Royale and 47 Ronin’s Ko Shibasaki.
In the first poster visual for the film that was released, both costumes appear to be very accurate in terms of anime and manga.
The live-action film captures the surreal world of anime/manga
Director Mika Ninagawa is known for her visually stunning films such as 2012’s Helter Skelter and 2019’s Diner. She most recently directed the Netflix film Followers. Ninagawa started out as a photographer, so her artistic eye should come in handy in directing xxx HOLiC, which is known for its offbeat, surreal flair.
This film isn’t the first time xxxHOLiC has had a live-action adaptation. In 2013, a live-action TV series starring Anne Watanabe and Shota Sometani aired in Japan. Also, a play called xxxHOLiC Theater Style started in Tokyo this fall.
A trailer for the film has been released: