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This year is shaping up to be the year of live-action anime adaptations. First up is the second installment of samurai action series Rurouni Kenshin, which opens August 1 and is followed in rapid succession by the trilogy’s finale on September 13. August 30 sees the long-awaited return of the band of thieves from Lupin III, which hasn’t been attempted with live actors for three decades.

And now there’s one more group of manga-originating criminals coming to the big screen — the live-action version of ultra-violent gang story Tokyo Tribe.

Creator Santa Inoue penned the original Tokyo Tribe comic, about an alternate version of Tokyo ruled by street gangs, in 1993. The artist achieved greater success, though, both at home and abroad, with the follow-up, Tokyo Tribe 2, retitled as Tokyo Tribes for international release. Tokyo Tribe 2 ran from 1997 to 2005, and later adapted into a 13-episode anime TV series.

Just to make things extra confusing, the upcoming live-action film bears the title Tokyo Tribe, but is based on Tokyo Tribe 2.

While the story’s setting of a Tokyo overrun with gang warfare bears little resemblance to Japan’s capital in real life, the lack of supernatural powers or giant robots means the producers have a pretty good shot at faithfully recreating the manga and anime’s visuals. The choice of award-winning director Shion Sono, whose previous projects such as Love Exposure and Cold Fish have dealt with violence, lust, and mental imbalance in the inner city, should be another good sign to fans of the original work.

The trailer gives us a preview of the conflict that eventually engulfs Tokyo, as its gangs cross the boundaries of their respective territories to punch, stab, and shoot one another.

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Vying for power are the Musashino Saru….

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….the Bukuro Wu-Ronz (who are too cool to call their turf by its ordinary name, Ikebukuro)…

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….the Shibuya Saru….

▼ S Side!

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….the Shinjuku Hands….

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….and the Giragira Girls of Kabukicho, Shinjuku’s red light district.

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Set to play rival gang leaders Kai and Mera are Young Dais and Ryohei Suzuki. Young Dais is best known as a rapper, but Suzuki is an established actor who has appeared in anime and manga adaptations such as 2013’s Gatchaman, 2009’s Kaiji, and the 2010 TV drama Yankee-kun and Megane-chan.

▼ Suzuki (left) and Young Dais (right)

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Actress Nana Seino, who had a role in the 2012 live-action adaptation of popular girls’ comic Ouran High School Host Club, is set to appear as the prostitute Sunmi, although she gets little screen time in the 40-second preview. Instead, the trailer is packed full of scenes of violence….

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….and violence and decadence together.

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Producers say they have plans to distribute the film internationally, although no timetable has been announced yet. In the meantime, Tokyo Tribe opens at theaters in Japan on August 30, conveniently the same day as the Lupin III movie.

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Sources: Jin, Comic Natalie
Images, video: YouTube