Momoko Sakura's (Chibi Maruko-chan) Nagasawa-kun manga is getting a live-action drama adaptation starting on April 1.
The drama will star Hitori Gekidan (Ikigami, Dororo, Densha Otoko) as Nagasawa-kun, Satoshi Hanada (of the Hannya comedy duo) as Fujiki-kun, Miyuki Ōshima (of the Morisanchū comedy trio) as Kosugi-kun, Eiji Wentz (Brave Story, live-action Nodame Cantabile) as Hanawa-kun, Haruka Minowa (of the comedy duo Harisenbon) as Noguchi-san, and Aiko Kaitō (live-action Chibi Maruko-chan, Densha Otoko) as Jōgasaki. Sakura herself is collaborating on the show's scripts, and is writing the lyrics for Yō Matsuyuki's theme song "Futtō Shiyōze!" Yukihiko Tsutsumi (20th Century Boys, Ikebukuro West Gate Park) and Hisashi Kimura (Kindaichi Shōnen no Jikenbo: Hong Kong Kyūryū Zaihou Satsujin Jiken) are co-directing the series.
The Chibi Maruko-chan spinoff manga centers on the side character Nagasawa-kun, a foul-mouthed middle-school boy whose head is shaped like an onion. The original manga ran in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits magazine from 1993-1995, and Shogakukan released the compiled volume in 2003.
The live-action series of five-minute shorts will air late at night on Mondays through Thursdays. Comic Natalie has posted pictures of the cast in costume from a press conference on Thursday.
Sakura's Chibi Maruko-chan manga ran in Shueisha's Ribon shōjo manga magazine from 1986 to 1996. Sakura then launched a four-panel version of the manga in 2007, and after 1,500 installments that manga ended ended in December 2011.
The original manga inspired the Chibi Maruko-chan television series that is consistently the #2 rated anime series after Sazae-san.