Fresh off the heels of making a live version of Space Battleship Yamato, TBS is going to work on one of the most beloved manga and anime works in history. Ashita no Joe (Tomorrow’s Joe) is the timeless story of the life of a boxer named Joe Yabuta.
Many anime fans are concerned again about the choices movie makers are making to play the lead characters in some of these films. Althought it still remains to be seen whether Takuya Kimura will cut the mustard in Space Battleship Yamato, people are even more vehemently decrying the selection of Tomohisa Yamashita of the pop group NEWS to play the lead character in the film.
Many fans want a professional actor, boxer, or a newcomer to play the role. Personally, I think that Yamashita looks enough like Joe, and has the acting skills to pull it off. I have seen him in tv dramas and on variety shows in Japan, and I think he can do a good job if he’s directed well.
Here is a little video of Tomohisa Yamashita in the movie “Kurosagi” in which he plays a tough, young con-man. I think he’ll be good in this if the writers, directors, and producers do their jobs.