The staff for the live-action series of Otomate‘s Hakuōki otome game franchise revealed three new cast members on Friday. Kotoko Wakayanagi (center in image below) will play series heroine Chizuru Yukimura. This is the first heroine role for Wakayanagi, whom the staff selected from an audition of over 200 applicants.
Film and television actor Masato Yano (right) will play Saitō Hajime, while stage actor Sonde Kanai (left) will play Okita Sōji. (Both Saitō Hajime and Okita Sōji were real-life Shinsengumi members.)
The staff previously revealed in April that Tsubasa Sakiyama will play Hijikata Toshizō.
Masanobu Rokusha and Yūki Nishikata are directing the series off scripts by Shinya Hokimoto. Kuniyuki Morohashi (Musasino!, Midnight Crazy Trail, Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher) is composing the music. Drama Design Corporation is producing the project in collaboration with Toei Studios Kyoto. The staff have not yet announced the premiere date, but the first episode will be free to watch on WOWOW, with a planned 10-episode run.
The story of the game franchise and its various adaptations centers around the historical Shinsengumi samurai group in Kyoto during the 19th century. A girl named Chizuru Yukimura arrives in Kyoto from Edo to search for her missing father. She finds herself embroiled in the conflict between the frightening Rasetsu and the Shinsengumi (led by Hijikata and others), thanks to a fateful connection with her missing father.
Idea Factory released the first Hakuōki game in 2008. Hakuōki: Kyoto Winds (Hakuōki Shinkai: Kaze no Shō) debuted for the PlayStation Vita in Japan in September 2015. Idea Factory International released the game in North America and Europe in May 2017. The company later released the game for PC via Steam in August 2017.
The sequel game, Hakuōki: Edo Blossoms (Hakuōki Shinkai: Hana no Shō), launched in Japan on the PS Vita in June 2016. Idea Factory International released the game in March 2018 in North America and Europe for PS Vita and Steam. The game also launched for the PC via Steam in the same month.
Idea Factory released the two games together for the Nintendo Switch under the title Hakuōki Shinkai: Fūkaden in September 2018. Hakuōki Shinkai: Tsukikage no Shō and Hakuōki Shinkai: Ginsei no Shō are new games for the Switch in the franchise. The first game shipped in Japan on September 2019, and the second game shipped in July 2020.
The franchise inspired the Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom television anime in 2010, followed by Hakuōki: Record of the Jade Blood in the same year, 2012’s Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom – Dawn of the Shinsengumi, and 2016’s Hakuōki: Otogisōshi. The franchise also spawned several films and original video anime releases, including one announced on Friday.
The first Hakuōki stage musical debuted in 2012, and the latest musical, Musical “Hakuōki Shinkai” Sōma Kazue-hen, ran in Tokyo and Kyoto this month after a one-year delay due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Source: The Mainichi Shimbun’s Mantan Web