CLAMP’s version of Akagumo from the live-action movie xxxHOLiC. Photo credit: @natalie.mu

CLAMP, the manga creator team behind xxxHOLiC, recently drew an illustration of the live-action movie’s original character Akagumo. A fan on Twitter asked CLAMP to draw their original character, and they unveiled their artwork on April 29, 2022 – the film’s opening in Japan.

Akagumo is subordinate to the villain Jorogumo, who controls evil spirits. In the manga and anime, Jorogumo is a spider yokai (demon) associated with arachnid spirits that capture part of Watanuki’s eyes. Jorogumo kidnaps Zashiki-warashi in an attempt to trap Watanuki so she can get her hands on one of his eyes.

CLAMP's version of Akagumo from the live-action movie, side by side with actor Hayato Isomura.
CLAMP’s version of Akagumo from the live-action movie, side by side with actor Hayato Isomura. Photo credit: @natalie.mu

In xxxHOLiC, Ro Jorogumo comes to the store disguised as a customer and asks Watanuki to find her a carmesi pearl, which he happens to have thanks to Ningyo (mermaid). Jorogumo is mentioned again in xxxHOLiC Rei by the mermaid when she gives Watanuki a shamisen. Now Jorogumo appears 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 thought it was risky bringing a new character into the franchise, 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 ghosts) 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 grants people’s wishes in exchange for something the person considers precious, Watanuki wants to be freed from the ghosts that plague him. Yuuko tells Watanuki that the price should be equal to Watanuki’s wish and that in payment he should become Yuuki’s helper and also help her fulfill people’s wishes.

The xxxHOLiC franchise currently consists of two TV anime series, an anime movie, several original video anime projects, and most recently the live-action movie 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 was turned into a live-action movie adaptation, which opened in theaters in Japan on April 29, 2022, starring Ryunosuke Kamiki. Kamiki is known for her role as Seta in the Rurouni Kenshim movie franchise and this time she’s joined by Battle Royale’s Ko Shibasaki and 47 Ronin.

In the first poster visual for the movie that was released, both costumes seem to be very accurate in regards to the anime and manga.

Visual movie poster for the live-action xxxHOLiC movie.
xxxHOLiC movie poster with Watanuki and Yuuko. Pic credit: holic_movie.official/instagram

The live-action film captures the surreal world of the anime/manga

The director, Mika Ninagawa, is known for her visually captivating films such as 2012’s Helter Skelter and 2019’s Diner. She recently directed the Netflix film Followers. Ninagawa started out as a photographer, so her artistic eye should come in handy when directing xxx HOLiC, which is known for its edgy, surreal flair.

Second poster visual for the live-action xxxHOLiC film.
Movie poster for xxxHOLiC movie starring Yuuko, Watanuki, Akagumo, Jorogumo, Domeki and Himawari. Pic credit: @holic_movie.official/instagram

This film is not the first time that xxxHOLiC has undergone a live-action adaptation. In 2013, there was a live-action TV series that aired in Japan, starring Anne Watanabe and Shota Sometani. Also, a play called xxxHOLiC Theater Style kicked off in Tokyo this fall.

A trailer for the film has been released:

Trailer for the live-action xxxHOLiC movie.

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