CLAMP, the manga creator team behind xxxHOLiC, recently drew an illustration of the live-action film’s original character Akagumo. A fan on Twitter requested that CLAMP draw their original character and they unveiled their illustration on April 29, 2022 – the film’s opening in Japan.
Akagumo is subordinate to the villainess Jorogumo, who controls malevolent spirits. In the manga and anime, Jorogumo is a spider yokai (demon) that is linked to spider-like spirits that capture a part of Watanuki’s eyes. Jorogumo kidnaps Zashiki-warashi in an attempt to lure Watanuki into a trap so that she can get her hands on one of his eyes.
In xxxHOLiC Ro Jorogumo comes to the shop disguised as a client 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 makes an appearance in the xxxHOLiC film. She is played by Riho Yoshioka in the movie.
Akagumo is played by Hayato Isomura. Director Mika Ninagawa (live-action Sakuran and Helter Skelter) commented, “I felt it was risky to bring 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 spirits) that are attracted to him because of his enormous spiritual powers. One day, Watanuki stumbles upon a shop that grants wishes run by a mysterious witch named Yuuko Ichihara.
When Watanuki discovers that Yuuko grants people’s wishes in return for something the person considers precious – Watanuki wishes to be freed from the spirits that plague him. Yuuko tells Watanuki that the price must be equal to Watanuki’s wish and that as payment he must become Yuuki’s helper and also assist her in granting people’s wishes.
The xxxHOLiC franchise currently consists of two television anime series, an anime film, several original video anime projects, and most recently the live-action film xxxHOLiC. The manga was adapted into an anime series by Production I.G. 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, and stars Ryunosuke Kamiki. Kamiki is known for her role as Seta in the Rurouni Kenshim film franchise and this time will be joined by Ko Shibasaki of Battle Royale and 47 Ronin.
In the first poster visual for the movie that was released, both of their costumes appear to be very accurate in regards to the anime and manga.
The director, Mika Ninagawa, is known for her visually spellbinding movies 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 while directing xxx HOLiC which is known for its edgy, surreal flair.
This film isn’t the first time xxxHOLiC has had a live-action adaptation. In 2013, there was a live-action TV series that was broadcast in Japan, which starred Anne Watanabe and Shota Sometani. Also, this fall, a play called xxxHOLiC Theater Style began its run in Tokyo.
A trailer for the film has been released: