Atsuko Maeda stars in “Moshidora” movie adaptation

This year’s top-selling book, “Moshi Koukou Yakyuu no Joshi Manager ga Drucker no 'Management' wo Yondara,” is being adapted as a live-action film, starring AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda (19). Although Maeda has starred in recent dramas such as “Q10” and “Majisuka Gakuen,” this will be her first lead role in a movie. Her last appearance in one was “Nasu Shonenki” in 2008.

The original book, also known as “Moshidora,” was published by Natsumi Iwasaki in December 2009, and it has sold approximately 1.81 million copies since then to become the biggest hit of the year. The story revolves around Minami Kawashima, the female manager of a high school baseball team who mistakenly buys the book “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices” by the late management expert Peter Drucker. Using Drucker’s advice on management, she reforms the team with the goal of reaching the Koshien tournament.

Although the book’s main character was originally modeled after AKB48′s Minami Minegishi (18), she will instead be playing a supporting role as another one of the team’s managers. Koji Seto (22) has been cast as the team’s ace pitcher, while Sosuke Ikematsu (20) is taking on the role of a catcher. Other cast members include Haruna Kawaguchi (15) as a friend of the protagonist and Yo Oizumi (37) as the team’s coach.

AKB48 producer Yasushi Akimoto (54) is serving as general producer for the film. Theatrical release is scheduled for June 2011.

Besides this film adaptation, “Moshidora” is already being adapted as a manga starting this month in the magazine Super Jump, as well as an anime series on NHK starting in March. It was recently announced that another AKB48 member, Sayaka Nakaya (19), will be voice acting for a supporting character in the anime.


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