Shochiku, Fuji take novel approach to 'Akai Ito'


TOKYO -- Shochiku and Fuji TV are teaming up for the first duel TV/theatrical adaptation of a mobile phone novel.

The story of "Akai Ito" (Red Thread) will kick off as a TV drama and then continue in a feature film version that will be released while the series is still running. The action will then return to the small screen for the series finale.

"Akai Ito" began life in 2006 as a novel created for mobile phone screens, the fastest-growing publishing sector in Japan, before becoming a best-selling book in 2007.

The five volumes covering the trials and tribulations of two junior high school students have sold 1.8 million copies.

While "Akai Ito" is not the first mobile phone novel to make it to bigger screens, it will be the first time anyone has attempted it via a combination of TV drama and theatrical release.

Fuji TV's Shosuku Murakami is taking control of the project and casting already has begun.

Staff at the companies said it was too early to announce any more details.