Aragaki, Ikuta star in film based on Yo Hitoto's "Hanamizuki"

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2009-11-22 - "Hanamizuki," the hit 2004 tune by singer-songwriter Yo Hitoto (33), is being used as the basis for a feature-length film. The love story will star actress Yui Aragaki (21) and actor Touma Ikuta (25).

The movie reunites director Nobuhiro Doi and screenwriter Noriko Yoshida, who worked together before on "Nada Sousou" in 2006. Aragaki plays Sae, a high school student in Hokkaido aiming to pass the entrance exam for a Tokyo university. She meets Kohei (Ikuta), who attends a fishing school in order to follow in his father's footsteps. They go through a long-distance relationship and a breakup, but are visited by a miracle ten years later.

This is said to be Aragaki's last high school character, though the latter part of her role will also have her playing a career woman working overseas. She is also undergoing special language training, as some of her lines are in English.

Supporting cast members include Misako Renbutsu, ARATA, Yuuichi Kimura, Yutaka Matsushige, Osamu Mukai, and Hiroko Yakushimaru.

Filming started at the end of September in Hokkaido. Future locations include New York and Canada. The movie is expected to open next summer.

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