Simultaneous movie release across different platforms moved to a new level in Japan this week as Kadokawa Pictures’ romantic comedy Fujoshi Kanojo was released in cinemas, online – and in a first for the Japanese market - also on mobile phone.
The film, which translates as My Geeky Girlfriend, launched on two screens in Tokyo and Nagoya on May 2, through distributor SPO Entertainment, as well as on pay-per-view broadband site, ShowTime, and Kadokawa-Docomo’s i-Movie Gate mobile portal.
Online and mobile viewers will be charged $10 (Y1,000), which is the same price as the discounted advance ticket for the film. The film, which will be rolled out to a further ten screens by the early summer, has been adapted from a successful blog story and has also been developed in a novel and manga.
SPO said the innovative release pattern was developed from the film’s online roots. This has been supported by a digital marketing campaign, including on content site GyaO, which hosts the film’s website and has 22 million registered users. The blog’s original author Pentabu has also been adding to the buzz by blogging about the film’s release.
Mobile phones have previously been used in Japan to push out trailers to movies fans. In February last year, Clearness, a film adaptation of a novel first published via mobile phones, used a mobiles to offer a preview screening of the film to lottery winners.
Fujoshi Kanojo follows the relationship between a young man and his girlfriend, an office worker preoccupied with comics depicting romance between young boys. This subset of female geeks or “otaku” are referred to as “fujoshi” (literally “rotten girl”).
The film is directed by Atsushi Kaneshige and stars Wakana Matsumoto and Shunsuke Daito as the couple. The cast also includes Yuta Furukawa, Emi and Mizuho Hata.