Hallo Hallo Entertainment, producers of the Manila-based idol group MNL48, has announced on Thursday that Abelaine “Abby” Trinidad will star in her very first international acting project.
Trinidad will lead in an upcoming Japanese live-action film adaptation of Shintao Hirota’s Sikimatsu Blue manga series, which will be directed by Tetsuya Hoshi, who had previously worked with the idol group in their second music video “Talulot Ng Sakura”.
She will also be joined by her fellow members Aubrey “Brei” Binuya and Coleen Trinidad as the lead character’s sister, and Kaede “Kay” Ishiyama as one of the support characters.
The live-action film’s production is set to take place in Japan starting next month, and it is expected to be completed by September 2019.
The film is scheduled to be exhibited as one of the entries of an “independent film festival” in the Philippines, which will be held in December this year.
Abby, playing the lead character, said through a press release that she is “beyond ecstatic” to land her very first leading role in a Japanese film project.
“Bukod po sa singing and dancing, forte ko po talaga ang acting kaya sobrang natutuwa po ako. Sobrang laking blessing siya, kaya mas china-challenge ko po ‘yung sarili ko kasi we’re representing the group, kailangan namin gawin talaga ang best namin,” she added.
(I’m really happy, because aside from singing and dancing, my forte is really acting. It was a big blessing, which is why I challenge myself because we’re representing the group. We need to do our very best.)
Despite her previous acting experience, the member of the idol group’s Team NIV, explains that acting and speaking fluently in Japanese will be an additional challenge.
“Kasi sobrang hirap po talaga ‘yung accent ng Japanese, nakakahiya naman kapag hindi mo nagawa ng maayos, lalo na ako ‘yung lead character,” Abby said. “So everyday po talaga ako nag-aaral ng Japanese, and naga-act in front of camera.”
(The Japanese accent will very difficult, and will be embarassing if you didn’t do it well, especially that I’m the lead character. Which is why I’m learning Japanese everyday, as well as acting in front of camera.)
Although Coleen also expressed her happiness in sharing the milestone with her fellow MNL48 idol members, she also feels nervious about being chosen as one of the film’s cast members, as well as acting and speaking in fluent Japanese.
“Kinabahan po talaga ako, kailangan daw po kasi magaling sa Japanese,” Coleen said “Naisip ko rin po na baka mahirapan ako makipag-interact sa kanila sa shoot kasi may language barrier and dapat po talaga magawa namin ng maayos ‘yung roles namin.”
(I felt nervous, because [the film’s cast] needs to be fluent in Japanese. I thought that there could be issues interacting with [the staff and other cast members] during shooting because of the language barrier, and we really want to portray our roles really well.)
Coleen also adds, “Pero of course po super excited, lalo na makatrabaho ‘yung mga tao dun kasi first time ko po gagawa ng movie tapos international film pa, kaya sobrang saya po, nag-aaral po ako and nanunuod ng Japanese movies para ma-familiarize po.”
(But of course, I’m super excited, especially that I will be working [with fellow idol members] because it will be the first time i’m doing a movie, and its an international film, which is why I’m very happy. I’m studying and watching Japanese movies to familiarize myself.)
Meanwhile, Brei expressed her joy when she auditioned for the upcoming film, but being chosen as one of the cast came as a surprise.
“Sobrang hindi ko po ine-expect,” Brei said. “Siguro po nakita nila ‘yung pronunciation ko okay kasi mahilig ako sa mga Japanese songs, na kahit papaano maaaral naman, sobrang saya lang po.”
(I totally did not expect it. Maybe they saw that my pronounciation [of Japanese words] are okay because I really like Japanese songs, which I think I could learn. I’m really happy.)
Seikimatsu Blue is a manga series by Hirota Shintaro, which was serialized in Wani Book’s Comic Gum web magazine from July to December of last year.
The publisher had released a tankubon of the manga series last year.
The manga’s story centers on the friendship of middle-schoolers Kosaka and Tomine. Kosaka sees a strange creature on Tomine after she gets bullied. Despite Tomine being coy about the creature and telling Kosaka not to help her, Kosaka decides to help her instead.