Amidst the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, “Kingdom 2” was able to survive a month and a half of location shooting in China by using “remote shooting,” which could be described as a divine feat, and was able to be released to the public. Perhaps the persistence of the staff and cast paid off, as box-office revenue exceeded 2.2 billion yen in just 10 days after its release. The film is already showing momentum, aiming to surpass the 5.73 billion yen of the previous film, which was released in 2007.
The film is based on the popular manga by Yasuhisa Hara, which has sold over 90 million copies. Set in the Spring and Autumn period of China’s Warring States period, the action epic depicts on a grand scale the bloodcurdling drama of Nobu (Kento Yamazaki), a boy orphaned by war who dreams of becoming a great general, and Eisei, the future First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, who aims to unify China.
The biggest highlight of the film is the epic battle scene that takes place on the Snake Gan Plain between the neighboring country of Wei and the Qiang Kai (Note: The Qiang Kai is a demon in a yamai dare, which is a Japanese word for “mountain lion”), played by Nana Seino, who appears in this film. Especially, the performance of Qiang Kai, played by Kiyonana, who appears in this film, is remarkable.
Qiang Kai, a survivor of the legendary “assassination clan”, throws herself into the battle against Wei to avenge the death of her sister Qiang Zhao, who was killed. The Qiang Kai is a popular character in the original story who overwhelms his enemies with his extraordinary movement called “Mibu”, and Kiyono himself was conflicted about whether he could meet the expectations of the fans of the original story and whether he could embody his inhuman movement” (director of a production company). director)
Kiyono began training more than six months before the shooting. In addition to muscle training and core building, she has also been practicing “isolation,” basic dance training in which each part of the body, such as the neck and waist, is moved independently, like Jackie Chan in the training scene in the movie. She is further improving her skills as an actress.
However, the role of Qiang Kai, played by Seino, is not limited to action.
Qiang Kai, who has an incredibly heavy past, has closed her mind and lives only for the revenge of Qiang Zhao. The performance of Seino, who expresses the sorrow of Qiang Kai’s falling into darkness only by his appearance and eyes because he covers his face with a mask, can only be described as a masterpiece.
Yasuhisa Hara, who wrote the screenplay with Tsutomu Kuroiwa for the original story and the current film, said, “Whenever Qiang Kai appears in the middle of the film, tears come to my eyes”.
The most impressive scene was the scene where Nobu and Qiang Kai spend a night, Qiang Kai’s past is revealed, and the bond between them grows. Furthermore, when his fellow soldier Ohei (Okayama Amane) is wounded on the battlefield and is ready to die, he says to him
You are still alive!
(Amane Okayama), who is wounded on the battlefield and ready to die, and how charming Kiyono’s performance is in the original scene that is not in the original work.
In fact, Kiyono saw the previous film, which was released in 2007, in the theater as an audience member. After watching it, he said
“I was so impressed by the way he had successfully adapted the original manga into a live-action film that I felt like I wanted to be in it, too,” he said.
I felt like I wanted to be in the film,” he said.
There was another reason for Seino’s excitement. Taku Sakaguchi, his mentor who taught him at an action school when he was in high school, also appears in this film. He plays the role of Saji, who stands in the way of Nobu, and shows off his swordsmanship to such an extent that one shudders. Seino said after watching the previous film, “I want to play a real action role again.
“I want to play a real action role again.
It is no wonder that Seino wanted to “play a real action role again” after seeing the previous film.
In the beginning, when he had just moved to Tokyo, he happened to see the movie “Resident Evil” and was shocked by Milla Jovovich, who played the lead role, and that is how he got into action. In 2002, she was chosen as the heroine of the movie “TOKYO TRIVE” and won her first starring role in Mamoru Oshii’s action epic “Tokyo Stateless Girl,” establishing herself as a “young action actress. After that, however, she stopped acting.
In 2005, she starred in a drama series “Totto-chan! (TV Asahi), and the following year she appeared in the morning drama “Half Blue” (NHK). (NHK), and then appeared in a drama scripted by Akira Kuramoto to hone her acting skills.
After that, she appeared in the dramas “Today I’m! and “In a World Neither White Nor Black, Panda Laughs” (both on NTV). (both on NTV), and last year she played her first starring role in a drama series, “Nuptial Notification” (TBS), which made her the first actress to star in a GP series.
On the other hand, in her personal life, she married actor Toma Ikuta in 2008. In March of this year, she gave birth to her first child. What will she do as an actress in the future? Kiyono was at a crossroads.
In May of this year, she announced that she was transferring to a new agency. The new agency is Top Court, which is known for nurturing young, talented actors such as Yoshino Kimura, Anne, Nozomi Sasaki, and others who have become mothers but are still active as actresses, as well as Rinya Nakamura, Momori Matsuzaka, and Masaki Suda.
With this agency, she would be able to make a new start as an actress while raising her child. That’s what they may have decided.
Actress Nana Seino has a dream that she cannot give up.
When asked about her goal as an actress in the movie “Tokyo Stateless Girl,” Kiyono immediately answered, “I want to go to Hollywood. At the time, she talked about her dream of co-starring in an action movie with Milla Jovovich, whom she admired.
However, she is turning 28 this year, and when interviewed recently, she sometimes expressed a sense of weakness, saying, “I feel that I am limited in my action skills. However, this time, playing the role of Qiang Kai in “Kingdom 2”, he seems to have been filled with a desire to “pursue action more”.
Nana Seino’s desire for “action” was strengthened again by playing the role of Qiang Kai. There is a possibility that the door of her dream, which she had almost given up, will be opened.
Text： Ukon Shima (Broadcaster, Video Producer)
He is involved in program production in a wide range of genres, including variety, news, and sports programs. He has also planned and published many books on female TV announcers, idols, and the TV industry. While working on documentary programs, he became interested in history and recently published "Ieyasu was dead in Sekigahara" (Takeshobo Shinsho).
PHOTO： SAKAMOTO, Shinji