Written by: Nicole Castro
Published on: August 12, 2021 at 12:05 PHT (GMT+8)
The official Twitter account of Japanese comedy film Tonde Saitama「翔んで埼玉」(stylized in English as Fly me to the Saitama) has announced that they are starting production work for the sequel, tentatively titled Tonde Saitama II/Fly me to the Saitama II. Japanese actors GACKT (Gakuto Ooshiro, 大城 ガクト) and Fumi Nikaidou (二階堂 ふみ) return to reprise their lead roles as Asami Rei and Momomi Dannoura respectively.
The tagline on the visual mischievously reads, "To all citizens of Saitama, our profound apologies for making a sequel."
Tonde Saitama is a 1980s manga series written and illustrated by Mineo Maya. Maya originally published the manga in Hakusensha's shoujo manga magazine Hana to Yume from 1982 to 1983. Takarajimasha published a new compiled version of the manga in 2015 titled Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Comics - Tonde Saitama. The manga has over 600,000 copies in print.
Tonde Saitama gained widespread fame when it was adapted into a live-action-comedy film in 2019. It was directed by Hideki Takeuchi, while the script was written by Yuichi Tokunaga. The first film became the 13th highest grossing in Japan for that year and won numerous awards at the 43rd Japan Academy Film Prize including Director of the Year, Screenplay of the Year, and Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing. Both Takeuchi and Tokunaga return to direct and write for the second film.
In the official comments by the staff, original author Maya says his reaction to the decision of making a sequel was 「改めて言うが、正気かおまえら？」(I'll say it again, are you sane?), possibly hinting at the wild comedy of the previous film as well as the pressure for the sequel to live up to the achievements of the prequel.
For fans who want to relive the first film, below is the official YouTube trailer for Tonde Saitama:
Synopsis of the first film adapted from Arama Japan:
The first film takes place in a fictional version of Japan, where citizens are discriminated against depending on their birthplace and residence. Residents of Saitama Prefecture were ruthlessly persecuted by residents of Tokyo, so the citizens of Saitama hid their identities from others. High school student Momomi Dannoura (Nikaidou) is the daughter of the governor of Tokyo, as well as the student council president at Hakuhoudou Academy, the top high school in Tokyo. One day, she meets Rei Asami (GACKT), a mysterious transfer student who has returned from America. Rei and Momomi are captivated by each other, but Momomi knows Rei is from Saitama Prefecture. The manga pegs on the concept of "forbidden love", reminiscent of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The couple try to elope and start a revolution to liberate Saitama Prefecture.