Musician and manga writer Mikito Tsurugi has adapted his 2014 autobiographical essay Ano Koro: Danshi Kashimashi Monogatari for the big screen, with a screenplay by Tominaga Masanori and starring Tori Matsuzaka (The Blood of Wolves) in the lead role.
The movie In Those Days will follow Tsurugi’s challenging and life-changing events after failing his grad school entrance exam. Poor and aimless, he discovers an Aya Matsuura video which leads him into full-blown Hello! Project wota-dom. He forms a band with fellow H!P otaku, but in time, the normal responsibilities of regular life send these friends and bandmates down different paths, until a major event brings them back together years later.
Tsurugi points out that while theme of wota culture is central to the plot, it’s not merely idol wota in general, but specifically H!P wota.
To better understand this culture, Matsuzaka took in a Morning Musume concert with Tsurugi.
Director Rikiya and screenwriter Masanori hope to capture the feeling of ephemeral friendships made in nascient adulthood, with a shared love of H!P at the foundation. Rikiya:
Tsurugi adds that he hopes this movie might spark a rise in popularity for the current Hello! Project idols:
In Those Days is currently slated for a 2021 release.
Shout out to @JPN_ENG_Kanda on Twitter for the translations used here. He’s a mainstay in the H!P translation community, so go give him a follow!