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The struggles of comics, be they up-and-coming or down-and-out, is a popular theme in Japanese film and television. A recent example of this was “Hibana,” a 10-part original Netflix drama about the decade-long career arc of a manzai (comic duo) act.

A similar concept is present in the scrappy comedy “Laughing Lucky Cats” (“Warau Maneki-Neko”), based on Yukihisa Yamamoto’s 2004 novel about a female manzai duo. Ken Iizuka’s film version comes out April 29, following the completion of a four-part drama starring the same characters — played by Fumika Shimizu and Rena Matsui — on the MBS and TBS networks, which began airing last month.

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