• Kyodo

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The world premiere of the live-action film version of “Yatterman,” a popular, comical Japanese animated TV series from the 1970s, was held Friday in New York, with director Takashi Miike and pop idol and lead actor Sho Sakurai in attendance.

“Yatterman, a national hero in Japan, can be enjoyed in the United States,” Miike said at a news conference before the show began at New York Comic Con.

Miike is known for making such violent films and horror movies as “Audition,” “Dead or Alive” and “Ichi the Killer.”

Sakurai, part of the pop group Arashi, said he was excited the world premiere was being held in New York. He said “anime” (animated movies) and “manga” (comic books) are spanning countries and generations and that many people can enjoy the work.

The movie tells the story of “Gan-chan,” the son of a famous toy designer who is Yatterman No. 1, and Ai-chan, who is both his girlfriend and Yatterman No. 2, as they battle a trio of villains trying to locate the mysterious Dokuro (skull) Stone, which is split apart.

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