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Friday, Sep. 7, 2012

Iconic baseball cartoon to turn cricket in India


NEW DELHI — The famous TV cartoon series "Kyojin no Hoshi" ("Star of the Giants") is to be adapted for modern-day India, but will be based around cricket, the country's dominant sport, instead of baseball.

The new series will be jointly produced by Japanese and Indian animation studios and aired from late December by a local TV channel.

"Kyojin no Hoshi" portrays the life of Hyuma Hoshi, a promising pitcher born into a poor family in Tokyo who strives to become a top professional ballplayer with the Yomiuri Giants under his father's grueling training regime. Based on a popular comic book series published by Kodansha Ltd., the TV cartoon was broadcast in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the same way as the original story, which takes place during Japan's postwar economic miracle, the Indian "anime" remake centers on the life of Suraj, a boy living in a Mumbai slum who hopes to become one of the country's leading cricket stars.

In the Indian version, Suraj's father, Shyam, is a rickshaw driver who once came close to playing for the national cricket team. The role of Mitsuru Hanagata, Hyuma's rival in the Japanese series, will be played by Vikram, the scion of a rich family who plays for a cricket team in New Delhi.

The Indian channel will air 26 episodes, each 21 minutes long.

"India is now going through (an economic and social) period not unlike that of the original series," said an official at Kodansha, which has been involved in the remake. "We hope (the new version) will prove popular in India, where there is a huge population of young cricket fans."

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