After an extended delay, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World will finally be getting a theatrical release in Japan this year, according to Yahoo! Japan. Whether or not this will undo the damage to Japan’s interpretation of Canadian life done by the Great Teacher Onizuka film in 1999 remains to be seen.
The film’s long-awaited release has had a surprisingly turbulent history. While it was initially going to be released last year, these plans were quickly aborted after the movie’s disastrous box office performance in basically every country except Britain. This came as unfortunate news, as the franchise was beginning to take off in the country with the comics receiving their first ever Japanese release as well as the video game, a direct tie-in to the film, being made available through PlayStation Network and Xbox Live in Japan. Even more puzzling was that that the film’s predominant focus on classic video games, the presence of the Saito twins (popular drama actors in Japan), and the past marketability of television shows like Akihabara@DEEP would make Scott Pilgrim seem like a viable property in that country regardless of its performance in other regions.
Naturally, a group of devoted fans launched a campaign to release Scott Pilgrim in their country, thus ensuring that the entertainment of the Japanese people was not sullied by the questionable interests of foreigners. It is not clear whether the studio’s sudden change of heart was influenced by this campaign, or the success of the franchise in other outlets that have been made available in Japan.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is currently set to open in Japan in April, which will hopefully make at least some marginally decent contribution to the film’s overall intake. Even with home video releases taken into consideration, it still seems to have barely broken even, if at all.
On a side note, in case you were wondering where the header image for this article came from, it is a custom case designed by DudeImbibes. He has offered to send the original file to anyone requesting it over Flickr.