Behind The Scenes: Holy Land

This past spring saw the release of Holy Land to Japanese television. Shot during the second half of 2005 in Shimokitazawa, a popular town in Tokyo's Setagaya ward, Holy Land is an action series based on the manga of the same name by Koji Mori.

Holy Land features many up and coming performers, including Yuma Ishigaki, best known for playing Nagara in the Azumi motion picture series.

Holy Land follows the trials of slightly wimpy high school student (Ishigaki) as he comes of age. Befriended by the mysterious yet suave teacher (Hidenori Tokuyama), who helps guide the youth as he slowly finds his footing while encountering bullies, delinquents, gangs and most difficult of all, female classmates. To his advantage, he has spent his nights at home developing a kind of super punch by which he keeps the night scum of Shimokitazawa at bay.

In addition to Mr. Kaneko acting as lead director and producer of the series, directorial duties were split between five other directors over the course of the series' 14 episodes. Working with Mr. Kaneko on his episodes is his longtime director of Photography, Kenji Takama. To give the show a kinetic energy, cinematographer Takama choose to use the Panasonic 100A, a camera leading the mini-DV explosion. Tsyoshi Obara directed the show's high-octane action.

Click on arrow for exclusive set photos taken during the Holy Land production: