With black capes and magic wands, lucky fans of the world's most famous schoolboy wizard lined up alongside the red carpet Thursday for the Tokyo premiere of the new Harry Potter movie.
Japanese ticket winners will be the first general viewers in the world to see
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
, although Warner Brothers Entertainment says the gala world premiere will be in London on July 3.
Dozens of children and other fans dressed in black capes, some with wigs, waited by the red carpet ahead of the evening showing, shouting "Harry Potter" as music from the movie played in the background.
Others not fortunate enough to get their hands on a ticket looked on from outside the security cordon, including eight-year-old Yuina Era who said she burst into tears when she discovered she would not be able to get inside.
"I'm a huge fan. I think it's so cool you can use magic. I've been waiting for this movie for so long. I'm really excited," she said.
"We've been with Harry Potter since the first book," said her mother Reina Era, 33. "I feel like I am under a spell when I read his books."
Iyako Ito, a 30-year-old manga comic artist, turned up at midday in a long black cape and striped tie to try to catch a glimpse of the stars.
"It's a shame that I can't be near the red carpet. But I am excited and I can't wait for the new film. I love the feeling of excitement, that we don't know what's going to happen next," she said.
<b1>One fan held up a poster with "Dan" and two hearts waiting for the arrival of Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Potter, at the cinema in the swanky shopping and entertainment complex of Roppongi Hills.
The Order of the Phoenix
is the fifth instalment of author JK Rowling's hit series of books, and is being released just weeks before the long-awaited seventh and final book is published.
The bespectacled wizard has charmed a wide range of muggles -- non-magical humans -- from children avid to join Harry's Dumbledore's Army to Guantanamo Bay inmates who are reportedly entranced with the Potter series.
The huge 150 million-dollar production follows Harry and his classmates Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger at the Hogwarts school as they face the evil Lord Voldemort, who has returned from the darkness.
Harry experiences his first romance, making a kiss scene a highlight of the film. Radcliffe has admitted to an initial bout of nerves while filming the kiss scene, but "after the first few takes, it was fine and we finally started enjoying ourselves."
Katie Leung, who plays his schoolmate Cho Chang, said Radcliffe was wizard when it came to kissing. "He was great," Leung said in London this week. "I'm sure everyone wants to know if he was a good kisser. He definitely was."
Director David Yates, who has built a career with television dramas, was tapped for the first time to shoot a Harry Potter film.
He said he was challenged to depict the boy wizard who in the book is meant to be 15 and struggling with his inner self and ego. Radcliffe himself will turn 18 next month.
The new Harry Potter flick is "more complicated and complex than the earlier films," Yates said in an interview with Japanese television.
"The key things of this movie are really about identity, about discovering who you are as a person, at that very difficult and often dramatic age between about 14 and 17," he said.
The film will hit cinemas around the world starting on July 11. It will go on general release in Japan on July 20.