Written by: Miguel Galang
Published on: August 5, 2021 at 5:30 PM PHT (GMT+8)
The official Twitter account of GKIDS Films has released the teaser trailer for Masaaki Yuasa’s latest film “INU-OH” ahead of its world premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival where it will be competing in the Horizons category.
GKIDS Films, who bought the distribution rights, revealed a first look into the rockin’ musical world of INU-OH.
The film is also an official selection in the Toronto International Film Festival. It will have its theatrical release in Japan later this year while GKIDS will be gearing up for its North American run in the summer of 2022.
Synopsis from GKIDS:
Inu-Oh is born with unique physical characteristics, and the horrified adults cover every inch of his body with garments, including a mask on his face. One day, he meets a boy named Tomona, a blind biwa player, and as Tomona plays a delicate song of tangled fate, Inu-Oh discovers an incredible ability to dance.
Inu-Oh and Tomona become business partners and inseparable friends, using their creative gifts to survive on the margins of society, as song after song gain them notoriety and propel them to stardom. Through the songs, Inu-Oh mesmerizes his audiences on stage, and gradually begins to transform into someone of unequaled beauty. But why is Tomona blind? Why was Inu-Oh born with unique characteristics?
It is a story about the friendship of Inu-Oh and Tomona, who dance and sing to get to the truth and break each other’s curse.
INU-OH is directed by Yuasa, with a script from Akiko Nogi (“I am a Hero”, “We Married as a Job!”), character designs by Taiyo Matsumoto (“Tekkonkinkreet”, “PING PONG”, “Sunny”), and produced by the Japanese animation studio Science SARU.
Yuasa has previously directed the anime films “Mind Game”, “Lu Over the Wall”, “Ride Your Wave”, and the Netflix anime originals “Devilman Crybaby”, which is an updated adaptation of the original 1972 manga, and most recently, “Japan Sinks: 2020.”
Last April 2020, Yuasa announced on his Twitter account that he has stepped down from his roles as president and representative director of Science SARU. He expressed that he would like to take a break after working non-stop for seven years before he would continue on his next project.
In 2013, he co-founded with producer Eunyoung Choi Science SARU where Yuasa has produced most of his animated feature films. The studio is known for its hybrid combination of hand-drawn and digital animation.
The studio has also produced the animated TV series “Ping Pong The Animation”, “Super Shiro”, and “Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!” It has also collaborated with MAPPA in “Garo: The Animation” and “Garo: The Vanishing Line.”
The studio will also be producing two shorts films as part of “Star Wars: Visions”, an upcoming anthology series from Disney+ with Choi serving as director.
Science SARU together with Yuasa are the recipients of a Japan Academy Prize for the film “The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl” which won Animation of the Year in 2018. Meanwhile, Yuasa was bestowed the Cabinet Minister Award for Media Fine Arts by the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs earlier this March to celebrate his career.