The official website for Masaaki Yuasa‘s INU-OH, the musical anime feature film of Hideo Furukawa‘s Heike Monogatari: INU-OH no Maki (Tales of the Heike: INU-OH) novel, revealed on Tuesday a trailer, cast, more staff, and early 2022 opening. The website also revealed that the film will make its world premiere and compete in the Horizons (Orizzonti) category at the 78th Venice International Film Festival.
INU-OH is the first 2D Japanese film has to compete in the Venice International Film Festival’s Horizons category. The festival will take place from September 1-11.
The film was originally scheduled to open in theaters in 2021.
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.
The film screened in the Work in Progress program at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival’s online event in June 2020. ASMIK Ace unveiled manga creator Taiyo Matsumoto‘s original character design concepts for the film at the event.
Yuasa (DEVILMAN crybaby, Ride Your Wave, Japan Sinks: 2020) is directing the film. Matsumoto is drafting the original character designs for INU-OH in his second collaboration with Yuasa, who directed the anime of Matsumoto’s Ping Pong manga. Akiko Nogi is writing her first anime film after scripting such live-action works as I am a Hero, We Married as a Job!, and Unnatural.