The first volume of Taro Sekiguchi‘s manga adaptation of Nahoko Uehashi‘s Shika no Ō (The Deer King) medical fantasy novel series revealed on September 10 that the manga will end with its second volume.
The novels center on Van, the head of a group of soldiers who expected to die fighting for their lands against a large empire looking to incorporate their home into its kingdom. Instead of dying, however, Van is taken as a slave and thrown into a salt mine. One night, a pack of strange dogs attacks the salt mine, and a mysterious illness breaks out. During the attack, Van takes the opportunity to escape, and he meets a young girl. Elsewhere, rumor is spreading that only immigrants are coming down with this mysterious illness. The medical scientist Hossal risks his life to search for a cure. Doctors also study a father and child who seem to have survived the illness. The novels tell the interconnecting stories and bonds of those who fight against a cruel fate.
The novels are inspiring the anime film Shika no Ō: Yuna to Yakusoku no Tabi (The Deer King: The Promised Journey With Yuna). The film was previously slated to open on September 10, but it was delayed indefinitely to the ongoing new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The film screened in competition at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival in July. The film also screened at the Fantasia International Film Festival in August, where it won the Bronze Audience Award for Best Animated Film.
Uehashi’s Moribito and The Beast Player Erin novel series both received television anime adaptations. Moribito also inspired a live-action television series adaptation. The North American publisher Scholastic published the first two volumes of Moribito in English. Uehashi won the Hans Christian Andersen Author Award in 2014.
Source: The Deer King manga volume 1
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