Feature Marks Acclaimed Director Masaaki Yuasa’s First Invitation to Both Festivals
Theatrical Release Planned for Summer 2022
What You Need to Know:
- GKIDS’ latest feature from celebrated director Masaaki Yuasa (“Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!”, Mind Game, Ride Your Wave) INU-OH, is an Official Selection of the 2021 Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. The film will make its world debut at the Venice Film Festival in the Horizons section, followed by its North American premiere in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Special Presentations section. This marks a career-first invitation to both film festivals for director Masaaki Yuasa, whose most recent series “Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!” was named one of “The Best TV Shows of 2020” by the New York Times.
- INU-OH is a musical animated feature that tells the story of the friendship between the legendary 14th century Noh performer Inu-Oh, and the blind Biwa player Tomona. As the two rise from hardship to stardom through their creative partnership, they may break each other’s curse. The film features character creation from manga artist Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet), who previously collaborated with Yuasa on the anime adaptation of Matsumoto’s series Ping Pong the Animation.
- INU-OH marks GKIDS’ fifth title from visionary director Masaaki Yuasa, following local releases of Lu Over the Wall, The Night is Short, Walk On Girl, Mind Game, and most recently, Ride Your Wave. GKIDS will release INU-OH theatrically in North America in both its original Japanese language and a new English dubbed version in Summer 2022. INU-OH is also scheduled to be released in theaters in Japan next summer.
- SYNOPSIS: 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 - Masaaki Yuasa and Science SARU [Official Subtitled Teaser Trailer]
“A performer named Inu-oh really existed 600 years ago; he shook the world but left nary a trace. Author Hideo Furukawa, giving him a partner in Tomona, retold his story as one of two young men who defy fate to forge their own destinies. Yet it is also a story of life today – whether to align with fate and fashion to seize glory, or to forgo reward to live according to your beliefs. The two offer recompense to the defeated by telling their stories, and this film offers the same to them in kind, while also affirming those who go unrewarded for living according to their beliefs. Perhaps, like OOPArts, Inu-oh and Tomona’s music really did exist. There are many stories we don’t know, but through this film, you can bear witness to theirs.”
Masaaki Yuasa, "Inu-Oh" Director
Source: Official Press Release
GKIDS is the producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021. GKIDS also handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others; as well as the critically acclaimed television series, Neon Genesis Evangelion. GKIDS also hosts ANIMATION IS FILM (AIF), an annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions. AIF returns to Hollywood this fall, October 22-24. www.gkids.com
ABOUT Science SARU
Science SARU is an animation studio founded by Masaaki Yuasa and Eunyoung Choi in 2013. Its debut animated feature film, NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL, was awarded Animation of the Year at The Japan Academy Awards in 2017. Its second feature film, LU OVER THE WALL, also received various accolades. Science SARU’s other productions include DEVILMAN crybaby, RIDE YOUR WAVE, SUPER SHIRO, Keep Your Hands off Eizouken! and Japan Sinks: 2020, directed by Masaaki Yuasa. In addition, the studio announced their participation in the Star Wars Visions project, with directing duties on the project going to Eunyoung Choi with Abel Gongora.
About ASMIK ACE, INC.
Asmik Ace, Inc. was established in 1985. In 2012, Asmik Ace became part of J:COM Group (JCOM Co., Ltd.), Japan’s largest cable TV conglomerate, enabling it to open up new possibilities in the entertainment industry. Asmik Ace have produced and distributed many acclaimed live-action and animated titles, including adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s masterwork Norwegian Wood, the live-action Ping Pong as well as anime adaptation of Tekkonkinkreet. Its recent animation line-up includes Sumikkogurashi: Good to be in the corner 2 (tentative), the sequel of a smash hit movie in Asian countries.