The staff for INU-OH, Masaaki Yuasa‘s musical anime feature film of Hideo Furukawa‘s Heike Monogatari: INU-OH no Maki (Tales of the Heike: Inu-Oh) novel, unveiled a new 30-second “Buddy” trailer for the film on Thursday. The trailer highlights the unusual but harmonious friendship between the titular lead character and the blind musician Tomona.
GKIDS has licensed the film, and it describes the film’s story:
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.
Avu-chan of the Queen Bee rock band plays INU-OH, and Mirai Moriyama plays Tomona. Tasuku Emoto, Kenjiro Tsuda, and Yutaka Matsushige play Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, INU-OH‘s father, and Tomona’s father, respectively.
Yuasa (DEVILMAN crybaby, Ride Your Wave, Japan Sinks: 2020) directed the film. Manga creator Taiyo Matsumoto drafted 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 wrote her first anime film after scripting such live-action works as I am a Hero, We Married as a Job!, and Unnatural.
The film will open in Japan in May 28. ASMIK Ace will release the film in Asia, North America, France, the U.K, and Benelux. ASMIK Ace and Fortissimo have sold the screening rights of the film to Sun Distribution for Latin America, Rapid Eye for Germany, Front Row for the Middle East, and Cinemaran for Spain.
The film made its world premiere in the 78th Venice International Film Festival in September 2021, and it was the first 2D Japanese film to compete in the Venice International Film Festival’s Horizons category. The film screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), which was held from October to November last year. The film won the Special Distinction Prize in the International Competition – Feature Film category award at the 23rd Bucheon International Animation Festival (BIAF). The film screened at the 49th Angoulême Festival on March 18 with a Q&A with Yuasa.
Sources: INU-OH film’s website, Comic Natalie