GKIDS announced on Thursday that it will begin screening 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, in U.S. theaters on August 12.
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.
The film will open in Japan on Saturday. 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.
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 the film 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 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 has since screened at many other film festivals.
Source: Press release