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Annecy 20: Anime Limited Aquire Masaaki Yuasa's 'Inu-Oh' for UK and France

Anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa has been incredibly prolific over the past few years. Incredibly, he released two features in Japan in 2017 (Lu Over The Wall and The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl), followed by 2019's Ride Your Wave, as well as three TV series- Devilman Crybaby, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken and Japan Sinks (coming to Netflix next month). Not one to rest on his laurels, his next feature Inu-Oh was previewed as part of this month's online Annecy Festival.

UK based distributor Anime Limited have announced that they have acquired the new film- slated for Japanese release in 2021- for release in the UK, Ireland and France. AL previously distributed several of Yuasa's projects, including both 2017 features and The Tatami Galaxy, with a home release of Ride Your Wave due in the near future. The distributor is committed to screening anime in cinemas, and all three of Yuasa's most recent films were given limited releases in the UK and Ireland. Inu-Oh will be no different and will debut on the big screen prior to its home release.

Anime Limited's CEO Andrew Partridge says:

 Masaaki Yuasa is a unique creative voice in the world of animation, and especially as a director, so we are thrilled to release his latest film, “INU-OH”, theatrically in the UK and France.” 

Inu-Oh is a musical drama based on the real-life historical figure of the same name, who was a Sarugaku Noh performer and playwright in 14th-Century Japan. It adapts the novel by Heike Monogatari which presents a fictionalised retelling of his life. It will feature original character designs from manga artist Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet), who Yuasa previously collaborated with on Ping Pong: The Animation. Hideo Furukawa and Akiko Nogi are listed as writers, with Nogi credited with the screenplay.


Inu-Oh was born with unique physical characteristics, and the adults cover every inch of his body with garments and make him wear a mask on his face. One day, he meets a boy named Tomona, a blind biwa player. Inu-Oh tells him, “Write a biwa song about me”. Tomona makes a song about Inu-Oh’s tangled fate and starts performing it with biwa.
Inu-Oh and Tomona become business partners for their survival in society and develop an inseverable friendship. Helping each other unlock their talents, they produce one hit after another and climb the ladder to stardom. And Inu-Oh, who comes to mesmerize his audiences on stage, frees parts of his body one by one and achieves unequaled beauty.
Why is Tomona blind? Why was Inu-Oh born with unique physical 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. 

It's too early to announce any release information (and right now we don't know when cinemas will return to normality) but we'd anticipate it will screen as a one or possibly two day special event, as with most of AL's releases. The Glasgow-based distributor is renowned for its beautiful collector's edition, so we'd expect to see something pretty special for this. Stayed tuned to AFA for the latest.


‣ Full Selection Revealed

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‣ WIP Sessions and Panels

‣ All Annecy 2020