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Masaaki Yuasa's 'Inu-Oh' Arrives In UK Cinemas This September

Masaaki Yuasa
 is a singular talent among anime directors. His work is unique in that not only does it stand out from his fellow filmmakers, but each of his projects also differ from each other. When a new Yuasa project is announced we can never be sure quite what we are going to get- whether it's the delightful whimsy of Lu Over The Wall or the brutal horror of Devilman Crybaby.

Yuasa's newest film Inu-Oh is a period rock opera. It's based on a book by Hideo Furukawa, and inspired by a real historical figure.  It tells the story of a masked performer who rose to fame in 14th Century Japan.

It made its debut at last year's Venice International Film Festival, scoring a nomination for the Venice Horizons Award. It was the first anime ever nominated for the award. It also screened at Bucheon International Film Festival, where it won the Special Distinction Prize in the International Competition. It went on to make its North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival,.

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 mesmerises his audiences on stage, and gradually begins to transform into someone of unequalled 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 features music by composer and experimental rock guitarist Otomo Yoshihide and character designs by Taiyo Matsumoto (Ping Pong). The screenplay is penned by Akiko Nogi.

Anime Limited will release the film in select cinemas across the UK and Ireland from September 28. The film will screen in Japanese with English subtitles. Inu-Oh is currently showing in cinemas in the US and Canada via GKIDS Films. Read our review here.