Sato Keiichi | Japan, 2012 | 89 min | Rated R | HDCAM | Japanese with English subtitles
Sunday November 18, 2012 – 11:00am
It is the mid-15th century in Japan. Flood, drought and famine have transformed the landscape of the capital of Kyoto into a barren wasteland. More than 80,000 have perished in the three years between 1459 and 1461. This desolate state served as the backdrop to the beginning of the country’s greatest civil war. The victims of this dark period in Japan’s history were too great in number to include in the pages of history.
Abandoned as an infant, Asura is forced to learn the means to survive in the wild on his own. Growing up as a wild beast, he would learn to hunt men…
Asura’s lost soul is saved by the grace of a young girl named Wakasa. Through love she tames Asura’s beastly heart and teaches him the lessons of humanity. Nevertheless, as Asura attempts to assimilate into village life, the poverty-stricken villagers are unwilling to accept the strange outsider and retaliate. Though he was taught kindness, love and empathy, it is jealousy, prejudice and a love for Wakasa that drive him – and show him a path to redemption.
This film demonstrates the continuing potential for development for anime in Japan. The film presents diammetrically to the popular notions of what anime is; one reviewer notes it succinctly as the essence of “anti-Miyazaki”. The film was produced using Hybrid Animation, a new technique Toei Animation has developed. It mimics “watercolor in motion”, the next evolution in traditional animation. All the characters are animated in CG, while the background is painted traditionally. Forging the composite between CG and 2D elements is a challenge, but the result is innovative and distinct. First, the camera is able to move around freely in the environment. The technique also adds realism to animation and marks a new age in the history of Japanese animation.
About Sato Keiichi
Born in 1965, Sato began his career in various productions at Sunrise, AIC and Toei Animation in 1985. His first turn as animation director came with the OVA production of GIANT ROBO – THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Transferring to Sunrise, he then worked as a character animator on CITY HUNTER SP before taking the reins of both seasons of the widely-acclaimed THE BIG O and KARAS. ASURA is his first feature film. He is currently working on the SAINT SEIYA feature film.
All rights reserved (c) 2012, George Akiyama / ASURA FILM PARTNERS