Last year’s Masaaki Yuasa-directed anime movie Inu-Oh has been nominated for two categories at the 50th Annie Awards. The categories are Best Indie Feature and Best Writing — Feature.
Science SARU produced the film, which was written by Akiko Nogi (The Voice of Sin live-action movie).
Inu-Oh is competing with Charlotte; Little Nicholas; Happy As Can Be, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On; and My Father’s Dragon in the Best Indie Feature category. In Best Writing — Feature, it is up against Turning Red, ETERNAL SPRING, and Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.
Science SARU previously received a nomination for Best Indie Feature in 2020 with Ride Your Wave, which was also directed by Yuasa.
The film, which premiered in Japan on May 28, is based on Hideo Furukawa‘s The Tale of the Heike, Inu–Oh’s Episode novel. The story takes place in 14th century Japan and follows the titular Inu-Oh, a historical figure of whom few life-chronicling documents have survived. GKIDS describes the film as:
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 staff includes Taiyou Matsumoto (Ping Pong mangaka) as original character designer, Nobutake Itou (Lu Over the Wall) as character designer, Yoshimichi Kameda (Mob Psycho 100 character designer) and Satoshi Nakano (Pokémon Sun and Moon character designer) as chief animation directors, Hideki Nakamura (Fate/Grand Order The Movie Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot Wandering; Agateram co-art director) as art director, Yuuko Kobari (Great Pretender) as color designer, Yoshihiro Sekiya (Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop co-photography director) as photography director, and Ootomo Yoshihide as music composer.
Meanwhile, the cast includes Queen Bee lead vocalist Avu-chan as Inu-Oh, Mirai Moriyama as Tomona, Tasuku Emoto as Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, Kenjirou Tsuda as Inu-Oh’s father, and Yutaka Matsushige as Tomona’s father.
Previous anime movies that were nominated for Best Indie Feature include When Marnie Was There, The Boy and the Beast, The Red Turtle (co-production with European studios), Miss Hokusai, Your Name, In This Corner of the World, Napping Princess, Mirai, Okkoi’s Inn, Promare, Weathering With You, On-Gaku: Our Sound, Belle, Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko, and Pompo the CInephile. Mirai won the award in 2018 while The Red Turtle won it in 2016.
As for Best Writing — Feature, previous anime nominees include Ghost in the Shell, Spirited Away, Millennium Actress, Howl’s Moving Castle, From Up on Poppy Hill, The Wind Rises, When Marnie Was There, The Red Turtle, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Mirai, Weathering With You, and Belle.