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GKIDS Drops Trailer for Masaaki Yuasa’s ‘Inu-Oh’

Scheduled to hit U.S. theaters this August, the upcoming animated musical from the director of ‘Ride Your Wave’ explores 14th-century Japan by way of a “revisionist rock opera.”

GKIDS has released a new trailer for Inu-Oh, the animated musical feature from acclaimed director Masaaki Yuasa (Ride Your Wave, Keep Your Hands Off Of Eizokuen!). The film was recently presented at this year’s Annency International Animation Film Festival, where Yuasa was honored as the patron of the 2022 Mifa campus.

Inu-Oh explores the friendship between the title character - the legendary 14th-century Noh performer Inu-Oh - and the blind biwa player Tomona. The film follows the pair as they weather life’s hardships and ascend to stardom, breaking a curse they both live under along the way. Taiyo Matsumoto, who previously worked with Yuasa on the anime adaptation of Matsumoto’s Ping Pong the Animation, provided the film’s character designs. 

Here’s the official synopsis for Inu-Oh:

“From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa comes a revisionist rock opera about a 14th-century superstar whose dance moves take Japan by storm.

Born to an esteemed family, Inu-oh is afflicted with an ancient curse that has left him on the margins of society. When he meets the blind musician Tomona, a young biwa priest haunted by his past, Inu-oh discovers a captivating ability to dance. The pair quickly become business partners and inseparable friends as crowds flock to their electric, larger-than-life concerts. But when those in power threaten to break up the band, Inu-oh and Tomona must dance and sing to uncover the truth behind their creative gifts.

Featuring character creation by Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet) and awe-inspiring vocals by Avu-chan (Queen Bee) and Mirai Moriyama, Inu-Oh is a glam-rock ode to the power of music and a forceful statement on artistic freedom from one of animation’s singular talents.”

Animation for Inu-Oh was handled by Japanese production company Science SARU INC., in partnership with the Japanese production, distribution, and sales company Asmik Ace, Inc.

The film debuted in Japanese theaters on May 28 and will hit U.S. theaters August 12.

Watch the trailer below:

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Max Weinstein is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is the Editor-at-Large of 'Dread Central' and former Editorial Director of 'MovieMaker.' His work has been featured in 'Cineaste,' 'Fangoria,' 'Playboy,' 'Vice,' and 'The Week.'