Naoko Yamada and Kyoto Animation were synonymous for more than a decade within the anime industry. However, following the tragic attack on the KyoAni Studio 1 facility in July 2019, Yamada took over painful decision Leaving the studio was his home from the beginning of his career in search of a new beginning.
At the beginning of this month of September, Science SARU shocked the world with by announcing that the acclaimed director behind K-On!, Tamako Market / Tamako Love Story, A silent voice and Liz and the Blue Bird I would work with them on an ambitious television project with a dream team and a story inspired by a classic of Japanese literature: The Heike Story (Heike monogatari).
Here’s everything you need to know about Naoko Yamada’s new series:
What is it about?
Heike Monogatari is an epic poem dating from the thirteenth century, which recounts the rise and fall of the Taira clan during the Genpei Wars at the end of the Heian era, between 1180 and 1185. It is an absolute classic of Japanese literature, as it is the source of numerous legends, characters and stories widely known within Japanese folklore.
One of the best-known reinterpretations of the poem was made in prose by the novelist Eiji Yoshikawa, under the title The New Tale of the Heike (Shin Heike Monogatari) in 1950. This work serves as inspiration for the new production of Science SARU; in fact, this will be the first anime series adaptation of the novel.
Here the following official synopsis of The Heike Story:
“A young orphan named Biwa is taken in by the powerful Taira clan —also known as Heike— after their leader witnesses their extraordinary psychic abilities.
Unfortunately, what she predicts is a future with bloodshed, violence and a civil war. Inspired by the epic tale of the 12th century, Heike Monogatari”.
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Production team and cast
The Heike Story will be the first major production of Science SARU it will not be directed by Masaaki Yuasa. The studio established by Yuasa and the producer Eunyoung Choi has within its portfolio series such as Devilman Crybaby, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! O Japan sinks: 2020; besides movies like Night Is Short, Walk on Girl (2017), Lu Over the Wall (2017) the Ride Your Wave: Together at Sea (2019).
Naoko Yamada meets in this series with his head scriptwriter Reiko Yoshida (K-On!; Tamako Market; A silent voice; Liz and the Blu Bird) and the composer Kensuke Ushio (A silent voice; Liz and the Blu Bird).
The rest of the main members of the staff are the mangaka Fumiko Takano (Kiiroi Hon) as character designer, with Takashi Kojima (Ride Your Wave) in charge of adapting them for animation; Tomotaka Kubo (The Tale of Princess Kaguya) as an art director; Ken Hashimoto (Perfect Blue) as a color designer; Kazuto Izumita (Great Pretender) as director of photography; Kiyoshi Hirose (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) como editor; Eriko Kimura (The Tatamy Galaxy) as audio director and Hiromune Kurahashi (A silent voice) takes care of the sound effects. KyoAni’s St. Blue subsidiary is accredited in painting and animation in-between. Yoshihiko Sata serves as historical supervisor and Yukihiro Gotō supervises the performances with the biwa instrument.
The multi-star cast is headed by Aoi Yūki (Biwa), Takahiro Sakurai (Taira no Shigemori), Saori Hayami (Taira no Tokuko) y Tesshō Genda (Taira no Kiyomori). Otros miembros del elenco incluyen a Kikuko Inoue, Miyu Irino, Yumiko Kobayashi, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Natsuki Hanae, Ayumu Murase, Kōtarō Nishiyama, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Subaru Kimura, Yū Miyazaki, Inori Minase, Tomokazu Sugita ..
Finally, the alternative rock band hitsujibungaku performs the opening titled “Hikaru Toki”, while agraph and ANI conducted the ending «unified perspective».
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Release date and where to watch The Heike Story
The Heike Story opens this thursday September 15 in some of the services of streaming best known internationally, such as FOD (Japan), bilibili (China) or Funimation –House of the series in Latin America–.
It should be noted that the production will be broadcast on these platforms a court full before its formal broadcast on Japanese television, which is scheduled to begin in January 2022 as part of Fuji TV’s + Ultra block.
Relationship with INU-OH?
As a curiosity, the Naoko Yamada series is not the only Science SARU production that took inspiration from one of the stories of Heike Monogatari. Masaaki Yuasa premiered his film on September 9 INU-OH within the framework of the 78th edition of Venice International Film Festival. The film is based on Heike Monogatari: INU-OH of Maki; however, it has not been clarified whether the two projects will be linked in any way.
INU-OH It is scheduled to open in theaters in the summer of 2022 in Japan.
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official trailer of The Heike Story
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