Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai

Posted by Grey Thursday, September 24, 2009

The ultimate dream team of today's Anime scene stand united to take on the ultimate project...
The ultimate samurai, Musashi Miyamoto!





The Animation Nation 2009 brought forward my earlier expectation of an actual screening date for the much anticipated anime film, Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai, and with it, killed all hope of a public screening too. Not that it mattered to me anyway.

With practically a who's who list for the production team, this is one feature film that Production I.G. doesn't need its great brand name to market about. The main catch had to be the fact that Mamoru Oshii laying his hands on the legendary samurai, Musashi Miyamoto, , being the developer and writer of this feature film. For the uninformed, Mamoru Oshii, ever the prolific figure in anime industry, is the writer-director to last year's "The Sky Crawlers", an official selection of the 65th Venice International Film Festival, and the anime epic, Ghost In The Shell and its sequel. Not forgetting being the writer of the original anime feature behind the recent movie, "Blood: The Last Vampire", and my personal all-time favourite anime feature film, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. Prolific he might be, Mamoru had never work on any existing popular figure and the idea for him to work on the legendary Sword Saint, Musashi Miyamoto could prove to be an fascinating combination.

Directed by Mamoru Oshii's longtime partner-in-crime, Mizuho Nishikubo is the animation director of "Ghost In The Shell" films, "The Sky Crawlers" and more significantly, the mastermind behind the magnificent animation sequence in "Kill Bill: Volume 1". His fellow compatriot in "Kill Bill: Volume 1" is also onboard. Kazuto Nakazawa, famed for being the character designer of "Samurai Champloo", of which he also served as the animation director, he is also the animator of The Animatrix's "Kid's Story" and "A Detective Story", as well as the animator behind the Joe Hahn-directed music video for the Linkin Park song "Breaking the Habit." Kazuchika Kise, the animator behind Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone and Blood+, is also on board for the supervision of animation process here.

Musashi Miyamoto had proven to be such a fascinating character that, having such mythical qualities being the ultimate never-defeated swordsman yet strongly set in the stone of history with semi-military strategies, semi-martial arts manual, semi-philosophy ancient text, The Book Of Five Rings (五輪書), that the literature and entertainment scene had never stopped pumping features on the many contrasting aspects of him, with Takehiko Inoue's masterpiece, Vagabond, a loose adaptation of Eiji Yoshikawa's novel Musashi, being the most notable example.

Both Japanese and English versions of movie trailers are embedded below.




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