Katsuhiro Otomo Headlines Anime Omnibus SHORT PEACE
Nine years following STEAMBOY (スチームボーイ, Suchiimubooi, 2004)… twenty-five years after AKIRA (アキラ, 1988)… Katsuhiro Otomo is back at the forefront of Japanese animation with SHORT PEACE (ショート・ピース, Shooto Piisu), a new omnibus film of four short stories depicting Japan’s unique culture, history and future. The film takes its title from Otomo’s 1976-79 manga series, Short Peace.
SHORT PEACE brings together a mix of top creators and up-and-coming talents in the anime field to demonstrate the potential of animation to visually express the themes of each short story. Studio 4°C founder Koji Morimoto rose to international prominence for directing segments of ROBOT CARNIVAL (ロボット・カーニバル, Robotto Kaanibaru, 1987), MEMORIES (メモリーズ, Memoriizu, 1995) and THE ANIMATRIX (アニマトリックス, Animatorikkusu, 2003). Shuhei Morita, director of the award-winning short KAKURENBO: HIDE & SEEK (カクレンボ, 2004), has developed a reputation for making full use of CG with FREEDOM (自由, 2006).
Katsuhito Ishii has directed the live-action cult hits THE TASTE OF TEA (茶の味, Cha no Aji, 2004) and FUNKY FOREST: THE FIRST CONTACT (ナイスの森〜The First Contact〜, Naisu no mori: The First Contact, 2005), created the character designs for the animated segment of KILL BILL VOL. 1 (2003) and was the original creator for the anime film REDLINE (レッドライン, 2009). Yoshiyuki Sadamoto did original character designs for EVANGELION, the .hack franchise and SUMMER WARS (サマーウォーズ, Samaa Wozu, 2009).
Hiroaki Ando was CGI director on STEAMBOY and technical director for TEKKONKINKREET (鉄コン筋クリート, 2006). In recent years has been active as a director, most notably with FIVE NUMBERS! (ノラゲキ！, Norageki!, 2011). Hajime Katoki is a mechanic designer for the MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM and SUPER ROBOT WARS OG franchises. Tatsuyuki Tanaka was a key animator on AKIRA and has directed his own films, including TOJIN KIT (陶人キット, 2008).
Two segments from SHORT PEACE have already screened at festivals and events. COMBUSTIBLE premiered April 7, 2012 during the ‘Katsuhiro Otomo GENGA Exhibition’ at 3331 Arts Chiyoda center in Tokyo. The film was also shown with POSSESSIONS at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in Annecy, France — winning the Excellence Prize — followed by the Platform International Animation Festival in Los Angeles, CA. COMBUSTIBLE won the Animation Division Grand Prize at the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards, the Ofuji Nobur Award at the 67th Mainichi Film Awards, and made the short list of nominees for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Animated Short.
SHORT PEACE opens theatrically in Japan on July 20, 2013.
SHORT PEACE CHAPTERS
Supervisor: Koji Morimoto
COMBUSTIBLE (火要鎮, Hi no Yoojin)
Director, Screenplay: Katsuhiro Otomo
Character Design, Visual Concept: Hidekazu Ohara
Animation Director: Tatsuya Tomaru
Effects Animation Director: Takashi Hashimoto
CGI Director: Shūji Shinoda
Background Art: Junichi Taniguchi, Yoshiaki Honma
Music: Makoto Kubota
Animation Production: Sunrise
The city of Edo, the 18th Century. Owaka, the daughter of a merchant family, and her childhood friend Matsukichi. The two were drawn to each other, but Matsukichi has been disowned by his family, and is working for the city fire brigade.
Meanwhile, negotiations begin for the arrangement of Owaka’s marriage. Unable to let go of her thoughts of Matsukichi, her mad emotions make her bring about a massive inferno which razes Edo. By chance encounter, the two meet again amidst the fires. It is an epic spectacle set against the stage of the massive metropolis of Edo.
POSSESSIONS (九十九, Tsukumo)
Screenplay, Director: Shuhei Morita
Original Story Concept, Conceptual Design: Keisuke Kishi
Animation Production: Sunrise and Yamatoworks, LLC
The 18th century. On a dark and stormy night, one man wanders through the forest, lost. He finds an old shrine, and upon entering, is transported to a room in some strange world. There, he finds the mononoke of discarded umbrellas and kimono. The man decides to help the creatures, repairing them and putting them to use.
Director: Hiroaki Ando
Original Story Concept, Screenplay, Creative Director: Katsuhito Ishii
Original Character Design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
The 16th century. In the northeast, something has fallen from the sky into the mountains. Soon after in a snowy village, a giant oni-like creature has awoken from its slumber. In that same village, a young girl named Kao has a fateful meeting with a white bear who can understand human words. She looks to the bear for help against the giant beast. The battle between the white bear and the giant oni has begun.
A FAREWELL TO ARMS (武器よさらば, Buki yo Saraba)
Original Story: Katsuhiro Otomo
Screenplay, Director: Hajime Katoki
Character Design: Tatsuyuki Tanaka
Tokyo Japan, the near future. A squad of five men, equipped with high tech power suits, arrive in a dilapidated city in the middle of the desert. Here, they engage a dangerous unmanned weapon in combat. Unbeknownst to the soldiers however, the wheels of fate have begun to turn…