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Masaaki Yuasa’s new film will tackle the story of ancient playwright Inu-Oh

The director will bring his surreal touch to a figure all but vanished from history

masaaki yuasa’s inu-oh “INU-OH” Film Partners

Japanese animator Masaaki Yuasa (The Tatami Galaxy) is set for his next feature film, Inu-Oh, producers said Wednesday. The project, which was announced at Annecy International Animated Film Festival’s MIFA market, will hit screens in 2021.

Based on the true story of 14th-century Sarugaku Noh performer and playwright Inu-Oh, the film is a musical that will incorporate both modern song and dance. Although Inu-Oh was extremely popular in the 14th century, few documents about his life have survived. The film will tell a story of brotherhood between the legendary (and somewhat ahistorical) figure and a Biwa musician.

masaaki yuasa’s inu-oh “INU-OH” Film Partners

“Very little remains in the historical record about the Sarugaku Noh performer Inu-Oh, but with Hideo Furukawa’s bold interpretation of his story, Akiko Nogi’s script, and Taiyo Matsumoto’s images, it’s bound to become an amazing work,” director Masaaki Yuasa said.

Yuasa made his feature film debut in 2004 with Mind Game, which was received with critical acclaim. His other major recent works include the film Night is Short, Walk On Girl and the Netflix anime series Devilman Crybaby. His next film, Ride Your Wave, is expected later this year.

Inu-Oh is produced by Science Saru, with Asmik Ace attached as producer and distributor.