IHU-OH Is Coming To Theaters Nationwide This Fall!

GKIDS announces theatrical release of INU-OH a Japanese animated film by critically-acclaimed Director Masaaki Yuasa on August 12, 2022.

INU-OH is a revisionist rock opera about a 14th-century superstar whose dancing moves take Japan by storm, from imaginative filmmaker Masaaki Yuasa, acclaimed by IndieWire as "one of the most creatively unrestrained brains in all of modern animation." The critically acclaimed movie will be released by GKIDS on Friday, August 12, 2022, in cinemas all across the country after having its global debut at the Venice International Film Festival and its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2021.

The novel Tales of the Heike: INU-OH by Hideo Furukawa served as the inspiration for the movie. INU-OH is a glam-rock hymn to the power of music and a bold statement on artistic freedom from one of animation's singular talents. It features character creation by Taiyo Matsumoto and stupendous vocals by Avu-chan and Mirai Moriyama.

Political unrest ruled Japan's Muromachi era in the fourteenth century. Three hundred years before, the Heike clan was completely destroyed as a result of the Genpei War, a devastating civil war fought between two strong clans. In the centuries that followed, Japan was shaken by the effects of war, and tales of the Heike spirits, who would curse anybody who unintentionally disgraced their memory, began to spread. A unique kind of Japanese art, such as noh dance and theater, were created during the Muromachi period, despite the constant fear of war and the lurking danger of ancient ghosts.
The adults who see Inu-oh are horrified and cover every inch of his body with clothing while concealing his face beneath an ever-present mask. Despite being born into a prestigious family, Inu-oh has been cast out of society due to this ancient curse. When Inu-oh meets the blind musician Tomona, a young biwa priest troubled by his history, he learns that he has a mesmerizing dance ability. As crowds swarm to their electrifying, larger-than-life concerts, the couple soon establish themselves as business partners and unbreakable friends. Inu-oh and Tomona, however, are forced to dance and sing in order to discover the truth behind their artistic abilities when those in authority threaten to disband the band.


The title character of the movie, Inu-Oh (犬王, lit. "Dog King"), is voiced by Avu-chan and serves as the co-protagonist. The real-life noh artist with the same name is the inspiration for Inu-Oh, however not much is known about him beyond tales. Hideo Furukawa elaborated on the lore while writing his novel about Inu-Oh, which served as the inspiration for the movie, and reimagined the real Inu-Oh as a performer who defies social prejudice to become a cultural icon.

Mirai Moriyama provides the voice for Tomona (友魚, lit. "Friend Fish"). The movie's co-protagonist who works alongside Inu-Oh. In order to calm their spirits after the Genpei War, biwa players would frequently recite The Tale of the Heike, a historical account of the fight that lamented the dead and exalted the losing Heike clan.

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