After nine years since Steamboy, a new anime film by Katsuhiro Otomo, who is known for creating Akira, has been announced. Otomo’s new work titled “Combustible”, for which he was writer and director, will be a part of a four-film omnibus called Short Peace that features four short anime films all themed around Japan.
Influential animators who are active in Japan have been assembled for the film. These animators are Shuhei Morita, director of Freedom on which Otome was the character designer, Hiroaki Ando, director of Tekkonkinkreet, Katsuhito Ishii of Redline, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto of Evangelion, Hajime Katoki, who began on the Gundam series and went on to be the mecha designer on many works, Tatsuyuki Tanaka of Roujin Z, and more. If you are an anime fan, you have probably heard of these distinguished names before.
Otome began his career as a manga artist. He made his debut in the 1970s with elaborate drawings and a dry literary style that didn’t feel unrefined, which would later have a big influence on manga artists and authors like Akimi Yoshida, Naoki Urasawa, and countless others. Otome himself has been influenced by France’s representative bandes dessinées author, Moebius.
Domu, one of Otomo’s representative works, portrayed, among other things, a building gripped in fear due to an old man’s destructive telepathic abilities. This work spawned an epoch that produced an expression that would later become a standard.
As a filmmaker, Otomo’s work in the ‘80s included OVA such as Robot Carnival and Neo Tokyo, as well as other commercial work. His directorial debut came in 1986 with the film adaptation of his manga Akira. Otomo has created works that stand out in the history of Japanese anime due to their overwhelming presence and high praise. He is known not just in Japan, but all over the world.
Otomo’s new work “Combustible” will appear in Short Peace. The work’s story is themed around a huge fire that breaks out in the city of Edo in 18th century Japan. The work is a spectacle in which a huge fire is born from two people’s unbound love for each other and the passion of a woman who can’t give up on it. The dynamic of the large fire setting the city aflame is expected to be portrayed being grounded in Otomo’s serene viewpoint much like his other manga and film works, which have deeper meaning that what is displayed on the surface. On May 10, a preview trailer was released, and it is gathering a reaction from anime fans.
Short Peace will be released on July 20. The prominent and mature expressions seen in this film will surely fascinate fans.
Short Peace Official Site:
http://shortpeace-movie.com/ (English & Japanese)
© Short Peace Committee
© Katsuhiro Otomo / Mash, Room / Short Peace Committee
This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article.