Musashi Wows Critics in Locarno

Production I.G’s Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai has been receiving strong reviews since it debuted at the Locarno Film Festival recently. Produced by Tetsuya Kinoshita and directed by Mizuho Nishikubo, the project is described by Variety as ‘most likely the first example of the anime form being used for a documentary.’

Written by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, The Sky Crawlers) The documentary mixes 2D and CG animation to chart the life and times of 17th-century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto. The feature’s animation designer is Kazuchika Kise, whose credits include Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and Blood: The Last Vampire.

Variety critic Derek Elley points out that docu is ‘full of digressions (even into Western and Chinese culture) and self-mockery’and that it can be appreciated by all Asiaphile viewers. He adds, ‘Humor generally tends toward the silly, but smart pacing and tight running time ensure the mixture rarely sags.’