Strong Buzz for Oshi’s Sky Crawlers

Mamoru Oshi’s new anime feature The Sky Crawlers (Sukai Kurora) is expected to generate a lot of interest at the Cannes Film market this month (May 14-25) according to insiders. The new movie, which is produced by Nippon TV and animated by Production I.G., centers on two teenagers caught in an aerial war in a parallel universe.

The feature is based on Hiroshi Mori’s popular novel series, first published in 2001, and will be released in Japan on August 2. This means Japanese audiences have three big anime features to take in this summer as Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on a Cliff and Konihiku Yonama’s latest Pokemon movie (that’s the 11th outing for the little guys) Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl: Giratina to Sora no Hanataba will all be in theaters around the same time.

Unlike Oshi’s previous Ghost in the Shell movies, The Sky Crawlers is more escapist in nature. However, it has been reported that Mori had felt that The Sky Crawlers was the most difficult of his works to adapt and had given his consent to the making of the animated movie after learning of Oshii’s involvement as director. The film’ screenplay is by Chihiro Ito and its production design is by Tetsuya Nishio who worked on several Naruto movies and Ghost in the Shell series. Also of interest is the participation of Oscar-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) who will voice the character of Suito Kusanagi, one of leads in the story. This is Kikuchi’s second anime role to date’her first being Studio 4′C’s Genius Party anthology.

You can catch the film’s great-looking trailer at http://sky.crawlers.jp/index.html.