"Inu-Oh" the visionary anime rock from October 12, 2023 to the cinema
In the endless sea of cinematic productions, "Inu-Oh" emerges as a rare and precious gem. Directed by visionary Masaaki Yuasa and produced by Science SARU, this 2021 musical animation film transcends genre to become a true work of art. Based on the novel “Tales of the Heike: Inu-Oh” by Hideo Furukawa, the film plunges us into XNUMXth century Japan, telling the story of an unusual and powerful friendship between two marginalized artists: Inu-Oh, a dancer born deformed , and Tomona, a blind musician. But beyond friendship, the film is a journey into the maze of art, destiny and tradition.
Plot and Main Themes
The story begins with a blind narrator playing the biwa, a traditional Japanese instrument, introducing us to a world where art and history intertwine in unpredictable ways. Amidst the atrocities of war and inherited curses, friendship emerges between Tomona and Inu-Oh. Both scarred by life in unimaginable ways, they discover that art can be a vehicle for liberation and healing. Together they create a new art form, combining biwa music with Noh dance, and quickly become famous.
Their success story, however, draws the attention and hostility of the powerful Ashikaga clan. The tragic and demonic origin of Inu-Oh is revealed and how her art is a double-edged sword, capable of freeing but also of imprisoning.
Music as Storytelling
One of the most outstanding aspects of the film is the use of music. The genre could be described as a cross between the traditional and the modern, with echoes of hair metal adding a charming anachronistic touch. Music is not a mere accompaniment; he is an integral part of the narrative, a character in his own right that drives and expresses the emotions and events.
Art as Salvation and Curse
The film explores the power of art as a means of salvation and self-affirmation for the main characters. But as a coin has two sides, art is also a curse, especially when it is manipulated for political and personal purposes. The Ashikaga clan wants to monopolize history, showing how art can be both a tool of liberation and of oppression.
A Spiritual Epilogue
In the finale, we find out that the narrator is the spirit of Tomona, who has been on Earth for centuries. Inu-Oh appears, and the two friends are reunited for one final performance. Right now, “Inu-Oh” rises from a simple story of friendship and art to a profound exploration of the spirituality and timelessness of being human.
“Inu-Oh” is more than an animated film; it is a meditation on the essence of art, on the importance of roots and on the search for authenticity in a world that often tries to imprison us in categories and stereotypes. Premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, this film deserves to be seen again and again, to capture all the nuances and details that make it an unforgettable work.
Original title Dog King
Original language Japanese
Country of Production Japan
Duration 98 min
Gender animation, historical
Regia Masaaki Yuasa
Subject Heike monogatari: Inu-ō no maki by Hideo Furukawa
Film script Akiko Nogi
Production house Science SARU
Distribution in Italian Hikari Editions, Double Line
Photography Yoshihiro Sekiya
Music OTOMO YOSHIHIDE
character design Taiyō Matsumoto (Original Character Design), Nobutake Itō
Wallpapers Hideki Nakamura
Original voice actors
Mirai Moriyama: Tomona
Tasuku Emoto as Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu
Kenjiro Tsuda: Inu-ō's father
Yutaka Matsushige: Tomona's father