GKIDS will distribute new Masaaki Yuasa anime films

GKIDS will distribute the new anime Masaaki Yuasa as well as the cult game Mind Game

GKIDS, the well-known animation distributor for The Studio Ghibli Collection and other projects around the world, announced that it has acquired North American distribution rights for a slate of films from internationally acclaimed director Masaaki Yuasa. The offer includes the cult classic Psychological game as well as the two new feature films by Yuasa, read on the wall and The night is short, step on the girl.

GKIDS President Dave Jesteadt said, “GKIDS is incredibly excited to bring these three films to Yuasa fans in North America. And for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of discovering the indelible creative brilliance that is Masaaki Yuasa, you are in for a treat.

GKIDS will release all three films theatrically in their original Japanese language and will also create a new English dubbed version for read on the wallset to premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.

Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2004, 103 mins
Buckle up and get ready to indulge in an exhilarating and hugely entertaining ride. The cult classic Mind Game is an unconstrained burst of expression – gloriously colorful mages ricochet in rapid-fire associations, like Masaaki Yuasa’s brain splattered across the screen in all its slimy glory. Audiences will begin to realize what he is up to early on as the loser Nishi, too wimpy to try and save his childhood sweetheart from gangsters, gets shot in the butt by a soccer-playing psychopath, throwing Nishi in the afterlife. In this limbo, God – shown as a rapidly changing series of figures – tells him to walk towards the light. But Nishi runs like hell in the other direction and returns to Earth a changed man, driven to live every moment to the full. The film cemented Yuasa’s reputation as a bad-boy anime auteur, winning the Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival among many other awards. GKIDS will release the film digitally on Ellation’s VRV Select platform on December 22, 2017, with theatrical release beginning in February 2018, followed by release on other ancillary formats.

Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2017, 112 mins
From visionary anime writer Masaaki Yuasa comes a joyfully hallucinogenic yet family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale about a little mermaid who arrives to join a middle school rock band and propel them to fame. Kai, a young college student, lives in an isolated fishing village with his father and grandfather. He lived in Tokyo, but after his parents divorced, he moved back to his parents’ hometown. Kai is lonely and pessimistic about his school life. One of his joys is downloading songs he writes from the Internet. One day he meets Lu, who sings cheerfully and dances innocently to his music. As Kai spends more time with Lu, he discovers that he is able to tell her what he really thinks, and a bond begins to form. But since ancient times, the villagers believe that mermaids bring disaster and soon there are problems between Lu and the townspeople, putting the town in grave danger.

Winner of the Grand Prix at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Festival and premiering in English as part of the official selection for Sundance 2018, Lu Over the Wall is a thrilling and enjoyable demonstration of Yuasa’s mastery of mixing genres. that will leave you humming long after you leave the theater.

Masaaki Yuasa, Japan, 2017, 93 min
The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl takes place during a strange, boozy night, as a young woman known only as The Girl With Black Hair drinks her way through Kyoto. Along the way, she encounters an array of weird and fantastical characters, while crossing paths with senior student Senpai, who creates increasingly contrived reasons to meet her in an effort to win her heart. Winner of the grand prize at the Ottawa Animation Festival, The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is a “I guess this is romantic?” comedy for the modern age and a celebration of the unconventional and confusing roads that love and life can take.

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