By Masaaki YUASA


Animation - Completed 2004

The film is the directorial debut of the highly gifted animator, Masaaki Yuasa. Fusing together live action with both 2D and 3D, this is a hybrid movie that metamorphoses from back alleys to space through the use of brilliant technique. Wildly unpredictable, a freewheling juggernaut of a head trip!

    • Year of production
    • 2004
    • Genres
    • Animation
    • Countries
    • JAPAN
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • N/A
    • Duration
    • 103 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Masaaki YUASA
    • Producer(s)
    • Eiko TANAKA
    • Synopsis
    • Nishi, a struggling manga artist, is reunited with Myon, the object of his unrequited love, and her sister Yan, both struggling to support their father’s yakitori pub. While getting reacquainted at the pub they are interrupted by Yakuza loan sharks searching for Myon’s and Yan’s father. A struggle ensues in which Nishi is killed, but he miraculously manages to cheat death and return from purgatory to outsmart the yakuza and flee the scene with Myon and Yan. A high-speed auto chase through the streets of Osaka ensues with Nishi at the wheel and several carloads of yakuza in pursuit, until Nishi’s car swerves off a bridge and is swallowed whole by an enormous whale.

      In the belly of the whale, Nishi, Myon, and Yan, meet an old man, trapped inside the whale for thirty years. From there, with the old man as there guide the three re-examine their lives, and discover their ability to control their own destiny and realize true happiness.

      The whale, sensing the end of its own life nearing, approaches the Osaka bay and gives Nishi, Myon, Yan, and the old man a last chance to escape and return to what they left behind…

      ★The 8th Japan Media Arts Festival "Grand Prize"
      ★The 59th Mainichi Film Concours "Noburo Ofuji Award for excellence in animation (BEST ANIMATION AWARD)"
      ★The 9th Fantasia International Film Festival (Canada)
      Official Awa "Best Film" "Best Director" "Best Script" "Special Award – Visual Accomplishment"
      Audience Award "Best Animation Film: Gold Fantasia, " "Most Groundbreaking Film: Silver Fantasia"