Live action film Dororo out in September
Based on the enduring 1960s manga series by the legendary Osamu Tezuka (creator of Astro Boy) and its subsequent anime television series adaptation, DORORO finally gets a big-budget, big-screen treatment as a live-action feature starring Japanese singing and acting superstar Kou Shibasaki (Memories Of Matsuko; One Missed Call; Battle Royale) in the title role.Directed by Akihiko Shiota (Canary; Harmful Insect), co-starring Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift), Eita (Memories Of Matsuko) and Anna Tsuchiya (Sakuran; Kamikaze Girls), and featuring action choreography by Hong Kong action maestro Siu-Tung Ching (Curse Of The Golden Flower; House Of Flying Daggers; Hero), this epic, supernatural fantasy proved to be a major box office smash in Japan, topping the movie charts for an unprecedented six consecutive weeks.
Fearing the imminent decline of his clan, samurai warlord Daigo Kagemitsu makes a deal with a circle of 48 demons who offer him the power to conquer and rule the world in exchange for the body parts of his future unborn son. When the child is eventually born as nothing more than a limbless torso and an eyeless, earless head, Daigo wants to kill it but instead agrees to his wife's request to place it in a floating basket and set it off down the river. The deformed orphan is soon discovered and rescued by a mystical physician who creates artificial organs and body parts for the boy, before naming him Hyakkimaru and raising him as his own.
Years later, having reached adulthood, Hyakkimaru embarks on a quest to seek out and destroy the 48 demons that made the pact with his natural father, thereby reclaiming his real body parts so he can become fully human. Early into his journey he crosses paths with a sassy young thief, an orphan who adopts the name Dororo. A girl who was raised as a boy by her parents in order to make her emotionally stronger in a troubled and uncaring world, Dororo has a vengeful quest of her own to fulfil and joins Hyakkimaru on an adventure that will reveal to them many dangers and unexpected surprises.
Beginning with echoes of "Frankenstein", "Edward Scissorhands" and "Pinocchio" before switching gears to become something akin to a comedy-horror movie as directed by Akira Kurosawa, DORORO is a fun and energetic romp packed with inventiveness, a countless array of colourful demons, acrobatic martial arts action and plenty of humour.
DORORO (cert. 15) will be released on DVD (£15.99) by MVM on 7th September 2009. Special Featues include: "Road To Dororo" featurette; deleted scenes; trailer gallery; stills gallery; Japanese Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1 audio options; optional English subtitles; scene selection.
Clips are available here.