2021 97 mins
Subtitles : English
“[A] carnivalesque extravaganza... [a] head-scratching, jaw-dropping, head-banging freak-out” - David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE
“Phenomenal... the best rock concert movie in years” - Rafael Motamayor, IGN
Two centuries after the legendary conflict between the Heike and Genji clans, a fisherman’s young son passes his days as a diver, scouring the lake’s bottom for relics of the tragic final battle. A mission for shogunate retainers leaves the boy blinded and his father dead. At that same moment, a monstrous, misshapen son is born to a family of respected Noh theatre performers. The blind boy grows up to be a humble yet talented travelling musician, seeking the hidden villages of the Heike’s descendants to gather their stories. The deformed and despised boy skulks and capers at the margins of society, his hideous face hidden behind a mask, all the while secretly mastering the craft of stage performance. When their paths cross, amazing events are set in motion, sending shockwaves through medieval Japanese society.
Bristling with energy and inspiration, the new feature film from anime radical Masaaki Yuasa (MIND GAME, RIDE YOUR WAVE, DEVILMAN CRYBABY
) is an absolute tour-de-force. Ancient Japanese history is reimagined as a riotous rock opera, rendered all the more feverish and fantastical by Yuasa’s storytelling panache and astonishing inventiveness (never to mention Taiyo Matsumoto’s amazing character designs). Reflecting on the preciousness of myths and legends, too easily twisted over time for political ends, INU-OH
weaves in potent supernatural elements, and when the band strikes their opening chords, the beat begins to pound, and the holy monster Inu-Oh (voiced by Queen Bee signer Avu-chan) starts to sing and dance, the spirit of Masaaki’s masterpiece is just about overwhelming. – Rupert Bottenberg