World Premiere


Directed by Shigeyoshi Tsukahara

Hosted by Director Shigeyoshi Tsukahara, Producer Shinnosuke Yoshida.

Japan 2023 62 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre AnimationFantasy

Business is slow for the Ootsuji Detective Agency. Sotaro and his juvenile sidekick Saki will take any job that comes along, even one that sounds like a lot more risk than it’s worth. It’s festival season in the city but away from the public eye, a wave of mysterious disappearances has occurred. A newspaperman hires Sotaro to investigate, suggesting that answers might lie somewhere in the Dark, the notorious, anarchic maze that is the city’s physical, social, and moral underground. Sotaro subcontracts the gig to Saki, but soon enough regrets it when the kid also goes missing. Now Sotaro is obligated to venture into the Dark himself, and confront its dubious subterranean denizens, including the malicious Laughing Masks gang and the renegade police squad piloting the fearsome Demon 463 armoured train!

Step right this way, folks, for a thrilling adventure that’s equal parts crazy cartoon caper, shadowy film noir, nostalgic escapade, and steampunk fantasy. This retro-flavoured reimagining of the freewheeling Taisho era, Japan’s equivalent of the Roaring Twenties, is the long-awaited personal project of director Shigeyoshi Tsukahara, whose professional resume includes stage design for adventurous pop-rock superstars Sekai no Owari. Age-worn and adorned with all manner of vintage Japanese cultural iconography, KURAYUKABA is Tsukahara-san’s celebration not just of classic anime and old-time entertainment, but of all those little details that make Japan so special, even in this modern, globalized era of ours. Preceded by a pair of rare short films by Tsukahara, Fantasia’s world premiere of KURAYUKABA is your chance to discover a distinctive emerging talent in the anime field! – Rupert Bottenberg