Toei animation have been working at making the movie adaptation of George Akiyama’s manga Asura (1970 – 1971) since they announced its start back in 2010. Now that its release is nearing there are trailers, images, and staff details being released.
Mid-15th Century Japan, the country is suffering war and gripped by drought and famine. When a young child named Asura is born he is plunged into a harsh world of violence and desperation which turns him into a beast that roams the hills. After provoking the rage of a local lord, Asura finds himself being hunted but a young girl named Wakasa comes to his aid. Can Wakasa help rehabilitate him and bring him back to civilisation amidst the suffering and chaos that surrounds them?
Highly controversial at the time of its publication, Asura was an amoral tale that focussed on the will to live but it drew criticism in Japan due to its depiction of violence¹ which got it banned in some prefectures of Japan during its original publication. The film is directed by Keiichi Sato (Tiger & Bunny) with a theme song by Yasuha Kominami.
The voice acting cast is strong with Masako Nozawa (Goku in Dragon Ball and Tetsuro in Adieu Galaxy Express 999) voicing Asura and Megumi Hayashibara (Rei Ayanami in Evangelion) voicing Wakasa. Also in the cast are Hiroaki Hirata (Akihiko in Mōryō no Hako, Sanji in One Piece) and Kaori Yamagata (Chacha in Legend of Basara).
Staff: Keiichi Sato (Director), Yasuha Kominami (Theme Song Performance)
Voice Actors: Masako Nozawa, Megumi Hayashibara, Yuu Mizushima, Kinya Kitaōji, Tessho Genda, Kaori Yamagata, Hiroaki Hirata, Bin Shimada, Kappei Yamaguchi,
¹ Spoiler/ the manga opens with Asura’s mother starved into madness and throwing Asura onto a fire so she can cook and eat him!