Japanese Title: ねらわれた 学園
Romaji: Nerawareta Gakuen lit. Aimed School
Release Date: 19th October 2012 (Japan)
Running Time: N/A
Director: Ryousuke Nakamura
Writer: Taku Mayumura (Original Story), Yuko Naito, Ryosuke Nakamura (Screenplay)
Starring: Mayu Watanabe, Yuutaro Honjou, Kana Hanazawa, Daisuke Ono
A full trailer for the forthcoming anime movie adaptation of Taku Maymura’s popular 1973 sci-fi novel Nerawareta Gakuen (School in the Crosshairs) has been released by the production studio Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop, Colorful). It looks stunning. Just watch.
It is spring and another new school year and another school for 8th grade junior high school student Ryoichi Kyogoku (Ono) who has recently moved to Kamakura. Things might be boring but Kyogoku is a telepath and has been ordered by his father to use this ability to scan other people’s minds and take over the school.
Being good looking and charismatic, he wins major popularity at the school which allows him to initiate his plans. He secretly manipulates his followers and pushes aside anyone who gets in his way but there is one student who seems unaffected – Seki. Does Seki have what it takes to save everyone?
This is the first anime movie adaptation and it looks spectacular – a rich mix of colours seen in the likes of Makoto Shinkai’s works. It is being produced by Sunrise’s Studio 8 (Accel World) with Ryosuke Nakamura acting as director and scriptwriter. Nakamua earned my attention with his work on Mōryō no Hako. He has also worked on other favourite anime titles of mine like Monster and Occult Academy. The music production group supercell (familiar from the Bakemonogatari themes) providing the theme song which can be heard in the trailer. Music composer Shusei Murai, who also worked on Mōryō no Hako, is here. Character designer Mieko Hosoi has worked on an interesting catalogue of titles including The Tatami Galaxy and The House of Five Leaves. It stars the voices of Kana Hanazawa (Anri in Durarara!! and Kobato in the anime of the same name and, most importantly for me, Mayuri in Steins;Gate) and Daisuke Ono (Itsuki in the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise) while AKB48 member Mayu Watanabe takes another role.
This is not the first time that the book has been adapted into different formats multiple times with two live-action films made in 1981 and 1997 and four live-action television dramas. Interestingly, the 1981 film was directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi who made the wonderful and surreal horror film House. For those of us in the UK this October it can be seen at Scotland Loves Anime.