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The Berlin International Film Festival has announced on Wednesday that its Generation program this year will screen Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW (Uchū Show e Yōkoso), the film by the R.O.D. Read or Die anime franchise's core team of director Koji Masunari, writer Hideyuki Kurata, and character designer Masashi Ishihama. The festival will run from February 11 to 21.
Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW tells the science-fiction story of children who experience a space-spanning adventure. The story will begin in the countryside during the summer vacation of fifth grader Natsuki Oyama. Natsuki just moved here in June, and she and four of her schoolmates are about to embark on an adventure together that will take them beyond the fields they call home.
The film will open in Japan this year. This will be second major work for Besame Mucho, the pen name for the team of Masunari, Kurata, and producer Tomonori Ochikoshi. The three individual members of Besame Mucho and Ishihama have not worked together since R.O.D -The TV-. The project was first revealed in Kadokawa Shoten's Newtype magazine in January of 2008, but it was listed with a 2008 opening. Ochikoshi later revealed in December of 2008 that Masunari was still working on his first theatrical film, after the originally slated opening date.
Besides Read or Die, the Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW team also worked on the award-winning Kamichu! manga and anime series with composer Yoshihiro Ike and character designer Takahiro Chiba. A-1 Pictures is producing the new film's animation for Aniplex.
The festival's Generation program will also screen the Summer Wars anime film by The Girl Who Leapt Through Time's Mamoru Hosoda and the French/Japanese live-action feature Yuki & Nina by Nobuhiro Suwa and Hippolyte Girardot. (Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW and Yuki & Nina are listed in the Kplus segment for children, while Summer Wars is in 14plus segment for young adults, even though it is a family film.)
Image © A-1 Pictures