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NEWS: GKIDS Licenses On-Gaku: Our Sound Anime Film for N. America




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Neko-sensei



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 195
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:30 am Reply with quote
I saw this movie when it came out, walked out of the theater and into the bookstore and bought the manga, read the manga, then went back into the theater and watched the film again. (It's a really short movie.) It is unutterably fantastic, an amalgam of individually amateurish and, frankly, ugly parts that come together to form a charming, gut-wrenchingly hilarious, surprisingly heartfelt paean to pure creativity itself, divorced entirely from concerns about whether what's being created is "good" or "bad." The whole film could best be described as a long bout of silence punctuated with burst of chaotic, tuneless noise, but somehow it all works and you come out of the theater with a smile on your face so huge it should be embarrassing... yet after watching On-Gaku you don't really care if you're embarrassing yourself or not. This is a movie destined to be watched by almost nobody but loved forever by the few dozen of us who do see it.

As a side note, the official synopsis is... not quite so accurate, which I guess is fine, but the trailer is particularly brutal in its spoilers. Viewer beware.
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Themaster20000



Joined: 05 Aug 2014
Posts: 733
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:37 am Reply with quote
Love the simple artstyle mixed with the the gorgeous animation! Definitely giving this a watch.
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Xe4



Joined: 04 May 2015
Posts: 84
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:59 am Reply with quote
Definitely looks like something GKIDS would distribute.
I've been keeping an eye on this movie since the first poster, and am very intrested in seeing it when it is out.
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Lapin noir



Joined: 20 Dec 2008
Posts: 84
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:18 am Reply with quote
There is a 10-minute extract playing in the online Annecy Festival at https://online.annecy.org/product/on-gaku-our-sound-extract till 30 June – though, now that it has a GKIDS license for NA (and considering how all anime licensed by GKIDS so far has had UK/Ireland releases, usually from Anime Limited), one might prefer not to spoil it if there will be a chance to see the full thing, maybe even theatrically.

Considering the names of the Japanese distributors aren’t ones I recognise at all and that the ranking was for minicinemas, it sounds like this got a tiny release at home, not one anyone was expecting would be followed by theatrical releases overseas, where minicinemas aren’t a thing.

And that if GKIDS give it even one of the smaller releases that they tend to do for non-Japanese movies, it could be bigger than the Japanese release in terms of seats, as a result of it being on full-sized screens (then again, they now won’t be screens that are allowed to be fully occupied). If they could hire some NA musicians or comedians with followings to provide dub voices this could potentially be a cult hit bigger than it is at home, though I suspect it will be sub-only as the similarly Ottawa Grand Prize–winning and adult-aimed Night Is Short is. (I only watch subs, but welcome the greater recognition from outside dedicated anime and animation fandom and therefore availability for both versions that can come from having a dub. Just not when it instead results in a dub-only cinema release, as MFKZ had in both NA and UK/Ireland. Evil or Very Mad)
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Neko-sensei



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 195
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:52 am Reply with quote
Er, no one may ever see this, but it looks like as someone who lives in Japan there are some misconceptions to clear up...

The term "mini-cinema" has nothing to do with the size of the screen. It means exactly the same thing as "limited release" in the US. Some "mini-cinemas" actually are physically small (think renovated 50's and 60's movie houses), many are regular theaters with only one or two screens (think Landmark), and a great number are simply normal multiplexes that dedicate one or two screens to indie releases. There are fewer cinemas per capita in Japan than there are in the States, but by percentage of population a Japanese "mini-cinema" release hits at least the same number of eyes as a typical US limited release.

Interestingly, in the case of On-Gaku, the timing of the movie industry shutdown actually resulted in it being displayed on many more screens. During the periods just before and after the cinema closures, exhibitors were hurting for new films to show and On-Gaku was just, like, right there. The result in my mid-sized town was that the movie opened in early February at a small indie cinema, expanded two weeks later to the "mini-cinema" screen at one of the local multiplexes, and then spent a total of four or five weeks playing in all the first-run theaters in the area. Thus I've now seen it three times, at two different cinemas, in the last four months. (I regret nothing.) Of course, the extra auditoriums didn't actually mean many extra people, since no one was going to the movies anyway, but still...
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