Anime Expo 2007
by Mikhail Koulikov,
Maki Terashima, the newly-promoted vice president of Production I.G's US office, hosted her company's Sunday afternoon panel. She opened the hour by showing attendees a short live-action film documenting the frantic lives of I.G animators as they work to meet tight deadline. that was made by an American intern at the company . She followed this up with several extended trailers for various anime I.G is currently involved with, starting with Reideen, the reimagining of the classic 1975 Yuusha Reideen. Next came trailers for the as-yet-unlicensed Sisters of Wellber, Guardian of the Sacred Spirit (to be released in the US by Geneon) and Ghost Hound, which is written by Chiaki J. Konaka based on Masamune Shirow's original concept.
Although Production I.G is known primarily for its movies and TV series, recently, the company has been working on other commercial projects. The next two clips Terashima showed, an animated music video for Maaya Sakamoto's song Universe and a commercial for Ascience shampoo were representative of projects of this kind . “Asience: Hairy Tale” was directed by Kazuto Nakazawa, who earlier was responsible for the “Origin of O-Ren” anime segment of Kill Bill. The commercial was only shown in Japan once, since it was developed primarily to compete in the Cannes International Advertising Festival.
The final trailer shown at the panel was the recently unveiled teaser for Mamoru Oshii's Sky Crawlers, which is due out next year. This film is very different from the kinds of movies Oshii is usually known for. Apparently, however, he was influenced to work on such an unusual project by two major events that happened this year in his personal life. Oshii's daughter was married earlier this year, and Gabriel, his beloved basset hound, passed away at the age of thirteen.
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