Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix Gets 2nd & 3rd Bath House PR Anime

posted on by Kim Morrissy

The Dogo Onsen hot spring bath house collaboration anime with Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix announced on Friday that it will get a second and third episode scheduled for 2020. The anime is part of a revitalization project for the Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture bath house that began on January 15. It was announced that the comedian Itsuji Itao will join the cast for the second episode.

The second episode is set in the Meiji era and is scheduled for February 1, 2020. The story will follow literary figures Masaoka Shiki and Natsume Sōseki's visit to the bath house after its refurbishment. The third episode will cover the modern day and future, and is scheduled for mid-2020. The story follows those who have watched over the bath house since the age of gods traveling through time to the modern day.

Nana Mizuki will reprise her role as the titular Phoenix. Itsuji Itao will play Ippen Shōnin, the preacher who founded the Ji-shū ("Time sect") branch of Pure Land Buddhism. Other new additions to the cast include Jun Fukuyama as Masaoka Shiki, Shinnosuke Tachibana as Natsume Sōseki, and Tomochika as Madonna.

The prologue and first episode were released in May. The prologue shows two gods Ōoku Ninushi (played Takeshi Tsuruno) and Sukuna Hikona (played by Suzuko Mori) encountering the phoenix (played by Nana Mizuki) and discovering the hot spring. The first episode shows Prince Shōtoku of the Asuka Period being stressed out because of his royal duties and relaxing at the hot spring.

The anime was produced by Tezuka Productions. It was storyboarded and directed by Fumihiro Yoshimura (Black Jack). The screenplay was handled by Shoichiro Masumoto (Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories) and Taisuke Nishimura. The character designer and chief animation director was Shinji Seya (Black Jack: Child from the Sky), and the music composer was Yuuji Nomi (Phoenix).

Viz Media published the Phoenix manga in North America, and it describes the series:

Considered by many the peak of Osamu Tezuka's artistic achievement and called his "life's work" by the author, Phoenix is made up of twelve complex stories linked by the presence of the mythical bird, an immortal guardian of the universal life force. Read in order, the separate stories jump across time, alternating between a distant future and a distant past, converging on the present, with characters from one story being reincarnated in another.

The manga has inspired a series of anime film and OVA adaptations from 1978 to 1987, each adapting a different story in the manga. The manga also inspired a 2004 television anime.

Source: Comic Natalie

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