Gonzo Previews Historical Short Ryo in Promo Video '1.5'

posted on by Egan Loo
Youth to confront real-life swordsman Hijikata Toshizō with music by Hitomi Kuroishi (Code Geass)

The official YouTube channel for the anime studio Gonzo began streaming the promotional video "1.5" for Ryo, the studio's Anime Mirai 2013 entry, on Wednesday. This version features the music from Hitomi Kuroishi (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Last Exile).

Ryo begins in the year Keiō 2 (1866), or the 11th month in the year Keiō 3 by lunar calendar reckoning, in Kyoto. It is a time when Japan was in turmoil over different ideologies, such as those calling for the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate. A youth named Ryo will confront the real-life historical swordsman Hijikata Toshizō on the listing deck of the Goryōkaku government's flagship Kaiyō. (Historical Japanese names are listed family name first here, while modern names are listed family name last.)

Koichi Chigira is directing Ryo at Gonzo with producer Shinichiro Ishikawa. Junichi Takaoka designed the characters and is overseeing the animation process. Sakae Shibuya and Sayaka Takase are mentoring a group of young key animators on the project.

The cast includes the following:

  • Aoi Yuki as Ryo
  • Minako Kotobuki as Kuro
  • Keiji Fujiwara as Sakamoto Ryōma
  • Ai Kayano as Oryū
  • Toshiyuki Morikawa as Hijikata Toshizō
  • Yuuki Ono as Nakamura Hanjirō
  • Shinya Takahashi as Nakaoka Shintarō
  • Takanori Nishikawa as Okubo Toshimichi

Under the Anime Mirai program, the Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCA) receives money from the Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, and it distributes most of those funds to studios who will train young animators on-the-job. The other three studios' projects are Studio Trigger's Little Witch Academia, ZEXCS's Aruvu Rezuru - Kikai Jikake no Yōsei-tachi (Aruvu Rezuru - Mechanized Fairies), and MADHOUSE's Death Billiards.

The shorts will open in Japanese theaters on March 2.

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