Studio Deen Makes Anime Film of Buddhist Text Naze Ikiru
posted on by Egan Loo
Studio DEEN is animating Kentetsu Takamori's Buddhist text Naze Ikiru as a film. Naze Ikiru: Rennyo Shōnin to Yoshizaki Enjō- (Why We Live: The Priest Rennyo and the Yoshizaki Fire) will open on May 21 at Tokyo's Cinemart Shinjuku and other theaters.
The story centers around Ryōken, a young man who lamented his misfortune and despised temples and monks. He had placed all his hope on his unborn child, but an unfortunate incident took everything away from him. In his time of despair and suffering in the dark, Ryōken came across the preachings of the holy priest Rennyo. They tell the answer to "why we live," as revealed by the monk Shinran. Finding new meaning, Ryōken becomes Rennyo's apprentice. Angry at the increase of followers at Honnōdera, the other Buddhist sects chase Rennyo and Ryōken out of Kyoto. Seeking a new place of worship, the two arrive in Yoshizaki (Fukui) in the Hokuriku region.
Hideaki Oba (Alice in the Country of Hearts: Wonderful Wonder World, Pandalian, Omakase Scrappers) is directing the film, and Takamori himself and Kiyoto Wada co-wrote the script. Masaaki Kannan (Hetalia - Axis Powers, Oishinbo, Gifū Dōdō!! Kanetsugu to Keiji) designed the characters, and Suurkiitos is distributing the film.
The cast includes film actor Kotaro Satomi (Agatha Christie no Meitantei Poirot to Marple) in his first anime film role as Rennyo, Katsuyuki Konishi as Ryōken, Hideyuki Tanaka, Ayumi Fujimura, and Takaaki Seki.
Ichimannendo published and sold one million copies of the original book in Japanese, and it also published an English translation under the title, You Were Born for a Reason: The Real Purpose of Life.
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