Crunchyroll Adds Ao Oni: the Animation Anime Film

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Studio DEEN's horror film opened in Japan on Saturday

Crunchyroll announced on Sunday that it has added the Ao Oni: The Animation anime film. The film is already available for premium members, and will be available to free members next week. Crunchyroll is streaming the film to members worldwide outside of Asia.

The film opened in Japan on Saturday.

The film has a new story that is different from the original game, novelization, and live-action films. It takes place in a suburban town by a mountain forest. The five members of the high school's folklore research club are trying to think of ideas for the culture festival when they discover a former member's collection of research notes from 40 years ago. The legend described in the notes resembles a popular free game called "Ao Oni," so they choose the game as their culture festival theme. They are able to meet with the game's creator, but shortly afterward the creator dies mysteriously. The club members are investigating the mystery at the school when the door shuts and they find themselves locked inside.

Toshirō Hamamura (3D director on Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Wake Up, Girls!) directed the film at Studio DEEN (When They Cry - Higurashi, Hell Girl), and Takemaru Abiko (Kamaitachi no Yoru, The Starship Damrey) wrote the film's script. noprops is credited with the original work. Akiko Shikata performed the film's ending theme song "Kakure Oni" (Hidden Oni).

The Aooni The Blue Monster (Ao Oni: The Animation) television anime shorts premiered in October, and Crunchyroll streamed the series as it aired. Unlike the film, the shorts are a comedic take on the original story with the familiar characters drawn in super-deformed style. Hamamura served as chief director of the television anime alongside director Chisei Maeda (Wasimo's ending animation) at Studio DEEN. Artist kichi adapted the original character designs by Kyuta Sakai (Steins;Gate, When They Cry - Higurashi) for animation. Kanekoke supervised and wrote the scripts. Maxcaffy, Kagi, Poeyama, and Sena Makino are credited with the animation. Shiyu Yanagida composed the music, and Dax Production produced the sound.

The original Ao Oni horror game makes players solve various puzzles and riddles in order to escape a demon in a locked or enclosed space. The game first debuted for free online in 2004, and it is available in both Japanese and English. Publisher PHP Institute released a novel inspired by the game in Japan in February 2013. The franchise also inspired two live-action films in July 2014 and July 2015. The sequel smartphone game Ao Oni 2 launched for iOS and Android devices in December.

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