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Tokyo International Film Festival Highlights Masaaki Yuasa, Kōji Yakusho

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Devilman Crybaby director, The Boy and the Beast actor showcased this year

The 31st Tokyo International Film Festival announced at Cannes on Wednesday that its Animation Focus section will highlight the works of director Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Lu over the wall) this year, and its Japan Now section will focus on actor Kōji Yakusho (The World of Kanako, The Boy and the Beast).

Yuasa started as a key animator for such anime as Doraemon: Nobita's Animal Planet and The Legend of the Dog Warriors: The Hakkenden. He moved on to Crayon Shin-chan where he was animation director on a number of episodes, and did animation work on the franchise films.

He made his film director debut with the 2004 Mind Game film, and he went on to direct television anime such as Kemonozume, Kaiba, and Ping Pong. He has also directed select episodes or specials of Western cartoons, such as Wakfu and Adventure Time. He also directed the Kick-Heart anime short in 2013. He adapted Tomihiko Morimi's The Tatami Galaxy novel into an anime, and also directed a film adaptation of another Morimi novel, Night is Short, Walk on Girl. Yuasa also worked on the original film Lu over the wall, and recently directed the Devilman Crybaby anime series.

He and fellow animator Eunyoung Choi co-founded the Science Saru anime studio.

Yakusho is known for his roles in such films as The Eel, A Lost Paradise, Shall We Dance?, Cure, Babel, Warm Water Under the Bridge, Walking My Life, The Woodsman and the Rain, 13 Assassins, and The Emperor in August, He voiced the role of Kumatetsu in Mamoru Hosoda's The Boy and the Beast anime film, and will also voice the grandfather in Hosoda's upcoming Mirai no Mirai (Mirai of the Future) film.

The festival will be held from October 25 to November 3 this year.

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