GKIDS Licenses On-Gaku: Our Sound Anime Film for N. America

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Kenji Iwaisawa film based on Hiroyuki Ohashi manga about delinquents starting a rock band

GKIDS announced on Tuesday that it has licensed Kenji Iwaisawa's ON-GAKU: Our Sound, the anime film adaptation of Hiroyuki Ohashi's "ON-GAKU" manga. GKIDS will release the film in North America this year, and it is streaming an English-subtitled trailer:

GKIDS describes the film:

When you're a bored teenager looking for thrills, sometimes the only thing you can turn to is rock 'n roll. Having no skill, money, or even a full set of drums, a feared trio of high school delinquents nevertheless decide they are destined for musical glory in a quest to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang, and – most importantly – jam out.

Ohashi announced the film project in 2012, and launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Makuake website in July 2018. The campaign sought to raise 3.5 million yen (about US$31,000) to finish and edit the film by 2019. The campaign ended in September 2018, and raised 4,129,000 yen (about US$38,166).

Kenji Iwaisawa directed the film. Iwaisawa is known for his animated shorts such as "Fukurai-cho, Tunnel Roji no Otoko," and "Big Boss." Ohashi was responsible for the work's character designs and for overall supervision. Rock 'n' Roll Mountain is distributing the film in Japan, with distribution cooperation by Arc Films. The musical unit The Dresscodes (theme song for GANTZ:O film) performed the theme song for the film.

The film won the Grand Prize for Feature Animation award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival last September. The film also competed in the sixth annual New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival in the festival's Featured Animation Competition category in November.

The film then opened in Japan on January 11. The film ranked at #3 in the mini-theater ranking in its opening weekend.

The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) screened the film on February 22. The film is competing in the Contrechamp category of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival this month.

Ohashi originally self-published the "ON-GAKU" manga in 2005, and it tells the story of young delinquents who decide to start a rock band despite never having touched instruments before. Ohta Publishing later printed the manga in its 2009 ON-GAKU to Manga collection of Ohashi's work.

Source: Cartoon Brew (Amid Amidi)

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