GKIDS, Shout! Factory Release On-Gaku: Our Sound Anime Film on BD/DVD on March 9

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Film screened in N. America on December 11

GKIDS and Shout! Factory announced on Monday that they will release Kenji Iwaisawa's ON-GAKU: Our Sound, the anime film adaptation of Hiroyuki Ohashi's "ON-GAKU" manga on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on March 9. The film will launch digitally the same day.

The release's bonus content will include the "Mountain," "Mourning Ice Pop," "Nicky," and "Taro Wanted to be Water" short films by Iwaisawa; a feature-length "making of" documentary; a live musical performance; and storyboards.

GKIDS screened the film in theaters in North America on December 11 in 24 cities.

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. Animated almost entirely by director Kenji Iwaisawa, and featuring a lead performance by Japanese alt-rock legend Shintaro Sakamoto, ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND brings its own sound and vision to the Hiroyuki Ohashi manga from which it was adapted. With pitch-perfect deadpan humor, the film presents a highly original take on the beloved slacker comedy: a lo-fi buddy film with a blaring musical finale that will leave you wanting an immediate encore.

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 distributed 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 in September 2019. The film also competed in the sixth annual New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival in the festival's Featured Animation Competition category in November 2019.

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

The New York International Children's Film Festival (NYICFF) screened the film in February. The film is won in the Best Original Music Award for a Feature Film award at Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June.

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.

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