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Annecy Reveals ON-GAKU: Our Sound Director Kenji Iwaisawa's New Film Hyakuemu (Updated)

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Film adapts Uoto's track-and-field manga

Update: Kodansha has confirmed that the film will adapt Uoto's Hyakuemu (100M) manga, and revealed the main staff. Kenji Iwaisawa is directing the film at Rock 'n' Roll Mountain. Pony Canyon, TBS TV, and ASMIK Ace are credited with production. Keisuke Kojima is the character designer and chief animation director, and Keikankun Yamaguchi is the art director. Producers include Yūsuke Terada, Yūki Katayama, and Akane Taketsugu. The film will open in Japan in 2025. Source: Comic Natalie

Image via Annecy International Film Festival website
The official website for the Annecy International Film Festival announced on Thursday that it will preview director Kenji Iwaisawa's new anime film Hyakuemu (literally, 100m) as part of this year's Work in Progress lineup.

Annecy lists the film with a runtime of 95 minutes. Keisuke Kojima is serving as the character designer and animation director, and Keikankun Yamaguchi is the art director. Akane Taketsugu is producing the film, for which the film festival describes the story:

Togashi is born to run. As a kid, he is naturally gifted and wins every 100-meter race without effort. But in sixth grade, he meets Komiya, a transfer student who is full of determination but lacks technique. In teaching him, Togashi gives Komiya a new purpose: to win no matter what. Years pass by, Togashi and Komiya meet again as rivals on the track and reveal their true selves.

Uoto launched the Hyakuemu manga in Kodansha's Magazine Pocket app in November 2018 as Uoto's first series, and Kodansha published the manga's third compiled book volume in August 2019.

This year's Annecy will run from June 9 to June 15 in the French town of the same name. Established in 1960, Annecy is the world's oldest and largest animation film festival.

Iwaisawa teased at Tokyo International Film Festival 2023 last October that he has another animated film already in full-fledged production, besides the previously announced Hina is Beautiful. In addition, he anticipated that this other film will come out before Hina is Beautiful.

Iwaisawa previously directed ON-GAKU: Our Sound, an adaptation of Hiroyuki Ohashi's "ON-GAKU" manga. Ohashi announced the film project in 2012, and launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Makuake website in July 2018. The film opened in Japan in January 2020. GKIDS screened the film in theaters in North America in December 2020, and then released the film on home video in March 2021.

The film won the Grand Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) in 2019. The film won the 24th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards' Entertainment Division's Grand Prize in 2021, and the 75th Annual Mainichi Film Awards' Noburou Oofuji Award in 2021. The film was also nominated for an Annie Award in the same year.

Sources: Annecy International Film Festival website, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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