SciFi Japan


    Logo for PLANZET, the new computer animated science fiction film from Jun Awazu, director of NEGADON: MONSTER FROM MARS. Photo courtesy of CoMix Wave Films. © 2010 Jun Awazu/Media Factory/CoMix Wave Films

    New Computer Animated Feature from the Makers of NEGADON Author: Keith Aiken Source: Kazuki Sunami, CoMix Wave Films Inc. Official Movie Site: Special Thanks to Elliot Gay


    The year is 2053 AD. The Earth has lost a huge portion of its population to a mysterious lifeform that has appeared from space. With all of mankind’s attempts to counterattack ending in failure, the Fuji Base Japanese Area Forces puts their final plan to strike the enemy location into action; Operation Planzet. Hiroshi Akishima, pilot of the robot weapon, has been ordered to protect the people at Fuji Base without fail. Before the battle Hiroshi’s little sister Koyomi, his only surviving family, takes refuge on the safe planet of Mars. Thus begins Planzet, the battle for mankind’s fate. Hiroshi and his comrades face insurmountable odds. How will humanity be able to fight against this crisis?

    The world lies in ruins. Photo courtesy of CoMix Wave Films. © 2010 Jun Awazu /Media Factory/CoMix Wave Films

    PLANZET is a new Japanese computer animated sci-fi adventure from the creative team behind the popular CG monster short NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS (Wakusei Daikaiju Negadon, 2005). The film runs 53 minutes and will be theatrically released in Japan by CoMix Wave Films on May 22, 2010. Kazuki Sunami of CoMix Wave recently told SciFi Japan that, "I used the phrase `Shinjidai Tokusatu` (meaning "Japanese VFX for new generation") for NEGADON. And I am calling PLANZET a `Progressing Shinjidai Tokusastu` because it surpasses NEGADON in so many ways." PLANZET is written and directed by Jun Awazu. Born in 1974 in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan, Awazu studied 3D CG design at the Department of Digital Creations at the Trident School of Computing, then spent two years working as a CG designer and VFX artist. In March 2003, he started his own studio to create NEGADON, a tribute to the “Golden Age” of kaiju films of the 1950s and 60s. Production took more than two years. Following NEGADON’s premiere at the 2005 Tokyo International Film Festival, the film was shown at a handful of festivals across Japan. It won the Outstanding Production Award at the 20th Digital Contents Grand Prix, and the Jury Recommended Work at the 9th Japan Media Arts Festival. A limited US theatrical run and Region 1 DVD release took place in 2006. NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS can now be seen in its entirety for free on the YouTube page of North American distributor Manga Entertainment. After finishing work on NEGADON, Awazu turned his attention to a new– and much bigger– project that required some of the top 3D FX houses in Japan.. Kazuki Sunami explained, "Jun Awazu has put together a small CGI team inside CoMix Wave Films for PLANZET, while CG studios including Shirogumi (the ALWAYS- SUNSET ON THIRD STREET series, K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES), Malin Post (GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS, BATTLE ROYALE, SINKING OF JAPAN), and others also participated for this animation movie." A key member of the PLANZET team is digital matte painter Takumi Tanji who helped create the backdrop for the film`s story. Tanji has previously worked on several CoMix Wave CG productions such as director Makoto Shinkai`s THE PLACE PROMISED IN OUR EARLY DAYS (Kumo no Muko, Yakusoku no Basho, 2004) and the alternate history post-WWII love story 5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND (Byosoku 5 Senchimetoru, 2007). His credits also include the live action films CASSHERN (2004) and SINKING OF JAPAN. The voice cast is headlined by Mamoru Miyano, best known as the voice of Light Yagami/Kira in the anime version of DEATH NOTE (Desu Noto, 2006), and as Setsuna F Seiei in MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00 (Kido Senshi Gandamu 00, 2007). He recently provided the voice of Ultraman Zero for the film MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY (Daikaiju Battoru Urutora Ginga Densetsu The Movie, 2009). Also in PLANZET is actress Junko Takeuchi, the voice of the extremely popular teen ninja Naruto Uzumaki of NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN fame. The main theme song for the film is sung by folk singer Chitose Hajime. Hajime has released numerous hit singles and albums in recent years, and also performed the theme songs for several anime and film productions including BLOOD+ (2005), AYAKASHI: JAPANESE CLASSIC HORROR (Ayakashi, 2006), and FIRST LOVE (Hatsukoi, 2006).

    Robot pilot Hiroshi Akishima stands in defense during what may be the last battle of mankind. Photo courtesy of CoMix Wave Films. © 2010 Jun Awazu/Media Factory/CoMix Wave Films

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