SciFi Japan

    BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK Press Notes

    New BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE Anime Film Opens June 2nd in Japan Source: Shochiku Co., Ltd., Production I.G Official Website: blood-c-movie.jp (Japan)

    The feature film BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK (???BLOOD-C The Last Dark [??????? ???? ?? ? ??? ???], 2012) is the latest chapter in the world-famous "Blood: The Last Vampire" saga that has become one of animation house Production I.G`s flagship titles. BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK is a creative collaboration between Production I.G and popular all-female artist group CLAMP, supervised by Junichi Fujisaku, one of the key members of the team that developed the original concept for BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE ????? ? ??? ??????, 2000? and who later directed the TV series BLOOD+ ????????, 2005). Directed by Production I.G`s enfant terrible, Naoyoshi Shiotani, BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK is slated in Japan for a June 2nd, 2012 theatrical release. The original BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE was Japan`s first fully digital animated film, and also Production I.G`s first, highly successful attempt to create a project based on a fully in-house developed original concept. A dream team including Mamoru Oshii (GHOST IN THE SHELL), Junichi Fujisaku and Kenji Kamiyama (EDEN OF THE EAST) assembled for this purpose. The movie featured Saya, a teenage girl in school uniform slashing metamorphic monsters with a Japanese sword -- a unique concept contributed by Fujisaku. Combining this powerful heroine with stunningly cutting-edge animation, BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE has been mesmerizing moviegoers and renowned creators alike all over the world, starting with James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino... the character of Gogo Yubari in KILL BILL: VOL. 1 was reportedly inspired by Saya. In 2005, I.G expanded the movie`s concept with BLOOD+, a 50-episode TV series directed by Junichi Fujisaku which reached out to a wider market. The Blood franchise includes comic adaptations, novels, and videogames. In 2009, a live-action remake directed by Chris Nahon (KISS OF THE DRAGON), starring Gianna Jun (Jun Ji-hyun) and produced by Pathé was released worldwide.

    In 2011, Production I.G and CLAMP partnered for the twelve episode anime series, BLOOD-C (???? ??, 2011). Like the former chapters of the saga, BLOOD-C featured a heroine called Saya -- this time given the family name "Kisaragi" -- who slays vicious creatures with a Japanese sword, but with totally new designs and an unpredictable story twist. The show aired from July 7 - September 29, 2011 on the Japanese stations TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) and MBS (Mainichi Broadcasting System). BLOOD-C was simulcast in the United Kingdom and North America on the video networking site niconico.com. The final episode of the series ended with a a teaser for the movie, BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK. The film is directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani, one of Japan`s most promising young animation creators. Born in 1977, his early works include TV series WINDY TALES (key animation supervisor, 2004) and BLOOD+ -- for which he also directed the kaleidoscopic third opening film, COLORS OF THE HEART (selected in competition for the 11th Holland Animation Film Festival). His directorial debut, TOKYO MARBLE CHOCOLATE (????????????, Tokyo Maaburuchokoreeto, 2007) was awarded with the Grand Prize in the Feature Films Section of SICAF 2008. His talent was confirmed in OBLIVION ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR (??????? ????????, Hottarake no Shima - Haruka to Maho no Kagami, 2009) a CGI movie for which Shiotani contributed storyboard and animation direction, that eventually won ten awards in Japan and at international film festivals around the world. Shiotani joined Production I.G in the days when BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE was being completed, and apprenticed under Kazuchika Kise, chief animator for the movie. With BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK, Shiotani has solemnly promised he won`t disappoint his master.

    BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK

    Tokyo, winter. Following the enforcement of the new Youth Protection Ordinance, minors are forbidden to circulate in the streets at night and the use of the Internet is regulated. However, young people continue to fight for their own freedom through underground methods.

    A group called Sirrut, in particular, has declared war on Fumito Nanahara, a man whose great influence at both political and economic level has virtually made him the ruler of Tokyo. The Sirrut fight their war with the weapon they know best: Internet. And while searching for more information about their enemy in the cyberspace, they come across a number of urban legends referring to the existence of the "Tower," a mysterious organization behind Fumito that is rumored to be conducting experiments involving human beings, and alluding to people being... eaten. Determined to expose the truth, the Sirrut members start investigating. But as they are in the subway following a lead, a monstrous creature appeared from nowhere starts attacking the passengers. As panic and mayhem spread, one girl stands firmly in front of that living nightmare, a Japanese sword in her hand, her eyes as cold as ice... Original Concept: Production I.G/CLAMP Original Character Design: CLAMP Screenplay: Nanase Ohkawa (CLAMP), Junichi Fujisaku Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani Animation Character Designer: Kazuchika Kise Chief Animation Supervisor: Kazuchika Kise Animation Supervisors: Takahiro Chiba, Toru Okubo, Miyuki Nakamura, Kanako Sasa, Takahiro Kagami Color Designer: Narumi Sakai Art Director: Kazuo Ogura (Kusanagi) CG Director: Hiroyuki Torii Director of Photography: Eiji Arai Sound Director: Yoshikazu Iwanami Music: Naoki Sato Animation Production: Production I.G Theatrical Distributor: Shochiku CAST Saya: Nana Mizuki Fumito Nanahara: Kenji Nojima


    About Production I.G

    Started as the joint collaboration of visionary production manager Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and popular character designer Takayuki Goto, Production I.G was established on December 15, 1987. The company has produced a number of acclaimed feature films, OVA (original video animation), TV shows, and videogames. For their storytelling and quality of animation, GHOST IN THE SHELL (1995, directed by Mamoru Oshii, No. 1 in US Billboard Top Video Sales Chart 1996), JIN-ROH: THE WOLF BRIGADE (1999, directed by Hiroyuki Okiura, Jury`s Special Prize at Fantasporto 1999), and BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE (2000, directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo), have earned critical accolades in Japan and all around the world. INNOCENCE, directed by Mamoru Oshii in 2004, became the first Japanese animation feature ever to compete for the Palme d`Or at the Festival de Cannes. In 2008, Mamoru Oshii`s animated feature film, THE SKY CRAWLERS, was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 65th Venice Film Festival and won 3 awards at Sitges in the same year. The studio`s first 3DCG animation feature film, OBLIVION ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR (2009), directed by Shinsuke Sato was Animation of the Year at the 33rd Japan Academy Prizes.

    About CLAMP

    Debuting in 1987 with RG Veda, CLAMP is an all-female Japanese comic artist group consisting of Nanase Okawa, who provides the storyline and screenplay, and three artists whose roles shift for each series: Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi, and Satsuki Igarashi. As of today, over 100 million CLAMP comic volumes have been sold worldwide. Their works include, X (1992), Magic Knight Rayearth (1993), Cardcaptor Sakura (1996), xxxHOLiC (2002-2011, over 11 million copies sold in Japan alone, #6 best-selling manga in USA according to New York Times in 2009), Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (2003~2009, over 20 million copies in Japan alone, #5 best-selling book on Waldenbooks` list in 2004). CLAMP comics and their animated adaptations are released in many countries and have gained the artists a huge fan base on global scale.

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