Reviews | Written by JAMES "MAGIC" PERKINS 27/09/2022

INU-OH

In the 14th century, an unlikely friendship is formed between a blind biwa player and a disfigured son of the leader of a Noh troupe in legendary anime filmmaker Masaaki Yuasa's latest film, the epic rock opera; Inu-oh.

The story, based upon the novel Tales of the Heike: Inu-Oh by Hideo Furukawa, follows Tomona, a biwa player who becomes blind from a supernatural sword as a youngster, who meets Inu-oh, the son of a power-hungry Noh troupe leader suffering from a disfiguration that causes estrangement from his father, including a gourd mask to hide his face and a snake-like arm - together, the pair transform the art of storytelling, bringing their flair and vibe to the mastery of the Noh artform with Heike tribe tales. Tomona absolutely shreds whilst Inu-oh brings the stories to life with their incredible dancing and performance that brings vibrant fantasy-like qualities for the audience to enjoy.

What always stands out in a Yuasa-san project is how he has such a trademark style whilst also managing to make every single film or tv project feel truly unique. The art style manages to invoke the 14th century setting that couples beautifully with modern music and fantastical set-pieces - some of said set pieces especially reach the dizzy heights of being as epic as the likes of Queen's Live-Aid performance and The Rolling Stones, with the audience in the narrative being a true extension of the audience watching in the real world. The music, co-written by Yuasa-san and Avu-chan (who voices Inu-oh) is enchanting and catchy - we can guarantee you will have the soundtrack on repeat after watching.

Inu-oh is a beautiful film that speaks deep about acceptance, seeing the world in a new light and the art of storytelling and is quintessential Yuasa. A unique retelling of a forgotten age of Japanese culture and history, that blends classical and modern elements seamlessly and is captivating viewing.

Inu-oh is in UK cinemas from 28th September 2022.