50-year-old acclaimed animator Masashi Ando makes his directorial debut
It is officially announced today that the forthcoming anime feature film adaptation of Nahoko Uehashi (Moribito series, The Beast Player)'s fantasy novel series Shika no Ō / The Deer King is set to be released in Japan on September 18, 2020.
Acclaimed animator Masashi Ando (50/Princess Mononoke&Spirited Away animation director, Your Name. character designer/animation director) makes his directorial debut alongside co-director Masayuki Miyaji (43/Fusé: Memoirs of the Hunter Girl). Taku Kishimoto (44/Haikyu!!) provides a screenplay, Production I.G (Ghost in The Shell, Miss Hokusai) works on anime production.
The film's first image visual is also revealed.
The novel was originally released from KADOKAWA in two-volume hardcover edition in September 2014, then re-released as four-volume bunko edition in June-July 2017. The series won the Booksellers Award and the fourth Japan Medical Novel Award in 2015, and has printed 1.9 million copies in Japan so far. And its third volume Ninasoko no Hashi (The bridge in the bottom of the water) was released on March 27, 2019.
The author's official English site introduces its first two volumes' story as below:
1st volume: "Ikinokotta Mono (Survivors)"
The Lone Antlers, a band of death warriors, gave their lives to save their homeland from the empire of Zol. Van, their leader and the sole survivor, is enslaved in a salt mine. One night, savage dogs attack the mine, and soon after, a mysterious disease wipes out both the slaves and their keepers. Van, however, escapes with a little girl called Yuna.
2nd volume: "Kaette iku Mono (Returnees)"
Someone has kidnapped Yuna, and Van sets off in pursuit. Meanwhile, Hohsalle, a gifted physician, searches for a cure for the disease that is spreading among the Zolian settlers. What path will these men choose to save their loved ones and the people of this land?
Original 1st and 2nd hardcover volume covers