‘Visual-kei’ band X Japan to sing “Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha” theme

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Visual-kei” band X Japan’s “Scarlet Love Song” will be the theme for the first film in the trilogy of animated feature films based on Osamu Tezuka’s epic manga series “Buddha,” which is due out in 2011.

X Japan leader Yoshiki, who plays the piano and drums, wrote the new ballad, inspired by Tezuka’s original manga story.

The first film “Tezuka Osamu no Buddha–Akai Sabaku yo! Utsukushiku” (Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha–The Great Departure) will premiere on May 28.

It tells the early life of Siddhartha (who became Buddha), prince of the Shakya tribe in ancient India, from his birth to adulthood. The story of the young prince’s life is told against the backdrop of warfare among tribes and his encounter with Chapra, a man from a lower caste who struggles to rise from poverty.

The series will be the first film adaptation of the masterwork.

“I have loved anime since my childhood. It is a fantastic experience to work on the project like this. Our band itself is also like anime, in that we create a surreal atmosphere,” Yoshiki said. Visual-kei bands use elaborate makeup, hair styles and costumes to create a fanciful atmosphere.

Director Kozo Morishita and Yoshiki had often discussed the concept of collaboration between anime and Japanese rock, both of which are recognized worldwide.

Morishita says he is glad that his initial hopes came true with Yoshiki accepting the offer to pen the movie’s theme song.

Japanese visual-kei bands have established a distinctive presence overseas. X Japan is massively popular, especially thanks to Yoshiki’s strong charisma, which has won him fans everywhere.

The “Buddha” trilogy is a huge project and expected to be aggressively marketed overseas. X Japan’s global popularity will add to the excitement.

See (www.buddha-movie.jp).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.