Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.
The 3-D anime adventure “Little Ghostly Adventures of the Tofu Boy,” which stars the vocal talents of familiar Japanese actors, premiered at the 35th Hong Kong International Film Festival on March 22 ahead of its Japan release on April 29.
The feature-length, full-CG anime was screened with English subtitles at its gala premiere at one of Asia’s most prominent international film festivals.
Production of “Tofu Boy” was supervised by renowned anime creator Gisaburo Sugii, who served as executive director.
It was directed by Shinmei Kawahara, whose resume includes the seventh vignette in the film collection based on Natsume Soseki’s “Yume Juya” (“Ten Nights of Dreams”).
An adventure fantasy, “Tofu Boy” starts off in the Edo Period (1603-1867). Tofu Boy, a cute-looking “yokai” goblin that can’t seem to scare anybody, finds himself thrown out of his home and trapped in modern-day Japan.
The movie features a horde of monsters familiar in Japanese folk tales. The star-studded voice cast members include actress Kyoko Fukada, actor-singer Tetsuya Takeda, actors Teppei Koike, Yo Oizumi and Ken Matsudaira.
Transsexual TV personality Ai Haruna, who voiced Raccoon Dog No. 702, appeared on stage at the world premiere, along with director Kawahara.
“For a long time, Japanese people have been in awe of the supernatural, of which yokai are the familiar representations,” director Kawahara said.
He also said that some of the production crew’s friends and family were directly affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. For the sake of the victims, those who were unaffected by the disaster also must pull together and move forward, he added.
Haruna said that postquake Japan is facing many difficult challenges.
“But the Japanese people are kindhearted and give each other help and support to do their best to survive. And this movie is about humans and yokai helping each other out,” she added.
Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.