Animation studio Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell, Guilty Crown) has announced that they will be animating a film adaptation of Hinako Sugiura’s manga Sarusuberi. The English title of the film is Miss Hokusai and the film is set to release next year, where Production I.G. Will handle the international distribution.
The anime film will be directed by Keiichi Hara, who directed the films Colorful and Summer Days with Coo. Yoshimi Itazu (The Wind Rises, Paprika) will be serving as the film’s Chief Animator with Hiroshi Ohno (A Letter to Momo, Wolf Children) designing the background art. The screenplay will be written by Miho Maruo (Colorful, Peach Girl).
Hinako Sugiura is a renowned female manga artist, who has created many acclaimed historical series. She debuted in 1980 with the manga Tsuugen Muro no Ume. Her second manga series, Gassou, won her the 1984 Japan Cartoonists Association Award. The manga Sarusuberi was published in the Manga Sunday magazine from 1983 to 1987. Sugiura retired from the manga industry in 1993 to focus on researching the lifestyle of people during the Edo period. She passed away in July 2005 at the age of 46.
The story of Sarusuberi and Miss Hokusai is as follows:
The time: 1814.
The place: Edo, now known as Tokyo. One of the highest populated cities in the world, teeming with peasants, samurai, townsmen, merchants, nobles, artists, courtesans, and perhaps even supernatural things.
A much accomplished artist of his time and now in his mid-fifties, Tetsuzo can boast clients from all over Japan, and tirelessly works in the garbage-loaded chaos of his house-atelier. He spends his days creating astounding pieces of art, from a giant-size Bodhidharma portrayed on a 180 square meter-wide sheet of paper, to a pair of sparrows painted on a tiny rice grain. Short-tempered, utterly sarcastic, with no passion for sake or money, he would charge a fortune for any job he is not really interested in.
Third of Tetsuzo’s four daughters and born out of his second marriage, outspoken 23-year-old O-Ei has inherited her father’s talent and stubbornness, and very often she would paint instead of him, though uncredited. Her art is so powerful that sometimes leads to trouble. “We’re father and daughter; with two brushes and four chopsticks, I guess we can always manage, in a way or another.”
Decades later, Europe was going to discover the immense talent of Tetsuzo. He was to become best known by one of his many names: Katsushika Hokusai. He would mesmerize Renoir and van Gogh, Monet and Klimt.
However, very few today are even aware of the woman who assisted him all his life, and greatly contributed to his art while remaining uncredited. This is the untold story of O-Ei, Master Hokusai’s daughter: a lively portrayal of a free-spirited woman overshadowed by her larger-than-life father, unfolding through the changing seasons.
Miss Hokusai (Sarusuberi) will be releasing in cinemas worldwide sometime in 2015. Production I.G. will be handled all the distributions and sales. Additional information about the film will be released in the upcoming months.
“Sarusuberi”, “Miss Hokusai”, images and all associated brands and titles © 2014 Hinako Sugiura, Production I.G. and MS HS/Sarusuberi Film Partners