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BRAVE STORY
STORY PRODUCTION NOTES CAST & CREW

Fuji Television, Warner Brothers Pictures and
Gonzo In a Landmark Collaboration Present

"BRAVE STORY"

A Feature Film Animation Adventure!


Three of the world's most successful film studios, Warner Brothers Pictures ("Harry Potter" series), Fuji Television ("Bayside Shakedown" series) and leading anime house, Gonzo ("Blue Fleet", "Samurai 7), join forces for a landmark project to raise the global standard in feature length animated films! Brave Story, an epic fantasy based on a story by best-selling Japanese author, Miyuki Miyabe and made with an all-star crew and cast! On July 8, a magical door swings open to reveal some of the most incredible animation the world has ever seen!

STORY

"Beyond that door is a chance to change your destiny."

Wataru is an ordinary, eleven-year-old kid whose world has just collapsed around him. His father has walked out on the family and his mother is in the hospital for attempted suicide. All he wants now is his old secure and comfortable life back. When a new student at his school tells him he can change his destiny by entering a magic gateway to another world called "Vision," Wataru literally leaps at the opportunity. All he needs to do is collect five magic gemstones that will lead him to the Tower of Fortune, and there he'll be granted any wish. But this is no playful treasure hunt and Wataru quickly realizes that he'll need to summon every ounce of bravery in his 11-year-old mind and body to meet the physical and mental challenges that lie ahead. Before he can save his family, he'll need to do battle with a world of demons, his own friends and, ultimately, himself!

From the material to "visionary" world, two boys experience the power of wishful thinking!

Wataru is rummaging through an abandoned building rumored to be haunted when he catches sight of a door that appears to be floating in mid-air, and a boy his age who talks cryptically and quickly vanishes. Later recognizing the boy as Mitsuru, a standoffish new student at school, Wataru becomes curious and learns that Mitsuru possesses some extraordinary powers. "So what's behind that floating door," Wataru bravely asks. "A chance to change your destiny," responds Mitsuru. Shrugging off his mysterious new friend, Wataru returns home just in time to see his father pack up and leave for good and his mother hospitalized for an attempted suicide. With his life suddenly falling apart, Wataru remembers Mitsuru's words and rushes off to find the floating door. "This isn't how things are supposed to be," he wails as leaps through the doorway and plummets into a bottomless pit. When Wataru comes to, he finds himself in a dazzling new world, a different dimension called "Vision" where his first challenge is to escape from a cave set up to test his wits and physical skills. He emerges with his life intact but is given an exceptionally low score from a wizened guru named Master Lau who anoints Wataru as a "hero apprentice" and fits him with a sword before sending him on his itinerant quest for the five magic gemstones.

Still reeling from the embarrassing start to his journey, Wataru soon finds himself in a hot desert fleeing from a snarling pack of wolves with "corkscrew mouths" and fumbling to get a handle on his newfound powers. He is rescued by a giant wagon-pulling lizard called Kee Keema, who as a member of the "Water Tribe" regards "travelers" from the material world as a wonderful sign of good luck. Now joined by a trusty sidekick, Wataru takes off on a series of adventures that has him befriending a flying trapeze artist named Meen and a fire-breathing dragon, Jozo, who join Wataru on his journey.

What price would you pay to get your greatest wish?

Wataru's maturation as a hero and his growing attachment to the Vision world eventually sets him on a collision course with a powerful wizard who has been wreaking havoc on the land and its people - Mitsuru! Harboring a tragic past, Mitsuru has gotten hold of the final "Dark Gemstone," unleashing a race of demons that had long been sealed up inside. When Wataru pleads with Mitsuru to stop the destruction, Mitsuru responds coolly. "Just what did you come to this world for, Wataru? I'm here to get my wish and I'll do whatever it takes." As demons swarm over the "Vision" world, wreaking havoc and casting it into darkness, Wataru pursues Mitsuru up the Tower of Fortune in an attempt to stop him. But awaiting him is an ultimate test of bravery that will augur the fate of Wataru's life and that of every creature in "Vision" - a confrontation with himself.

PRODUCTION NOTES

Gonzo, world-class brand in animation.

Gonzo, an animation production studio that has built up a strong brand value among anime fans around the world for gorgeously distinctive, high quality animation, is at last setting its sites on the global market with "Brave Story," a full-fledged feature-length animated motion picture. And what better way to go about it then to hook up with some powerful partners in Fuji Television and Warner Brothers Pictures? Gonzo was created under the principle of establishing a so-called "visual identity" where audiences need only see a single scene to recognize it as a Gonzo product. Gonzo got a strong start in this endeavor with its landmark series, "Blue Submarine No. 6" where it set new standards in digital animation. The newly-launched Gonzino brand, targeting younger audiences, is also receiving widespread attention with such Hollywood-tied works as "Afro Samurai," co-produced by and starring Samuel L. Jackson (lead voice-over role). Gonzo"s success has also been supported by a strong subsidiary and partnership network that ranges from content production to merchandising and financing. The GONZO network includes strategic partnerships and tie-ups with domestic television networks and advertising agencies, and a pipeline to US toy companies and publishers in addition to Hollywood. Gonzo strives to maintain total control over the conception, production and sales of its works so as to guarantee the brand equity and integrity that fans and consumers expect.

[Representative Works]

  • "Blue Submarine No. 6" ('99) OVA Series
    (Winner of the 4th Animation Kobe Award for Packaged Conte)t)
  • "Gatekeepers"i'00jTV series
  • "Yukikaze" i'02jOVA series
    (Winner of the 8th Animation Kobe Award for Packaged Content; Tokyo International Anime Fair 2003 & 2006, Anime Award for Best Original Video)
  • "Last Exile" (e03), TV series
  • "Samura Seven" ("04), TV series
  • "Gankutsuou" ("04), TV series
    (Winner of the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2005, Anime Award for Best Television Series, 10th Animation Kobe Award for Television Series)
  • "Speed Grapher" ("05) TV series
    (2005 Japan Media Arts Festival, Panelists Recommended Anime Work)
  • "Gin iro no kami no Agito" (Silver-haired Agito), Motion Picture
    Nominee at the 2006 30th Annecy International Animation Festival

CAST&CREW

Yo Oizumi, "Kee Keema"
Oizumi has built up a versatile career in television, commercials, radio and film. His voice acting career includes major roles in the Academy Award winning "Spirited Away" ("01) and "Howl"s Moving Castle" (04) by Hayao Miyazaki. He has appeared regularly in many hit television serial dramas on the Fuji Television network and will be appearing in the upcoming Fuji feature film, Sugar & Spice, slated for an autumn release. Born April 3, 1973 in Hokkaido.

Eiji Wentz, "Mitsuru"
Wentz began modeling at the age of 4 and was acting in the stage production of "Beauty and the Beast" by age 10. He has grown up on TV regularly starring in various serial dramas and series including playing a super hero in "Masked Ride- The First.", In 2005, Wentz made his singing debut as part of a guitar-playing duo, WaT, with a hit single "Boku no Kimochi" (My feelings). Born Oct. 8, 1985 in Tokyo.

Koichi Chigira, Director
A leading figure in the Japanese anime industry, Chigira began his career as an animator at the legendary studio, Tatsunoko Production Co. After serving as chief animator on the "The Venus Wars" (theatrical release, e89), Chigira got his directorial debut with "Nineteen" (OVA, e90) and has built up a worldwide fan base with cutting edge anime franchises, including "Tokyo Babylon," "Gate Keepers" and "Last Exile." Born 1959 in Kanagawa Prefecture.

From the Director.
The fantasy world we created for "Brave Story" was the collaborative "Vision" of 8 art directors and features some spectacular visuals, such as the weighty feeling of the "four protectorate" gargoyles seen early in the film and the swarm of demons toward the conclusion, all resulting from the uncompromising dedication of our 3D team. Fusing that seamlessly and organically into the rest of the film required the technical prowess of our 2D director and photography teams. Yuriko Chiba headed up the illustration team as executive illustrator on the picture making sure that the action extended all the way to the fingertips of each character, resulting in a precision-calculated, fine-tooth combed, visual realization of Ichiro Okouchi"s script. "Brave Story" is a fun and slightly bittersweet hero"s tale about friendship and bravery. I urge you to join Wataru and Mitsuru"s on their exciting journey of self-discovery in a brand new world.

(C)PONYCANYON