Has Crayon Shinchan ever made you cry?
What comes to mind when you think of Crayon Shinchan? His bared buttocks? His idiosyncratic speech? His obsession with pretty, young girls? No doubt, hefs a comical character. But did you know that his movies have made grown men and women break down in tears? That his 10th feature film, "Crayon Shinchan Bravo Samurai Battle" (by Keiichi Hara, 2002) won the Grand Prix in the Animation Division of the Media Arts Festival sponsored by the Ministry of Culture that the film left not a dry eye in the audience.
One teary-eyed Crayon Shinchan fan was Takashi Yamazaki, one of Japanfs top creators and director of the mega-hits "ALWAYS" and "ALWAYS - Sunset on Third Street 2".
Impressed by the attention to historic detail and moved by the passionate story line, Director Yamazaki abandoned his motto of "never remaking a masterpiece" in the creation of this real-life version of a Crayon Shinchan classic.
Tsuyoshi Kusanagi of SMAP plays the leading role of Matabei Ijiri, a samurai warrior fighting to save a small Japanese kingdom in the war-torn feudal era Japan. Kusanagi is famous for his moving performances in such notable films as "Yomigaeri" and "Sinking of Japan". In a dramatic departure from his usual gentle roles, Kusanagi plays the fierce god-like warrior "Matabei Ijiri". Opposite him as the beautiful princess of the tiny kingdom is the brilliant young actress Yui Aragaki of the mega-teen hit "Sky of Love". In her first period film, she portrays Princess Ren with dignity and poise.
This film is a sprawling epic set in feudal Japan, as well as a love story between a samurai and a princess. It is also a story of a young boy who transcends time and how the experience brings him closer to his own family. Through the themes of "bushido" (the way of the warrior) and familial love, the film explores Japanese values and how people should live their lives in an entertaining, yet highly sophisticated format.
As in the film "ALWAYS" which brought Showa era Japan back to life with state-of-the-art visual effects, this film brings the war-inflicted era of feudal Japan to the screen with an unprecedented level of detail and realism.
Prepare yourselves for a heartrending, time-transcending experience!
1574 - Power Struggles in Feudal Japan
There once lived a samurai in the small kingdom of Kasuga that was untouchable in battle. His name was Matabei Ijiri (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi). The fearsome "Demon Ijiri" pledged his life to protecting the kingdom and its beautiful princess Ren (Yui Aragaki). Despite deep feelings for one another, the princess and the warrior could never transcend their respective roles as master and subject.
Then one day, the untouchable Matabei has a close call. In the very instant an enemy foot soldierfs bullet would have brought Matabei down, a miracle occurs. A young boy appears out of nowhere and gives the foot soldier a start, throwing him off target and saving Matabeifs life. The boyfs name is Shinichi Kawakami (Sho Takei) and he claims to have slipped back in time from the future. The incredulous Matabei decides to take the boy back to Kasuga Castle to ask his Lord Yasuzuna (Atsuo Nakamura) how to deal with him. At the castle, Shinichi meets Lord Yasuzuna and Princess Ren, and much to his surprise, he recognizes Ren from a recurring dream from the future.
When Princess Ren hears of Shinichifs prophetic dream, she orders Matabei to look after him.
Although reluctant at first, Matabei slowly opens up to the earnest Shinichi, and the two begin to form an unlikely friendship.
Then one day, Lord Takatora Okurai (Takao Osawa) pays a visit to Kasuga Castle, asking for the beautiful Princess Renfs hand in marriage. Itfs an opportunity for the small kingdom of Kasuga to ally itself with the powerful Takatora and ensure its own safety. Despite their love for each other, Princess Ren and Matabei must bury their feelings and acquiesce to the political marriage.
Meanwhile, Shinichifs father Akira (Michitaka Tsutsui) goes searching for his missing son and finds a crumbling letter under a huge tree named "the Giant Kawakami Oak". Written in Shinichifs handwriting are the words, "Ifm writing you from the Tensho Era."
Akira and his wife Misako (Yui Natsukawa) are incredulous at first, but they decide to pack up their Land Cruiser and head back to "the Giant Kawakami Oak", where they slip back in time and are reunited with Shinichi in feudal Japan -- only this time, they canft slip back. They three head toward Kasuga where they are welcomed warmly by Yasuzuna and Renfs wet nurse Yoshino (Kyoko Kagawa). When Yasuzuna learns from Akira that neither Kasuga nor Takatorafs kingdom survive in the historical battles to follow, he realizes that Renfs strategic engagement to Takatora is meaningless and revokes it. The furious Takatora sends in a massive army to invade Kasuga. As the hopelessly outnumbered Kasuga soldiers led by Matabei prepare for battle, Princess Ren reveals her true feelings for Matabei for the first time.
"If you return to me alive, Ifll live as I wish - with you."
What will become of Matabei and Princess Ren?
A heartrending, time-transcending tale is about to unfold!
Will Shinichi and his family ever return to the present?
Cast and Staff
Tsuyoshi Kusanagi as Matabei Ijiri
A powerful Kasuga warrior nicknamed "Demon Ijiri" for his ferocity on the battlefield - but he has a soft spot for women...
A member of the popular Japanese idol group SMAP, who appears in a number of highly acclaimed films, TV dramas and plays. One of the top artists in Japan today.
Major film credits include "Messenger" (99), "Yomigaeri" (03), "Hotel Venus" (04), "Sinking of Japan" (06), "Strings" (as a voice actor) (07), "Yama no Anata" (08) and "Ifd rather be a Shellfish" (08).
Yui Aragaki as Princess Ren
The beautiful Princess of Kasuga who grows up with Matabei.
A Japanese magazine model who gained popularity in the TV commercial for "Pocky" in 2006. Her real breakthrough came the following year in the mega-teen hit movie "Sky of Love". While also developing her musical career, she is fast becoming one of the most sought-after young actresses today. Other film credits include "Koisuru Madori" (07), "Waruboro" (07) "Sky of Love" (07) and "Cheer Cheer Cheer!" (08).
Director/Screenplay/VFX : Takashi Yamazaki
World class visual effects artist and pioneer of Japanese VFX.
Yamazaki is considered one of Japanfs top creators/directors.
Developed high level visual effects skills in earlier films such as Juzo Itamifs gDaibyoninh (93) and gShizuka na Seikatsuh (95) and made his directorial debut with gJuvenileh (00) which won the Grand Prix in the KIDZ Section of the Italian Giffoni Film Festival.
The stunning visual effects in his follow-up film gReturnerh (02) caught the attention of Hollywood and showed in US theaters. Departing from the conventional use of special effects in the futuristic sci-fi genre, Yamazaki turned his focus on applying visual effects to recreate the past in his masterpiece gALWAYSh in 2005. An exceptional long-runner, gALWAYSh swept the Japanese Academy Awards and went on to become a national phenomenon. The sequel, gALWAYS--Sunset on Third Street IIh also enjoyed unprecedented popularity, filling Japanese hearts with laughter and tears.
Based on the animated feature film gCrayon Shinchan Bravo Samurai Battleh
Original Creator: Yoshito Usui / Director: Keiichi Hara
Music: Naoki Sato
Filmed from September 27, 2008 ~ January 12, 2009 in locations throughout Japan including Machida City, Nagano Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture,
Chiba Prefecture (open set), Ishikawa Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture,
Kumamoto Prefecture, Toho Studio 9 in Tokyo, Yamanashi Prefecture and Ibaragi Prefecture (Warp Station).
Completion: Scheduled for July 2009