The Deer King Film Screens in U.S. Theaters in July
GKIDS announced on Tuesday that it will screen The Deer King (Shika no Ō: Yuna to Yakusoku no Tabi), the anime film of Nahoko Uehashi's Shika no Ō (The Deer King) medical fantasy novel series, in the U.S. in July. The company will screen the film as a fan preview event in Japanese with English subtitles on July 13 and with an English dub on July 14. The film with then have a limited release in select theaters on July 15. GKIDS streamed an English-subtitled trailer:
Tickets go on sale on June 10. Fan preview events will feature an introduction by director Masashi Ando.
The anime film opened on February 4. The film was delayed from a September 2020 opening due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and delayed again from September 2021.
The novels center on Van, the head of a group of soldiers who expected to die fighting for their lands against a large empire looking to incorporate their home into its kingdom. Instead of dying, however, Van is taken as a slave and thrown into a salt mine. One night, a pack of strange dogs attacks the salt mine, and a mysterious illness breaks out. During the attack, Van takes the opportunity to escape, and he meets a young girl. Elsewhere, rumor is spreading that only immigrants are coming down with this mysterious illness. The medical scientist Hossal risks his life to search for a cure. Doctors also study a father and child who seem to have survived the illness. The novels tell the interconnecting stories and bonds of those who fight against a cruel fate.
Masashi Ando (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, your name. character design; Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, When Marnie Was There, your name. animation director) directed the film alongside Masayuki Miyaji (Xam'd: Lost Memories, Fusé: Memoirs of a Huntress) at Production I.G. Ando also drew the character designs, and was the chief animation director. Taku Kishimoto (Haikyu!!, ERASED, Fruits Basket) penned the script. Harumi Fuuki (Forest of Piano series, Miss Hokusai, Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna) composed the music. Singer-songwriter milet created the theme song "One Reason" for the film.
The film screened in June in competition at last year's Annecy International Animation Film Festival. The film screened at the Fantasia International Film Festival in August 2021 and won the Bronze Audience Award there. It also screened at the Animation Is Film Festival in Los Angeles in September 2021.
The novels won the Japan Booksellers' Award and won the fourth "Japan Medical Novel Award" in 2015.
Taro Sekiguchi launched a manga adaptation on Kadokawa's Young Ace Up website in July 2021. The manga ended with its second volume, which shipped in Japan on March 10.
Source: Press release