by Chris MaGee
Mamoru Oshii is certainly a busy, busy man. Just last year he released his feature length animated film "The Sky Crawlers" to worldwide acclaim, contributed a live-action segment to the omnibus film "Kiru = Kill" which starred Rinko Kikuchi and Yoko Fujita as a pair of dueling warriors, plus he directed a stage play of Mitsuteru Yokoyama's "Tetsujin-28" manga complete with a 500-kilogram animatronic robot. He's also penned the script for Mizuho Nishikubo's animated film about the early 17th-century samurai and author of the famed "Book of Five Rings," Musashi Miyamoto. Just typing all that out makes me tired, but apparently Oshii has much more stamina than me, or most people for that matter because according to a report posted at Anime News Network the 57-year-old animator has got his schedule fully booked until 2011.
At the recent launch of the DVD and Blu-ray releases "The Sky Crawlers" in Tokyo Oshii revealed that he has one new animated film and two live-action films in the works. No titles, plot details or cast were mentioned for the projects but he did give some very vague hints. The two live action films could see back to back releases as soon as the end of this year with one being what Oshii described as being geared towards "film connoisseurs" and will be very low budget, while the second will be an action film filled with "eroticism and violence". Could that second film be the rumored full length sequel to "Assault Girl 2" from "Kiru = Kill" that we reported on at the beginning of January? As for the animated film project Oshii was very tight-lipped. All he would reveal is that he hopes that it will be ready for release in 2 years time in 2011. Obviously we'll keep our eyes and ears open for more news on these projects, but until then, Oshii fans, you'll just have to stew and speculate a bit.