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On-Gaku: Our Sound film image; anime trio rocking out in living room band

On-Gaku: Our Sound

Beyond Ghibli

© 2019 HIROYUKI OHASHI / ROCK’N ROLL MOUNTAIN / TIP TOP

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BC Theatrical Premiere

When you’re a bored teenager looking for thrills, sometimes the only thing you can turn to is rock-n-roll. Having no skill, money, or even a full set of drums, a feared trio of high school delinquents nevertheless decide they are destined for musical glory in a quest to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang, and – most importantly – jam out.

Animated almost entirely by director Kenji Iwaisawa (who worked independently on it for seven years), and featuring a lead performance by Japanese alt-rock legend Shintaro Sakamoto, On-Gaku (Japanese for “Music”) brings its own sound and vision to the Hiroyuki Ohashi manga from which it was adapted. With pitch-perfect deadpan humor, the film presents a highly original take on the beloved slacker comedy: a lo-fi buddy film with a blaring musical finale that will leave you wanting an immediate encore.

Rock-n-roll is here to stay, and so is On-Gaku: Our Sound, a quirky homage to classic animation and 1960s-70s rock with an idiosyncratic style and the thrumming heart of a musician […] This offbeat jam session is also peculiarly funny; the deadpan absurdism of the writing is accentuated by Iwaisawa’s bold direction, which uses long periods of stillness and silence and odd shifts in action. The guys in On-Gaku may be new to the stage, but this droll musical comedy tops the charts.

Maya Phillips, New York Times

A labour of love and a triumph of independent animation; funny and human storytelling; visually innovative and varied… The movie has ‘cult classic’ written all over it… The film’s climax is strange, comical, and deeply cathartic, bringing everything together perfectly into a moment that is both cacophonous and harmonious, just like their music.

Caitlin Moore, Anime News Network

 

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Director

Kenji Iwaisawa

Credits
Country of Origin

Japan

Year

2020

Language

In Japanese with English subtitles

Awards

Grand Prix, Ottawa Animation Festival

Content Warning

Coarse language

PG

Open to youth!

71 min

Book Tickets

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Credits

Cinematography

Norihisa Nakama

Editor

Kenji Iwaisawa, Norihisa Nakama

Original Music

Tomohiko Banse, Grandfunk, Wataru Sawabe

Art Director

Kenji Iwaisawa

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