The second trailer to Murakami Takashi‘s debut live-action film with GAGA Corporation, “Mememe no Kurage“「めめめのくらげ」(Jellyfish Eyes), has been released on YouTube. Along with the new trailer, the theme song of the renowned Japanese artist’s first movie is also played in the trailer: livetune’s “Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed)”, the remake of the popular hit song featuring Hatsune Miku which is also one of the tracks in livetune’s compilation album, “Re:Dial”.
This will mark the first time Vocaloid, and specifically Hatsune Miku, is used for a live action movie’s theme song. “Last Night, Good Night”, being one of the most famous works produced by livetune with over 1.6 million views on Nico Nico Douga and 3.4 million views on YouTube, was specially requested by Murakami as the director. The movie is set to be available on theaters in Japan on April 26, 2013. A sequel of the movie is already in production, and is expected to be released in two years.
Mememe no Kurage takes place right after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The story tells about a young boy named Masashi who has to move to another environment and school because of the earthquake and tsunami. There, Masashi finds a strange jellyfish-like creature from a cardboard box, which he named “Kurage Bo”. He soon finds out that there are more creatures like Kurage Bo, called “friends”, and that adults can’t see them.
Murakami Takashi is a popular Japanese visual artist known for his distinct “superflat” art style—a term that he himself coined to define a postmodernism art movement influenced by Japanese pop culture like anime and manga. The development of Mememe no Kurage started off ten years ago with Murakami writing all the screen play and designing all the characters for the sci-fi fantasy story by himself. At that time, Murakami intended to create a fully CGI-animated; even so, the project was not completed and subsequently dropped. But later on, an encounter with SFX make-up artist Nishimura Yoshihiro convinced him to change the direction of the project to a live-action film with CG animation. In this revived project, he took part as the producer, assistant director, and co-writer.
On the movie’s official site, Murakami wrote his message regarding the project:
In the wake of 3/11, the damage sustained by Japan runs deep. We must all do our best to emerge from that shadow. It will require connections among people… more to the point, it will require the instinctive ability to spot opportunity and inspire trust. That is how our current team came together.
While this is my feature film debut as a director, for Nishimura it is like a child. He seduced me and now we’re giving birth together.
I am someone who often has trouble communicating with people. It is for that reason that I became an artist, the overwhelming urge to share my heart with those around me through my work. I feel that it is the same for all people who create for a living. We imbue our soul in our works, exhaust ourselves day and night, and it is only then that we obtain even a fraction of the social interaction that most people achieve. In the end, however, this is our only way to communicate with society.
That is why we have no choice but to join hands and weave a single message together.
This is the sort of film that I want to share with all of you reading this. We will put our faith in the belief that this passion will come across and labor to bring our work to life.
As the person on this set with the least knowledge and experience of film production, I know that I should refrain from saying these sorts of things, but I desperately wanted to share and record my first impressions and here we are.