By Jonah Morgan
Shochiku chose this year’s Tokyo Anime Fair to rollout its upcoming SF Action / CGI animated film Vexille: 2077 Nippon Sakoku. A symposium held on March 22nd introduced cast, staff and a first ever video sneak peek. Over 1000 people attended making it a standing room only affair. Principal Photography on the project began in May 2006, completion is expected June, 2007. The tentative budget is $10 million. Production: OXYBOT, Avex Entertainment, CCRE, Shochiku, TBS, Shogakukan, Shogakukan Production. Directed by Fumihiko Sori (His second film as director, following Ping Pong / Producer on Appleseed), Scenario written by Fumihiko Sori and Haruka Handa (Appleseed), Music by Paul Oakenfold (Matrix Reloaded). The nationwide theatrical premiere in Japan is scheduled for August 2007. Cast include Meisa Kuroki, Yasuko Matsuyuki, and Shosuke Tanihara. The director mentioned the movie is the result of a highly technically advanced production process.
From the beginning of the 21st century, the progression of biotechnology has evolved drastically to improve human life spans and medical treatments. However, with no global guidance on safety, there have been setbacks such as the creation of dangerous viruses and medical accidents. Due to all the issues occurring around the world, the United Nations created an international treaty restricting the research and developments of biotechnology.
Around the same time, the year 2067, the development of high tech robots were also expanding. Japan was especially in the lead of robots, developing and producing robots from home to military useages, monopolizing the global market. Robot technologies were also advancing into fields such as developing robot parts to live longer and androids (human-shaped robots). Similar to what they did for biotechnology, the United Nations issued another restriction treaty for robot technology as well since they were considered a threat to mankind. Japan, the leading nation for these cutting edge technologies objected to this proposal, however failed to veto the treaty and decides to leave the United Nations to take the path of isolation by closing its doors. The year is now In 2077 – 10 years has passed since Japan had decided to leave the United Nations to go into isolation. They have completely blocked the islands with an ultra magnetic field which prevents anyone to see what is going inside, nor for people to travel in/out of the country. Japan has become an extremely mysterious country and also a leading nation in producing weapons of mass destruction.
United States intelligence obtained information that Japan was developing a new weapon that would be a serious threat to not only the USA but the entire world. A US special forces unit, SWORD was ordered to go on a secret mission to enter Japan and find out what they are developing. Lead by a female commander, VEXILLE and LEON, who is also her boyfriend, the members of SWORD head to accomplish this dangerous mission.
With carefully scheduled plans, SWORD finally makes their way into Japan from the Tokyo Bay area. Already they have lost most of their men, but Vexille and Leon move forward. With attacks from every side possible, Vexille makes the lone escape into the sea and is helped by a group of Japanese, the underground forces which is lead by a woman named Maria/ The group lives in a neighborhood, where the streets are full of life but this is now way “developed,” where one would dream about the high-rise and the neo-futuristic city, which Vexille had expected to see in Japan. Instead the city keeps the nostalgic atmosphere, a life before all the technology had developed. Suddenly, without warning a nearby man clutches his head, then his body, and as he writhes in pain, collapses to the ground. People peer at the sight but do not assist him. Vexille stares at the scene and to her surprise, the man works through the pain to suddenly pop back up on his feet, with the only feature different from before being his empty, lifeless eyes.
The man looks into Vexille’s eyes and locks it as the target. Vexille suddenly notices that she is surrounded by the forces created by a mega corporation DAIWA, who is desperate to exterminate her.
In the meantime back in the SWORD HQ, with the help of the penetration of their members, they are finally able to decode the electromagnetic field that had blocked Japan out of the entire world map. As the shape of Japan is revealed, the command room staff members open their eyes widely to the sight. Almost the whole of Japan is wasteland, where strange, gigantic creatures roam all over. The only residential area that could be seen in sight is around Tokyo, and also an artificial island created in Tokyo Bay, with the words “Daiwa Heavy Industries” coming into view. They also find that there is scarcely no sign of biological activity on the map; ie: there are hardly any humans left in Japan. The staff can hardly believe what they see. This is Japan, 10 years after isolation. What has become of Japan? Why did this happen? What is Daiwa trying to do? Who is Maria, and why is she helping Vexille? Will Vexille be able to find out the answers to avoid the world from falling apart? One mystery leads to another which directs to the dramatic ending….