Even hardcore anime fans can be forgiven for not knowing of the existence of Osamu Tezuka’s Animerama.
A trippy, LSD-bathed trilogy produced by the god of manga in the late 60s and early 70s, the Animerama films are definitely not kids’ stuff and have of yet received only spotty distribution outside Japan.
That’s about to change thanks to indie film distributor Cinelicious, who are releasing Belladonna of Sadness, the final film in the Animerama trilogy, in the U.S. next year.
Cinelicious are also putting the film through a rigorous restoration from the original negative, and this week they gave us a preview of their efforts.
Cinelicious describe Belladonna, directed by frequent Tezuka collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto, thusly:
One of the great lost masterpieces of Japanese animation, never before released in the U.S., Belladonna of Sadness is a mad, swirling, psychedelic light-show of medieval tarot-card imagery with horned demons, haunted forests and La Belle Dame Sans Merci, equal parts J.R.R. Tolkien and gorgeous, Gustav Klimt-influenced eroticism.
Cinelicious will release Belladonna in U.S. theaters in 2016, but those living in New York can see the restoration this July 10 at Japan Cuts 2015. Lucky dogs.