Somewhere, in a country similar to ours
There are children who do not became adults
They are very similar to us
The Sky Crawlers is the new animated feature film by Mamoru Oshii, the world-famous Japanese filmmaker, whose works include Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Innocence (2004). The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 65th Venice Film Festival, and was greeted with three awards at Sitges 2008.
The Sky Crawlers is based on a popular six-part novel by a best-selling writer, MORI Hiroshi. The novel has sold more than 900,000 copies in Japan alone. The story unfolds in another possible 'now.' The main characters are youngsters called "Kildren", who are destined to live eternally in their adolescence, and fight a "war as a show" organized and operated by adults.
After reading the novel, Director Oshii praised it as "a work that should be made into a movie for young people now." Clothing, food and housing are in abundance in our modern society, and yet we carry an unfulfilled vacuum in our hearts. "It is time to face this new perception to our existence through the Kildren, who live indefinitely in eternal adolescence, and this theme should be dealt with now," claims Oshii earnestly. The author MORI regards his novel, The Sky Crawlers "as the most difficult among all of my works for film adaptation." However, MORI declared himself "surprised and relieved at the same time to know the director was going to be Mamoru Oshii," and gave his immediate consent.
This time, Oshii has promoted an up-and-coming scriptwriter, Chihiro Ito, who depicted youngsters' sensitive feelings beautifully in two acclaimed movies, Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World (Sekai no Chushin de Ai wo Sakebu, 2004) and Spring Snow (Haru no Yuki, 2005). The music score is written by Oshii's most trusted composer, Kenji Kawai.
The Sky Crawlers is a collaborative project by Nippon Television Network Corporation and Production I.G, Inc., distributed in Japan by Warner Entertainment Japan Inc.
In another, possible 'now' - in a world that has eradicated war and finally attained peace. However, this prolonged state of peace created demand for a new kind of war. A conflict happening elsewhere, that could be seen on TV or read in the papers - in order to get a feeling of reality.
Private war contractors enlist fighter pilots to perform their services in an endless "war as entertainment." They call these pilots Kildren. Innocent-looking teenagers in appearance, Kildren never age into adulthood, and live in a state of eternal adolescence until the day they drift gracefully through the endless skies.
One day, pilot Yuichi Kannami arrives to his newly assigned airbase. He has only vague memory of his past. The only two things he recalls are that he is a Kildren and how to operate a fighter plane.
A woman is keeping an eye on Yuichi. She's Suito Kusanagi, the base commander. A Kildren herself, Suito behaves as if she's been waiting to meet Yuichi for a long time. Perplexed, Yuichi is nevertheless gradually attracted by her.
All pilots at the base have to confront the most invincible enemy ace, known as Teacher. His trademark is a black jaguar painted on the nose of his plane. It is said that if you run into him up in the sky, you don't come back to tell your friends.
Who really is the Teacher?
What does Suito know about Yuichi's past?
What are the secrets behind the Kildren?
Release in Japan: August 2, 2008
Format: 122 minutes
Official website and trailers (Japanese only):