Against the backdrop of the global economic recession, terrorism and the threat of war, in a world clouded by rampant pessimism, there is a strong need for entertainment that provides emotional healing and inspires courage.
The original manga Buddha by Osamu Tezuka is not strictly based on the accounts of the life of the spiritual teacher and key figure in Buddhism. Rather, it is a powerful work meant to entertain with a unique storyline that has long fascinated readers in Japan and won twice the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award, so called The Academy award of comic in U.S.A. It is our intention to re-create this epic story into a theatrical animated film composed of three parts making full use of exotic images and the graphic means of the fantasy genre. Part One will tell the story of the early life of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, until “The Great Departure” when he left his castle and the royal life.
In our age of transforming value systems, this entertaining fantasy story of the adventures of the young prince Siddhartha staged against the exotic scenery of India, a country that is attracting international attention, will certainly appeal to a wide audience around the world with the dream of peaceful coexistence with all living beings and will inspire them with the courage to live on.
Two-thousand and five-hundred years ago, a young prince called Siddhartha Gautama was born in the kingdom of Shakya in ancient India. Destined to a luxurious life as a prince, Siddhartha is raised in riches, provided with everything he could want or need. However, outside the walls of the castle, poverty and misery prevail. The young slave Chapra, whose family is sold away, tries to hide his origin and achieve distinction by committing feats on the battlefield, but eventually perishes. Migaila, a beautiful young bandit, falls in love with Prince Siddhartha. For this crime, her eyes are burnt out. Crushed by the death of national hero and his miserable love, the young prince becomes aware of the transient and painful nature of human life. The privileges of his royal blood are powerless before the pain and suffering of life. In fact, his luxurious existence is built on the misery of people like Chapra and Migaila. Despite his prestige, the prince cannot even save those who are closest to him – his friend and his beloved. Siddhartha’s anguish causes distress to his beautiful young wife, Princess Yashodara. In the meantime, the rampaging armies of the powerful kingdom of Kosala are threatening the very survival of the Shakya kingdom.
The story of the adventures of the strong, wise and handsome young prince will be adapted for the big screen as a romantic fantasy animation interwoven with the exotic ambience of ancient India.
Director KOZO MORISHITA