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We Talk To Gannibal Director & Actor About The New Japanese Horror Thriller

Gannibal is set in the fictional Japanese village of Kuge Village and sees newly hired police officer Daigo Agawa arrive a broken man. While things start off promisingly for the new arrival, a series of alarming events begin to unfold that will lead Daigo to the horrifying realization that something is deeply wrong with the village and those who live there. Thrown into a hostile environment with suspense around every corner, will the latest police officer to roam the streets of Kuge-mura be able to bring those responsible to justice before it’s too late?

It is set to premiere on 28 December 2022 on Disney+ Hotstar.

Starring award-winning actors Yuya Yagira (HOKUSAI, Asakusa Kid), Show Kasamatsu (Tokyo Vice, Love You as the World Ends), and Riho Yoshioka (Haken Anime!, The Romance Manga Artist), Gannibal features a unique storyline brought to life exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar by some of the biggest names in the Japanese creative industry. Produced by Teruhisa Yamamoto, producer of this year’s Academy Award-winning Drive My Car and Tatsuya Iwakura, Gannibal is directed by Shinzo Katayama (Siblings on the Cape) and adapted for the screen by Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award-nominee Takamasa Oe, who most recently wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-winning Drive My Car.

Courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar, we were lucky enough to interview Gannibal director Shinzo Katayama and lead actor Yuya Yagira. This interview has been edited for clarity.

How do you balance the story between adapting the manga faithful and using your own ideas?

Shinzo Katayama: It’s based on a manga, the comic book called Gannibal. I read the manga and I wanted to capture the essence of it but at the same time, we have to make it into live-action. We need more reality because real human beings play them. We have to have a really subtle nuance inside it, so that’s something I wanted to convey. But as a story, the flow is almost the same as the manga.

What is the message of the series that you want to convey to the audience?

Shinzo Katayama: We still haven’t finalized because we still haven’t finished the series yet. But it’s about the conflict between the old conviction and the new value system coming in. The new policeman has the power to change things, and when the old and the new clash, I can really portray the details about what’s right and what’s wrong.

I think it’s really important details to depict what’s right and what’s wrong. We can depict that through family and human relationships, and I think the audience has to face that issue through this drama and I think that’s the most important thing I had in mind when making this series.

Why do you think that Japanese horror content is some of the best and most popular in the world?

Yuya Yagira: I think it’s the pause-based silence that when people aren’t speaking during the silence, I think that’s when you get more nervous because you get lost without the words. This pause or silence is one of the charms.

I love the fact that Gannibal is fast-paced for a horror series like this, especially since the monster appears in the first episode and the episodes aren’t very long at less than an hour each. Was this the plan from the beginning?

Shinzo Katayama: Well, yes, it was part of our original plan because I wanted this series to have a very speedy and a lot of speed because audiences nowadays needs that. Otherwise, they will get bored. Rather than following the character or see the character development, if you just ignore the characters, later on people just lose the story.

It’s a very difficult balance to have this character development and fast speed but in general I think that this is a very fast-paced and very modern series.

How have you grown as an actor?

Yuya Yagira: At the age of 12 or 13, I was lucky enough to be invited to the festivals outside of Japan, but at that time, I really didn’t know what was happening, I was almost lost. I wasn’t too sure about my career, I don’t want to say this but maybe I should say it, I wasn’t confident enough and I knew I had to try harder.

But now that I’m 32 years old and now I’m with people like you guys, I feel like I have the career that I have worked towards until now and I am moving forward since then. I’m more confident now and I have my career as my background.

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    December 12, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    […] the meantime, you can also check out our interview with Gannibal director Shinzo Katayama and lead actor Yuya […]

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