We produced the pilot film for “HIDARI,” the directorial debut of our CCO Masashi Kawamura, who also wrote the original script, together with Dwarf Studios and TECARAT, the world’s top stop-motion animation teams.
“HIDARI” is a “stop-motion samurai film” that tells the story of a legendary craftsman from the Edo era who left behind numerous works and anecdotes. Although his existence remains uncertain, we have boldly reimagined his story, weaving historical records from the Edo era into our tale. All of the characters are hand-carved from wood and brought to life through frame-by-frame animation techniques, just as Hidari’s wooden sculptures were said to come alive through his genius craftsmanship in the anecdotes. Experience a thrilling blend of dynamic action inspired by Japanimation and the rich, analog world view of stop-motion animation that you’ve never seen before.
We intend to use this pilot film as a starting point to create a full-length feature film. If you enjoyed watching this footage and would like to see more of the story, we kindly ask for your support!
The Plot (full-feature version)
“HIDARI” tells the story of Hidari Jingoro, a genius carpenter and sculptor who is said to have lived during the Edo era. The film weaves together various anecdotes and historical facts surrounding his life.
As a young and talented carpenter, Jingoro becomes involved in the massive project of rebuilding Edo Castle with his colleagues and masters. However, just as the project nears completion, Jingoro and his peers are framed and trapped to keep the secret of Edo Castle. All of his colleagues are killed, and Jingoro himself loses the dominant right arm. In despair, Jingoro’s only wish is revenge. He reconstructs his lost right arm into a powerful mechanical prosthetic hand and sets out on a vengeful journey with a companion cat, who later becomes the model for his famous work “Sleeping Cat.” People came to call him “Hidari” (left) Jingoro before long.
As Jingoro seeks revenge and takes down his enemies one by one, he eventually discovers a massive conspiracy within the shogunate. He returns to Edo Castle, the site of his fateful encounter, to confront the mastermind behind the plot. However, Edo Castle has been transformed into an impenetrable fortress armed with the latest weaponry. Will Jingoro be able to take down the mastermind and his army of mechanical weapons in the ultimate showdown?
Shinjuku Balt 9 & T-Joy Umeda (Tokyo, April 21, 2023 – May 4, 2023)
Tokushima New Normal Film Festival 2023 (Tokushima, 2023/3/1)
Niigata International Animation Film Festival (Niigata, 2023/3/18)
SSFF & ASIA 2023 Animation Program 3 (Tokyo, June 24, 2023)
Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival International Animation Competition Section (Hokkaido, July 1, 2023)
New York Asian Film Festival Narrative Shorts Showcase – Animation (New York, July 21, 2023)
19th Seoul Indie-AniFest 2023(Seoul, September 14, 2023)
Winter 2023 International Independent Film Awards, Platinum and Gold Award
Asia South East-Short Film Festival 2023, Gold Award
Desertscape International Film Festival 2023 Creative Spirit Award
New Zealand Vision Fest Film Festival 2023 Best Animation
Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, Best Artistic Award
8th Edition Ciudad De Mexico International Film Festival Best Animation Short Film
PSIAF 2023-Palm Springs Animation Festival Best Stop-motion
22nd New York Asian Film Festival Special Mention
Fotofilm 4th Internatıonal Short Film Festival International Best Stop Motion
You can now find HIDARI official merchandise at the Whatever Shop. We’d love for you to take a look!