Shunji Iwai directing animated "Hana and Alice" prequel

By kevin on October 16, 2014 at 9:25pm EDT

The Case of Hana & Alice Japanese movie poster

Shunji Iwai is directing an animated prequel to his 2004 film Hana & Alice titled The Case of Hana & Alice (Hana to Alice Satsujin Jiken). The project marks Iwai’s first work as an animation director. He also wrote the screenplay and provided the music.

The animated film reunites the original film’s co-leads, Yu Aoi (Alice) and Anne Suzuki (Hana), as voice actors. The two already finished pre-recording their dialogue for the film, doing their best to sound like middle schoolers even though Suzuki is now 27 and Aoi is 29.

The original Hana & Alice film began as a series of short films made for the 30th anniversary of Kit Kat in Japan and was later expanded into a feature by Iwai. It revolved around two junior high school students dealing with their first crush. When the object of Hana’s affection, Miyamoto (Tomohiro Kaku), bangs his head, she attempts to convince him that he’s suffering from amnesia and recently confessed his love for her. Alice later joins in on the ruse by pretending to be Miyamoto’s ex-girlfriend, but this backfires when he develops feelings for her instead of Hana.

In the new movie, 9th grader Tetsuko “Alice” Arisugawa transfers to Ishinomori Junior High School and hears a rumor involving a murder committed by four people a year earlier. She also discovers that the house next door to her is feared by her classmates, who refer to it as “Hanayashiki” (the flower garden). Alice decides to investigate Hanayashiki, and its there where she meets Hana Arai, a girl who has recently been staying home from school.

Although the film isn’t due out until next year, a promotional poster and teaser trailer have been completed early. The poster will go on display in theaters throughout Japan beginning on October 18. The teaser is embedded below.

The Case of Hana & Alice” will be released by Toho in Japan in February 2015. Like the original film, a promotional tie-in with Kit Kat is planned.


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