Without question, if you’ve ever been into anime or even gaiming in the 90s, there’s a pretty damn good chance filmmaker and animator Sakamoto Saku’s work has etched itself into your DNA. That cultivation has since carried into his newest feature debut, Aragne: Sign Of Vermillion, on which Sakamoto himself served as screenwriter, animator, and even composer with voice actress Hanazawa Kana starring.
On an old factory site lies a menacingly large apartment building in the outskirts of town.
As of recent, the area is plagued by rumors of paranormal activity following the discovery of a female high school student’s corpse.
A shy female university student, Rin, moved into the city recently. One night, she witnesses a large bug breaking free from an arm of an elderly woman who was being carried away in an ambulance.
Curious about the bug she saw, Rin looks for answers in the library, and meets folklore scholar, Tokiyo, to find out that there have been many sightings in the past of these strange bugs in this area.
These bugs are called “spirit bugs”, and have had its existence kept a secret since the ancient times. People that have witnessed these “bugs” will result in having ominousomens and dying an unnatural death, thus many call it the “Curse of the Bug”.
Rin terrified of the curse, meets Nasuha, a middle schooler who emits a strange aura, and Saion, a shaman, while being cornered in by these bugs and strange occurrences.
However, Rin finds out that in order to solve this she herself must face her past that has been sealed away…
Sakamoto himself is an award-winning artist; Aragne even put him within distance to be nominated for the Satoshi Kon Award by the time of its premiere at Fantasia Festival in Montreal (Ishida Hiroyasu took the award for Best Animated Feature for Penguin Highway). Next to other credits such as Oshii Mamoru’s Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence and having directed the Mattsu, Yamma and Moburi films, there’s no doubt he’s earned his share of ceremony.
That courtesy will extend this Saturday when Aragne: Sign Of Vermillion joins the line up this weekend for the seventh Phillp K. Dick Film Festival which on March 7 and 9 in New York City, on March 14 in Los Angeles, and on March 15 through 17 in Santa Ana.
Aragne: Sign Of Vermillion will screen during the first block which will be at The Producers Club, located at 358 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. Also, this festival will undoubtedly include some g
reat gems judging by the line-up as I can already tell; Finnish director Mikko Löppönen’s The Cold Dark is also in the mix and it’s one of his finest to shorts to date with with actress and songstress Jessica Wolff starring front and center.