I honestly have no idea when people started calling him Casper Kiriya – I always new the Last Knights director as Kiriya Kazuaki ever since I obsessed over the awesomeness that was his 2004 manga adaptation, Casshern, and his 2009 folkloric follow-up, Goemon.
Alas, he’s going by Casper these days which is still pretty damn cool. Even moreso is that we get to talk about him again ahead of his latest summer production, The Mourner, which takes off at EFM this week from Paradigm and has since added Ezra Miller (Justice League) to the cast.
The Mourner follows a jaded and embittered homicide detective on the trail of murderous sex traffickers, who discovers new spiritual meaning in her life when she comes across a mystical young man (Miller) whose calling in life is to mourn the dead who have no one else to mourn them.
Echo Lake Entertainment’s Mike Marcus is producing with Kiriya who will direct from a script by Robin Shushan (AMC’s Feed The Beast). Tendo Arata penned the original 2006-2008 novel which won the 140th Naoki Prize in 2008, and preceded its own Japanese adaptation from director Tsutsumi Yukihiko in 2015.
I’ve always personally held hopes that one day it would be Kiriya who took the helm for a Dragonball adaptation – after what I saw in Casshern, it only made sense and still does to this day. Going forward though, I always appreciated his visual style and use of foreboding themes pertaining to life and death. That’s what Casshern was after all the epic action and spectacle and so with something as cerebral and emotive as The Mourner, it’ll be interesting to see how he tackles those themes in some fashion or another. Otherwise, I’m just pleased he’s still around. I really missed the guy.