Mixing Japanese manga with Indian storytelling

Mar 31, 2013, 05:41 IST | Phorum Dalal

Batu Gaiden, a feature film based on Level 10 comic magazine's character of the same name, will be aired on Cartoon Network next month. Phorum Dalal speaks to the co-founder of Level 10 Suhas Sundar

Indians love cricket. So why should our kids make do with watching Doraemon, and Shin Chan, which have been created for the Japanese audience?

Batu Gaiden's animation team members
Batu Gaiden’s animation team members dress up as some of the film’s main characters

Two friends from engineering school, Shreyas Srinivas and Suhas Sundar, came together in 2010 to co-found Level 10, a comic magazine, with a Japanese company with the goal to make a feature comic film. Forward to 2013, the film on the comic magazine character Batu is ready.

Batu Gaiden

“In a world inspired by ancient India, humans, vanars and rakshas play a supernatural version of cricket called Kree-Kaht. A boy named Batu aspires to become the greatest Kree-Kaht player of all time,” 29-year-old Sundar tells us over the phone, adding that the movie will be aired on Cartoon Network on April 13.

While the pre and post production of the film has been done in India, the animation bit was carried out in Japan. “The movie has been directed by Anime veteran Masatsugu Arakawa who has provided key animation on such international hits such as Doraemon Movie, Crayon Shin Chan and Ghost in the Shell. The movie has been seed funded by Japanese investors,” says Sundar, explaining the reason the film has a Japanese influence with an Indian concept.

The film
When the devas abandoned the manavs, rakshas and vanars, they indulge in a bloody battles. One day, all the three kings decide against war. All the battle will be won on the field over a game of Kree-Kaht. Hundred years on, a man brings a baby boy, Batu whom he refers to as Yuvraj, to Dharampur village. When he is around seven years old, selections for the G11 team are being conducted. Most participant bite the dust as balls turn into fiery orbs and evil bears, and bats turn into weapons. Batu walks to the pitch carrying his father’s old. broken bat. He manages to face a fierce shot and his bat turns into the golden bat of Asi.

The film is Batu’s quest on the pitch and otherwise. With tinges of Japanese Manga, children are sure to watch their favourite game being played as if in the mythological era.  

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