Eien no Zero (永遠の０) is the third movie to come from the work of Naoki Hyakuta, and the second this year after Monster was released in April. Eien no Zero was Hyakuta's 2006 debut best seller novel, which was also released in a 5 part manga series in 2010.
The story concerns a brother and sister who discover that their real grandfather was an ace pilot during the world war 2 who volunteered for the kamikaze squad. The film deals with some rather sensitive topics of wartime Japan, especially with the recently heightened tensions between Korea and China, and Prime Minister Abe's push to strengthen the Japanese military. The plot of the novel raises the question of whether the Kamikaze pilots are brave war heroes or terrorists, and it'll be interesting to see how that plays out on the screen.
From Ghibli's heart wrenching Grave of the Fireflies to Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, which gave me my first perspective of war from the non-American/Australian side, I'm hoping Eien no Zero provides a valuable perspective on the war, and those who fought it.
The "Zero" in the title is a reference to the A6M Zero used by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Pacific War. Chasing on from Ghibli's latest anime, Kaze Tachinu (風立ちぬ), there is plenty on offer in Japanese cinema this year for fans of World War 2 era Japanese airplanes.
Directed by Takashi Yamasaki (山崎貴) who has found recent success with the Showa era film series, Always 3 Chome. Starring Junichi Okada (岡田准一) and Mao Inoue (井上真央) as war torn lovers in the flashback part of the film and Haruma Miura (三浦春馬) and Kazue Fukuishi (吹石一恵) as the present day grandchildren trying to uncover their families hidden past.
The movie will be released on December 21st in Japan. Check out the film's website here: http://www.eienno-zero.jp/, or follow the news on twitter: https://twitter.com/eienno0_movie