25th Entertainment Division New Face Award
Mizuki Toma Den
“Mizuki Toma Den” Development Team (TANAKA Kazuharu / NISHIZAWA Manabu, Representative)［Japan］
This free-viewpoint theatrical entertainment is created by combining live-action with computer graphics, utilizing real-time rendering technology and volumetric video that captures three-dimensional digital data of physically existing spaces, people, and movements. It offers powerful, realistic, and immersive experiences that only VR can provide, and dynamic scenes unfold based on the storyline. This work portrays swordplay featuring the battle between Mizuki, a young onmyoji girl, and her enemy, the man-hunting tengu. Mizuki fights with a Japanese sword against the tengu, who has overwhelming power and magical abilities. Volumetric video is attracting attention as a next-generation video technique, and this work was filmed in a new dedicated studio to use this state-of-the-art technology.
Reason for Award
VFX, CGI, and VR- and MR-like expressions appear to be not readily accepted in Japanese video productions, not necessarily because they are lacking in technical capabilities. Since Japanese creators have a unique sensibility for hyper-realistic visual expressions, direct application of foreign technologies only generates a superficial result. This work revolves around wild (in a positive sense) Japanese entertainment, such as chanbara sword fighting, accompanied with flashy light effects that are also a Japanese favorite, resulting in enjoyable VR entertainment. I personally thought that this must be the direction which Japanese entertainment should be heading toward, and commended this work for the New Face Award. (SAYAWAKA)