Production I.G and Victor Entertainment have teamed up to produce a fully animated music clip for the song “Universe,” performed by Japanese pop singer Maaya Sakamoto and included in the artist’s forthcoming album, “30minutes night flight,” to be released in Japan on March 21, 2007.
The video clip will be made available on DVD format in the limited double-disc edition of the album.
The beautifully animated bitter-sweet atmosphere of “Universe,” that unfolds like a watercolor-painted picture book, is the creative accomplishment of a most promising duo concealed under the collective pseudonym of Gekidan INU Curry, who designed the characters and directed the film produced at Production I.G’s Studio 4 under the supervision of line producer Hidekazu Terakawa (“Jin-Roh,” “IGPX”).
The “Universe” Story Concept: Under the night sky feebly illuminated by twinkling stars, a little girl wanders alone through a magic world that is not today and not tomorrow, inhabited by 6 billion of lonesome souls. What will she encounter in her solitary journey?
Maaya Sakamoto (坂本 真綾 Sakamoto Maaya) was born on March 31, 1980, she started her professional career as a singer at 15, when her talent was discovered by world-famous composer and music producer Yoko Kanno. She made her debut in 1996 as the voice of Hitomi Kanzaki in the hit anime series The Vision of Escaflowne.
In addition, she sang the opening song “Yakusoku wa Iranai” and the movie closing song “Yubiwa”. She has since teamed up with composer Yoko Kanno and has had many subsequent voice roles in anime such as Record of Lodoss War, Kanon, RahXephon, Gundam SEED DESTINY, .hack//SIGN, and others.
She also has had voice roles in video games such as Panzer Dragoon Saga, Kingdom Hearts, Fullmetal Alchemist 3: Kami wo Tsugu Shoujo, and Napple Tale. She also does the voice of Padmé Amidala in the Japanese dub of Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III and Max in the television series Dark Angel. She plays the role of Eponine in the Japanese production of Les Misérables.
On her singer side, Sakamoto has released five solo albums, one mini album, numerous singles, and two singles collections. In December 2003, she released her fourth original album, Shounen Alice, and a DVD of a short original movie from thedirector of Mizu no Onna called 03†. Sakamoto occasionally writes her own lyrics but most often works with others.
Frequent collaborators include Yuuho Iwasato for Japanese songs and Tim Jensen for English songs. In 2004, Sakamoto’s new fanclub “Idling Stop” opened. Composer Yoko Kanno worked with Sakamoto up until Yūnagi LOOP, her fifth album, which has no songs composed by Kanno. Her new album 30 minutes night flight is advertised to be released on March 21, 2007. More at: ANS