When it comes to my dream collaborations, there aren’t really many more I can think of that would top esteemed director Wes Anderson coming together with legendary cult horror mangaka Minetaro Mochizuki for a spinoff manga based on his new film Isle of Dogs.
Anderson’s filmography is as varied as it is excellent, from the heartwarming coming of age story Moonrise Kingdom, all the way to the generation-spanning ensemble epic The Grand Budapest Hotel, earning him a legendary status in the pantheon of modern western cinema. Mochizuki is a legendary icon himself, with his works Dragon Head and Zashiki Onna considered as some of the best horror manga ever produced, making him a cult icon next to the already widely-known and appreciated Junji Ito.
To have the two come together in any form whatsoever is certainly unprecedented, but also an amazing partnership between two legends in their own right. Anderson was also seemingly puzzled by the idea of having his latest film, Isle of Dogs, turned into a Japanese manga, admitting that he thought it would be “impossible to adapt” at first, but after seeing Mochizuki’s work on the project, he became convinced that it might be possible after all.
Mochizuki, on the other hand, was very confident that he could make it work. Once he heard about the film and was approached with the idea of creating a spinoff manga based on it, he considered himself as the “only one” who would be able to do such an adaptation. Certainly, just by looking at the preview images below, I can’t help but feel the same way – Mochizuki’s crude but precise artstyle seems to match the mottled aesthetic of the film perfectly.
The adaptation launches in Weekly Shonen Morning on May 24 and will run for three weeks. Mochizuki’s describes it as a side story to the film, stating that he “spins a new story” utilizing the main character and the five dogs he meets on his journey. Incidentally, the film itself launches the very next day on May 25 in Japan – and now I’m honestly not sure what I’m looking forward to more, a new film from one of my favorite directors or the crazy collaboration from a cult icon that intends to promote it.