Toei announced that it has delayed the opening date for the anime film of Nahoko Uehashi‘s Shika no Ō (The Deer King) medical fantasy novel series to 2021. Toei did not cite a reason for the delay.
The film was previously slated to open on September 18.
Ando Masashi (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, your name. character design, Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, When Marnie Was There, your name. animation director) is directing the film alongside Miyaji Masayuki (Xam’d: Lost Memories, Fusé: Memoirs of a Huntress) at Production I.G. Ando is also drawing the character designs and is the chief animation director. KishimotoTaku (Haikyu!!, ERASED, Fruits Basket) is penning the script.
The novels center on Van, the head of a group of soldiers who expected to die fighting for their lands against a large empire looking to incorporate their home into its kingdom. Instead of dying, however, Van is taken as a slave and thrown into a salt mine. One night, a pack of strange dogs attacks the salt mine, and a mysterious illness breaks out. During the attack, Van takes the opportunity to escape, and he meets a young girl. Elsewhere, rumor is spreading that only immigrants are coming down with this mysterious illness. The medical scientist Hossal risks his life to search for a cure. Doctors also study a father and child who seem to have survived the illness. The novels tell the interconnecting stories and bonds of those who fight against a cruel fate.
Uehashi‘s Moribito and The Beast Player Erin novel series both received television anime adaptations. Moribito also inspired a live-action television series adaptation. The North American publisher Scholastic published the first two volumes of Moribito in English. Uehashi won the Hans Christian Andersen Author Award in 2014.
Sources: The Mainichi Shimbun’s Mantan Web, Comic Natalie,Deer King-Movies/Videos | Toho Web Site, “Shika no Ou” Nahoko Uehashi | Kadokawa Shoten | KADOKAWA