Netflix’s Oni: Thunder God’s Tale has received a premiere date: October 21, 2022.
A stunning new key visual fully deserving of two former Pixar art directors (see below) accompanied the announcement on September 27.
The net anime mini-series will feature four “quirky” and “heartfelt” episodes, as previously disclosed by Netflix.
ONI was first announced in early June when it was also revealed that the CG animated series will be produced by Tonko House and created by Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi.
ONI: Thunder God’s Tale cast and staff
Tonko House is assisted by Japanese visual effects studio Megalis VFX and CGI studios Marza and Anima.
Tonko House is an independent animation studio based in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 2014 by Robert Kondo and Daisuke Tsutsumi, both of whom are former Pixar art directors. The studio is best known for its Oscar-nominated short film The Dam Keeper (2014).
The additional ONI: Thunder God’s Tale staff members include Mari Okada (A Whisker Away) as director, Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi, Robert Kondo, and Kane Lee as executive producers, and Sara K. Sampson and Megan Bartel as co-executive producers.
The picturesque cast members (an “absolute dream cast”, as defined by Dice Tsutsumi), who will voice undisclosed characters, include:
- Momona Tamada
- George Takei
- Craig Robinson
- Charlet Takahashi Chung
- Tantoo Cardinal
- Archie Yates
- Brittany Ishibashi
- Omar Miller
- Anna Akana
- Miyuki Sawashiro
- Yuuki Matsuzaki
- Seth Carr
- Robert Kondo (executive producer)
Note that ONI: Thunder God’s Tale is an English-language production. The Japanese rendering is ONI: Kamigamiyama no Onari (ONI: 神々山のオナリ), which is a literal translation.
The first trailer PV was disclosed earlier in June:
Dice Tsutsumi has elaborated that ONI is a “very personal” story for him and that he aims to make it a personal story for everyone else as well… starting with the cast members, who are “incredible talents” graced with “such passion and empathy.”
“They’ve given souls to our characters and unparalleled performances for our animators,” Tsutsumi concludes.
ONI: Thunder God’s Tale plot
ONI draws on Japanese folklore, which is not a difficult leap, given the series’ title. An Oni (鬼) is an ambiguous being, often translated as either a yōkai, a demon, a troll, or an orc. In the broadest sense of the word, “Oni” refers to Shintō spirits (as opposed to the modern concept of god, spirits, and demons).
ONI: Thunder God’s Tale is set in a scenic world where ancient Japanese gods, spirits, and monsters abide. The main character, named Onari, is the daughter of one such spirit.
The plot follows Onari as she sets out to protect her village and follow in the footsteps of ancient heroes. The catch is that she isn’t fully aware of the scope of her special powers.
There’s plenty of time left until the premiere date, so hopefully, we’ll get to see more phenomenal ONI: Thunder God’s Tale visuals.