On the 9th of September 2011, Yoshihiro Tatsumi(Mangaka), Eric Khoo(Director), Tetsuya Bessho(Voice Actor), Masato Yamamoto(Associate Producer), and Phil Mitchell(Creative Director), made a special appearance at Book Kinokuniya, Orchard Main Store to promote and share their new movie, TATSUMI.

Tatsumi is a movie based on Mangaka Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s Drifting Life and some of his other works.

It’s also the first Singaporean animation to be showcased at the Cannes Movie Festival, and to great acclaimed! Not The Straits Times…

During the event, the team answer question from the facilitator, Wong Kim Hoh.

It was an insightful session that revealed how the Director Eric Khoo met with Tatsumi-sensei for the first time, seeing his bright aura and thus earning his trust.

Also how when the project started, the rapidness of it and how he drew new frames for the movie. Tatsumi-sensei certainly hopes to visit the Cannes Films festival again, since he really enjoyed it.

The creative director, Phil Mitchell also pitched in, on how horrified he was when their animation test is rejected by Tatsumi-Sensei on first sight, since he found it to be ugly(note: The animation is total based on Tatsumi-sensei’s drawing), only to accept it when looking at the framed animation.

He also mention how there is a need to reintroduce a flaw into the animation to not make it too perfect.

Voice over of 6 characters is done by Tetsuya Bessho, famed actor, while the rest of the roles are voiced in Singapore by Japanese expats found thru local auditions. In fact Tatsumi-sensei is also one of the Voice actor, after being tricked by the director into doing it.

Even thou the talents are all found locally, the quality is still top notch, with a mix of reality, thru the just recruited actors and dramatic via the acting of Bessho-san. The result turns out to be a wonderful mix as shared by the Sound Director(below).

Director Khoo also shared why even thou he dislike making animation, citing too long a production period and he being an impatient man, but still chosen to make Tatsumi an animated feature. His reason is that, there is no other way to tell the story.

Thou he would like to make a live action movie out of Tetsuya-sensei’s work one day, and getting Bassho-san as an actor, instead of just using his voice.

Director Khoo also shared on how he was advised by Tatsumi-sensei, to use stories from “A Drifting Life” rather than just the stories alone, saying that audiences might commit suicide due to the rather depressing nature of his stories.


Tatsumi is rated M18, for sexual scenes and opens in Singapore’s GV Cinemas on the 15th of September.

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