Category Archives: GKIDS

KEIICHI HARA’S “LONELY CASTLE IN THE MIRROR” Coming to Theaters Nationwide June


Celebrating its 15th anniversary, producer and distributor of award-winning and artist-driven animation GKIDS announced the limited theatrical release of Keiichi Hara’s newest film, LONELY CASTLE IN THE MIRROR.


The film is directed by Keiichi Hara known for Miss Hokusai, Colorful, & The Wonderland. The film features animation from the lauded A-1 Pictures, and is adapted from the beloved novel of the same name by Mizuki Tsujimura. The film is set to screen in select theaters nationwide on June 21 and 22nd only.

The film held its International Premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, making it the first time a Japanese animated feature was selected for the festival. Additionally, had its US premiere at the New York International Children’s Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, and was a box office hit during its domestic release in Japan in December 2022, grossing over one billion yen (approx. 7.3 million USD).

Keiichi Hara in 2011 at the Salón del Manga in Barcelona, Spain | (C) Mutari

Director Keiichi Hara has worked with various past collaborators on the project, including screenwriter Miho Maruo and composer Harumi Fuuki who also worked on Miss Hokusai & The Wonderland, in addition to acclaimed artist Ilya Kuvshinov (The Wonderland) for visual concept and castle designs.  

In Theaters Nationwide

GKIDS will release LONELY CASTLE IN THE MIRROR theatrically in both its original Japanese language with an all-new English dubbed version in select theaters nationwide on June 21 and 22nd, tickets are now on sale here. GKIDS also handles North American distribution for Keiichi Hara’s films, including his previous features Summer Days with Coo (2007) and Miss Hokusai (2015). 

Film Synopsis

Shy outcast Kokoro has been avoiding school for weeks when she discovers a portal in her bedroom mirror. She reaches through and finds herself transported to an enchanting castle where she is joined by six other students. When a girl in a wolf mask explains that they have been invited to play a game, the teens must work together to uncover the mysterious connection that unites them. However, anyone who breaks the rules will be eaten by a wolf. 

Learn more about on the official website, You can read the novel by Mizuki Tsujimura here or listen to it in audiobook. Lonely Castle in the Mirror, by Mizuki Tsujimura is a heartfelt drama about the pains of growing up and the unlikely bonds that can bring people together. 

Subscribe to our articles below, and don’t miss any upcoming exclusive content!

Spirited Away: LIVE ON STAGE Coming To Theaters


Acclaimed producer and distributor, GKIDS announced it has acquired North American right for SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage, during the hit production’s 2022 run at the historic Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. The production is a live stage performance of Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning animated feature of the same name.

The live stage production was adapted and directed for the stage by Tony Award®-winner John Caird, Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who gained international acclaim for adapting and directing the world premiere of the landmark production Les Misérables.

GKIDS is set to release two separate filmed performances of the production, starring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, double-cast as the lead heroine Chihiro.

Actor Mari Natsuki, who voiced previously voiced the sorceress Yubaba and her twin sister Zeniba in the original motion picture, returns to her original role, accompanied by voice actor Romi Park. They are accompanied by a star-studded cast of Japan’s finest actors.

SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage was created in association with Studio Ghibli, and presented by Toho Co., Ltd. The deal was negotiated between GKIDS and Toho. GKIDS will release the stage production theatrically in spring 2023.

GKids President David Jesteadt stated the following,“We are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity for Studio Ghibli fans in America to experience the stage production that wowed Japanese press and audiences last year,” He added“This imaginative stage adaptation by the legendary John Caird, featuring two wonderful performances by lead actors Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, helps bring to life one of the greatest films of all time in a dazzling new way.”

Via Press Release

Live Stage Synopsis

While traveling to their new home, Chihiro and her family stumble into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. When her parents are turned into pigs and she is put to work in a magical bathhouse, Chihiro must use her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents, and return to the normal world.

Full Cast

  • Chihiro: Kanna Hashimoto/Mone Kamishiraishi
  • Haku: Kotaro Daigo /Hiroki Miura
  • No Face: Koharu Sugawara/Tomohiko Tsujimoto
  • Lin/Chihiro’s Mother: Miyu Sakihi/Fu Hinami
  • Kamaji: Tomorowo Taguchi/Satoshi Hashimoto
  • Yubaba/Zeniba: Mari Natsuki/Romi Park
  • Aniyaku/Chihiro’s Father: Kenya Osumi
  • Chichiyaku: Sunao Yoshimura
  • Aogaeru: Obata no Oniisan

GKIDS has yet to announce the official theatrical release date.

We’ll keep you updated on the theatrical release; meanwhile, subscribe to our articles below, and don’t miss any upcoming exclusive content!