Singapore-based production companies IFW and Zhao Wei Films are planning to produce a black-and-white anime feature based on Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s manga memoir, A Drifting Life. The mammoth 840-page manga autobiography has been published in North America by Drawn & Quarterly. A Drifting Life is an insider’s guide to the history of manga written by one of the founders of the realistic “gekiga” style of manga that presents a gritty, no-holds-barred, warts-and-all reflection of contemporary Japanese society (see “Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life”).
Singapore’s The Business Times reports that the animated production of A Drifting Life has a budget of about $2 million. The modest budget indicates that the B&W production will likely use some animation shortcuts to bring the mammoth memoir to the screen. The film will be produced in Japanese, which means that Japan will be the primary market. While Tatsumi’s gekiga manga has received critical plaudits here in North America, it is yet to achieve the sales it deserves.