Barefoot Gen in August

Optimum Asia have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of Barefoot Gen for 1st August 2005 priced at £19.99. Optimum Asia will be releasing the acclaimed anime Barefoot Gen with its sequel Barefoot Gen 2 onto one double-feature DVD. Powerful and tragic, Barefoot Gen is the autobiographical story of manga artist Keiji Nakazawa who was six years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on his hometown of Hiroshima on August 6th 1945, killing most of his family. August 6th 2005 will mark the 60th Anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing and a donation will be made to War Child for every Barefoot Gen DVD sold.

Sixty years on, Barefoot Gen is a haunting reminder of the suffering that war brings to innocent people and Gen's experiences will speak to children and adults everywhere. Drawing on his horrific past, Nakazawa created Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen) in 1972, and it became one of the first mangas ever to be translated into English. Mori Masaki directs this animated film which was made in 1983 and was written and produced by Nakazawa based on his influential manga.

Opening in the rundown city of Hiroshima, we witness the events leading up to the bombing through the eyes of Gen, a young boy growing up in post-war Japan. Fortunately when the bomb detonates, Gen is shielded by a stone wall. Others are not so lucky and are burned to death instantly by the 5000 degree heat flash. As Gen runs home to find his family, he sees victims of the bomb blast staggering around shocked and helpless in the rubble, their skin burnt and melting. When Gen reaches home he finds that his house has collapsed, trapping his father, brother and sister in the wreckage. Pulling his pregnant mother to safety, Gen watches as the rest of his family are burnt alive. What follows is a night-marish journey into the unimaginable horrors of atomic war and the struggle to survive in a place that has been destroyed by the most devastating device ever conceived by man.

Established in 1993, War Child offers prevention, protection, emergency relief and livelihood support to children displaced, orphaned, injured or traumatised by war. It aims to give children around the world a voice to challenge war farers by saying 'Your war is not with me'. Currently, War Child is active in Bosnia (running a music therapy centre), Iraq, Afghanistan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
For more information about these programmes: (reg. charity no. 1071659)

Features include:

  • Restored Print
  • Japanese with English subtitles
  • Booklet containing interview with Keiji Nakazawa and an essay by Jonathan Clements, co-author of The Anime Encyclopedia

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