Takashi Murakami’s Jellyfish Eyes trailer premiered on Vanity Fair yesterday. The artist’s first live-action feature-length film is a mix of Pokémon, ET, sci-fi conspiracy and elementary school-aged children being weirdos. It features several Murakami-stylized magical creatures. The mood is reminiscent of Murakami’s Inochi-Kun! shorts but less about the horrors of approaching puberty. Oh, wait, never mind, this kid just conjured an IRL anime babe. Watch below.
Jellyfish Eyes tells the story of Masashi, a young boy who moves to a sleepy town in the Japanese countryside with his mother in the wake of a natural disaster. After returning home from his new elementary school one day, Masashi discovers a flying jellyfish-like creature whom he befriends and names Kurage-bo. Masashi soon discovers that all his classmates have similarly magical pets, known as F.R.I.E.N.D.s, which are controlled by electronic devices that the children use to battle one another. Despite their playful appearances, however, these F.R.I.E.N.D.s turn out to be part of a sinister plot that will threaten the entire town.
The film premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and Japan. It comes to New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center on June 1 with a post-screening Q&A with Murakami. Tickets go on sale on May 15th.