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Regular readers will know about my fanatical love for the animated works of Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Sky Crawlers), but they might not realize how much I also bug-out for his live action films. His last feature length work Avalon came out in 2001, and became an instant favourite in my household, the film getting played so much by me and my better half that we nearly wore out the DVD. Which is a good thing, considering how much I paid to import it from Japan. Anyway, with that in mind you can imagine how excited I got today when the first details were announced about his latest work, due to hit Japanese cinemas in December.

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Assault Girls is a sci-fi action film about three female hunters battling huge ‘sand whales’ in a desert setting, the costume design and themes obviously referencing another great love of mine; Frank Herbert’s Dune. Anime News Network has some more details:

Oshii had previously wrote and directed a live-action “Assault Girl: Kentucky no Hinako” short with Saeki for his Shin-Onna Tachiguishi Retsuden (The Women of Fast Food) film anthology. He then directed the live-action “Assault Girl 2″ short with Kikuchi for another film anthology, Kiru ~ KILL. At The Sky Crawlers’ DVD/Blu-ray Disc release event in March, Oshii said that he has plans for two live-action feature films starting this year, as well as one anime film in the 2011 timeframe.

Elsewhere, as part of promotion for both the Sky Crawlers Blu-ray/DVD release and the cinema release of his latest project, Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai, the usually shy and quiet Oshii has been making far more media media appearances then normal. Akibanana sat down with him and talked about the new release:

Q: What is the image that you have of Musashi Miyamoto?

I think he’s an intellectual with an instinct for fighting. He’s definitely a smart person… but I don’t know if I want to be friends with him.

Q: This also seems to be similar to the style of making up history in Taichiguishi. Will you be continuing with this style?

The business of being a director is all about lies…and the trick to it is how are you going to deceive them? I really love making up lies, and if I can spur talk on just how far is the movie true, then it’s fantastic. I always say that when it seems as if you’re having a laugh at something, you’re actually serious about it. I said that lies are usually made with a straight face.

However, I feel that there’s nothing to lie about with Musashi Miyamoto. I say that because the world is more likely to believe the lies anyway. Even if I said the truth, it would seem as a lie. If the truth gets believed as a lie, then everyone’s been deceived.

Check out the full interview here, and keep an eye on this site – as always I’ll be bringing you news and details on all Oshii’s projects as soon as I get them.