Home video unit nab rights to animation film

TOKYO — U.S. home video distributor FUNimation Entertainment has acquired North American and Latin American rights to “Vexille,” Shochiku’s sci-fi toon.

 Helmed by Fumihiko Sori, the producer of ground-breaking 2004 toon “Appleseed, “Vexille” tells a dark future tale in which Japan has shut itself off from the world and is suspected of developing a banned robotics technology.

The title heroine — the commander of a U.S. task force — leads a secret mission to discover Japan’s true intentions.

The toon makes heavy use of the 3-D CGI that Sori and his team pioneered on “Appleseed.”

“Vexille” world preemed at the Locarno Film Festival, and opens in Japan on Aug. 18 on 150 screens.

FUNimation plans to release the toon theatrically in the U.S. in 2008. Shochiku has sold “Vexille” to 75 territories.

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