Disney+ is going in a similar direction as its streaming rivals, expanding its original content to international levels. One of the first Japanese originals on Disney+ is Gannibal, a psychological thriller adapted from a popular manga series of the same name, written by Masaaki Ninomiya.
The show’s cast and crew are the cream of the crop and are topped only by the wonderful, picturesque landscape where it was filmed. So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Gannibal, including its filming locations, a brief synopsis, cast and crew, and more.
What is Gannibal about?
As I’ve mentioned, Gannibal is based on a manga series of the same name, written by Masaaki Ninomiya. It revolves around Daigo Agawa, a police officer who gets poster in a small, recluse village where things aren’t as peaceful and silent as they seem at first. If It told you Disney+ is producing a Japanese TV show about cannibals, you’d probably look at me confused.
Well, that’s exactly what Gannibal is. Agawa, the lead character, causes a major incident while working as a young officer in the city, so he takes his wife Yuki and daughter Mashiro to start a new life in a small, closed-out village known as Kuge, located in the mountains of Japan.
At first, the village is as wonderful and peaceful as it gets, and its people, while a bit ‘rustic,’ are actually quite friendly and accepting of their new villagers. That being said, the last officer who was posted in Kuge disappeared mysteriously, so that’s the first red flag Daigo should’ve gotten.
Anyways, the villagers mostly do woodwork, living off of cypress timber and forestry, led by the Goto family, which has been in Kuge for generations. Things take a turn for the worse when a body of an old lady is found lifeless and mangled in the forest on the mountain.
Agawa is there to investigate as the Goto family claims it had to be a bear attack, as they are quite common in the area. Agawa would probably believe them hadn’t he noticed a human bite mark on the corpse. And that’s only the beginning.
A mysterious, slender, pale, zombie-like figure is seen by Daigo and his family, but the villagers seem to not even react to it as if it were a common thing. That leads to Agawa realizing that something is very wrong with the village. The rumors about people getting eaten there seem to be true, and the villagers either know about it or are the culprits themselves.
Gannibal filming locations
Seeing that the show had just premiered, there still isn’t a lot of information about all the lovely filming locations where it was filmed. However, we managed to recognize some of the wonderful, picturesque locations from the show, so let’s dig into all of them right away.
Nagano is the capital city of the Nagano Prefecture in Japan, which is mainly recognized for its phenomenal landscape and picturesque mountains. The show was filmed up in the Nagano mountains, aka the highland areas of the Japanese Alps. That’s where most of the scenes for the fictional village of Kuge were shot.
That being said, it’s hard to tell which particular area of the Japanese Alps was used, from the Hida Mountains, Akaishi Mountains, or Kiso Mountains. If you ever visit the Nagano Prefecture in the Chubu region of Honshu, you’ll be visiting one of the few landlocked regions in Japan.
Another wonderful location that can be recognized in the show is Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture. It is a region bordering the Pacific Ocean and also bordering the northeastern side of Tokyo.
The most recognizable location of the Ibaraki prefecture is its capital, Mito, and the breathtaking Kairakuen Park, filled with countless plum trees that, once in bloom during early spring, look like a sea of endless pink.
Another recognizable feature of the Ibaraki prefecture is Mount Tsukuba and its dual peaks located just southwest of Kasama.
Every show, for the most part, needs scenes that are shot in a studio. Seeing that the production team is quite formidable and award-winning, it’s most likely that most studio scenes were shot in Tokyo.
The fact that the Ibaraki region borders Tokyo and belongs to its wider metropolitan area only corroborates that further. That being said, I couldn’t find any official confirmation about where the studios are located in which the show was filmed.
Gannibal Cast and Crew
The cast and crew of Gannibal are as great as it gets when it comes to Japanese production. The director is Shinzo Katayama, a renowned Japanese filmmaker that is probably best known for making Siblings on the Cape.
The executive producers are Tatsuya Iwakura and Teruhisa Yamamoto, the latter of which is best known for producing the Academy Award-winning movie, Drive My Car. Yamamoto is collaborating yet again with Takamasa Oe, who wrote the script for Drive My Car, as well as for Gannibal.
As for the cast, Yuya Yagira portrays the lead character, Daigo Agawa, whereas Riho Yoshioka plays the role of Yuki, his wife. Furthermore, Sho Kasamatsu plays Keisuke Goto, while Mitsuko Baisho is Gin Goto. You can find the entire cast and crew list here.