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We’re Excited About The Deer King and Why You Should Be Too

It’s a new year, and that means newly released anime! In 2022, countless anime will receive an anime adaption or another season like Attack on Titans, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Ultra Romantic, Fruits Basket: Prelude, Komi Can’t Communicate, Spy X Family, and so many more!

Indeed, as an avid anime watcher, you may have a long list of anime to watch. Despite this list, anime fans still have a hard time choosing what to watch next. If you’re undecided, consider pushing The Deer King up your list. Also known as Shika no Ou: Yuna to Yakusoku no Tabi or The Deer King: The Promised Journey With Yuna, anime fans will surely be in for a treat. 

Be sure to continue reading below to discover more things about The Deer King and why you should be excited about its release! Allow us to assist you in learning more about the masters behind the film. 


The main character, Van, is the leader of “Dokukaku,” a resistance group situated in a small kingdom. The Tsouru empire annexed his hometown, and he was captured to be a slave at the Akafa rock salt mine.

Every day, Van is filled with the thoughts of eventual death when suddenly, on an ordinary day in the mines, they are attacked by wild dogs. Van was bitten by one of these wild dogs, but he survived and gained an unknown power. 

All the bitten administrators and slaves in the Akafa rock salt mine died, not leaving any survivors aside from Van. Van, the sole survivor of this sudden attack, finds Yuna, the daughter of a slave, then leaves the salt mine. 

During the attack, a medical scientist named Hossal was investigating a mysterious illness called (Mitthal)”. This disease can kill people when bitten by a dog. Rumour spreads that only immigrants can get this dreadful disease.  

Hossal is searching for a cure at the expense of his life. He visits the Akafa mine to find answers, and he discovers that Van survived despite getting bitten. He then starts to follow Van to get a pathogen in his body. The Deer King depicts the story of interconnecting stories and the bond between those who fight against a cruel fate.

Characters and Voice Actors

Van: Shinichi Tsutsumi (Main)

Van is a brave warrior of a resistance group of the Akafa Kingdom named “Dokukaku.” Van and his comrades are plotting a revolt against the Tsuoru empire. He gets captured and becomes a slave in a salt mine after losing the war with the Tsuoru empire. 

As the resistance group leader, he uses his intelligence, tolerance, quick wits, and escapes when wild dogs attack the mine. Sadly, during the war, his wife and son were killed. Van, now alone, decides to travel with a baby he saved from the salt mines named Yuna.

Yuna: Hisui Kimura (Main)

Yuna is the baby whom Van rescued after the attack of the wild dogs in the Akafa salt mines. Van found Yuna in a slave village near the salt mines in a kitchen. She, too, has a mysterious power like Van due to getting bitten by a wild dog.

Hossal: Ryouma Takeuchi (Main)

Hossal is a genius doctor from the empire of Tsuoru. He’s from the family of Otawaru, a family that was destroyed due to an illness called “Black Dogs Disease.” His life mission is to analyze and find a cure for the disease that soon annihilated his hometown. To make a vaccine, he follows Van, who survives the disease.

Sae: Anne Watanabe (Main)

Sae is an expert in tracking; thus, she was hired by Hossal to track Van and Yuna because of her exceptional skills in the field.

Miral (Supporting)

Miral is Hossal’s lover and research assistant. Together with Hossal, they travel to find the black dogs’ disease cure.

Ouhan (Supporting)

Ouhan is a lord in the Tsuoru empire. Hossal’s treatment saves Lord Ouhan, and he is the only lord who trusts Hossal as a medical practitioner. Traditional lords hate the medical practice of the bloodline of Otawaru and see it as a filthy skill.


The film will be directed by Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji. Masashi Ando and his co-director, Masayuki Miyaji, draw inspiration and experience from animated Studio Ghibli films like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Their vast experience in storyboards, directing, and designing, can make any anime fan excited to watch their new creation, The Deer King.

Masashi Ando is a Japanese filmmaker, animator, and character designer. He has worked in films, tv-series and some OVA, music videos, and even video games! His most well-known works are Whisper of the Heart, Paprika, The Last: Naruto the Movie, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Spirited Away, and Your Name. 

The co-director, Masayuki Miyaji, is also an anime director and supervisor. He has made significant contributions to animes like Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress, InuYasha, Spirited Away, Detective Conan, Attack on Titan, Dr. Stone: Stone Wars, and many more! 


Taku Kishimoto is penning the script for The Deer King. Taku Kishimoto has made significant contributions to popular animations like Haikyuu!!, Fruits Basket, ERASED, Hanebad!, Miss Nagatoro, etc. 

Production Company

Production I.G. will produce the Deer King film. The company releases numerous popular anime, including Attack on Titan, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Your Name, Haikyuu!!, Kuroko’s Basketball, Psycho-Pass, Great Pretender, Noblesse, Kimi ni Todoke, and many more! If you have ever liked how Production I.G. produced these animations, then be sure to give Shika no Ou: Yuna to Yakusoku no Tabi a chance!


The noted opening song of The Deer King is by milet, titled “One Reason.” With Rambling RECORDS and Harumi Fuuki, The Deer King signed a label with the company as the original soundtrack manufacturer and distributor. 

Rambling RECORDS is a well-known record label that produces feel-good sounds to accompany different scenes in animation, especially in the film, The Deer King. Rambling RECORDS released music artists from Emilie Simon, Gotan Project, Caravan Palace, and many more. 

When will it be released?

Sadly, due to the COVID-19 virus, the film was delayed on its planned opening on September 18, 2020. For the same reason, the September 10, 2021 release was also postponed. There were plans to release the film and many others in cinemas in the United Kingdom in 2021. 

GKIDS signed a license with Production I.G’s film, The Deer King, to show it in cinemas with English subtitles and dub in the first part of 2022. In Japan, the Deer King will be officially premier on February 4, 2022. 

Why You Should Be Excited About The Deer King

After so many instances of the release being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while this could be perceived as a negative thing, anime fans could also look at it from a different and positive outlook. The delays could grant the team enough time to polish every aspect of the movie.

Additionally, if you’ve been continuously watching anime, you have probably already heard about the other works of The Deer King’s team. Their extensive background gives the watchers hope that the team did an excellent job producing the animation.


Be sure to be on the lookout for Shika no Ou: Yuna to Yakusoku no Tabi’s release to be the first anime fans to watch this film. Masayuki Miyaji and Masashi Ando crafted a movie with their long experience that throws the audience in the center of a decades-long conflict. 

From its producers, original creators, directors, production company, and soundtrack, The Deer King is a film that esteemed professionals have worked hard on. Many of their works have become the heart of mainstream media, and soon, The Deer King could be too.

See also: Top 5 Animes That Will Always Be Binge Worthy

See also: Top 10 Anime Characters That Were Ruined By Their Sequels

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