HS Pictures Studio, the anime studio of the controversial religious organization Happy Science (Kōfuku no Kagaku), announced the newest film in its The Laws of the Universe film series on Thursday. The new film is titled Uchū no Hō: Elohim-hen (The Laws of the Universe: Elohim Chapter), and it will open in Japan this fall.
Actress and Happy Science member Yoshiko Sengen (Fumika Shimizu) voices the film's protagonist, the Space Hero Yaizael. Other cast members include Sayaka Ohara, Satomi Arai, Hirohiko Kakegawa, Hiroki Takahashi, Jun Kasama, Ryotaro Okiayu, Taku Yashiro, Ayumu Murase, Miki Itō, and Banjou Ginga. The main characters are different from the main characters in the previous installments in the series.
Isamu Imakake returns as director, character designer, and chief animation director of this new installment. Yūichi Mizusawa also returns as composer. Sayaka Ōkawa is penning the script. Yumiko Awaya is once again credited a visual effects creative director. Happy Science founder Ryuho Okawa is credited with the original work and as the chief production supervisor for the film.
Uchū no Hō: Elohim-hen is the second film in a planned trilogy. The Laws of the Universe: Part 1 opened in Japan in October 2018. Eleven Arts Anime Studio hosted the film's world premiere with an English dub at the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles earlier that month.
The Laws of the Universe Part 0, the film that sets up the trilogy's story, premiered in Los Angeles in September 2016. Eleven Arts then screened the film in selected theaters in the U.S. and Canada in October of that year, and the film opened in Japan in the same month. The film screened in North America with an English dub.
Happy Science has sponsored a number of animated films in the past, including The Mystical Laws, which opened simultaneously in the U.S. in October 2012. The film received an English dub for its Japanese home video release, and it received a video-on-demand release in the U.S.
Happy Science has come under scrutiny for its practices and coercive recruitment tactics in the past. Through its political party, the Happiness Realization Party, the group has advocated for nuclear deterrence, and has called for the amendment and removal of the pacifist Article 9 of Japan's constitution. The group has also repeated common Japanese right-wing rhetoric, such as the denial of the Nanking Massacre, the Imperial Japanese Army practice of taking comfort women, and the assertion of the Japanese state's de jure ownership of the Senkaku Islands. Recently, the group has offered spiritual "vaccines," which it claims can cure the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Source: Comic Natalie