Voice-Chat App's Mascots Get Line Offline Salaryman TV Anime
posted on by Egan Loo
The net services company NHN Japan and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions announced on Thursday that the stamp mascot characters from NHN's Line voice-chat/messaging app are inspiring a Line Offline Salaryman series of television anime shorts. They are also inspiring two different manga in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine and Shueisha's Weekly Young Jump magazine this January.
The anime shorts are set in the fictional Line Corporation with a motley crew of idiosyncratic workers. There is the narcissistic section head and president's son James, the subsection head Moon (who is always gone somewhere but somehow gets his work done), the quiet but kindhearted subsection head Brown, and the subordinate Connie who is in an endless loop of yo-yo diets and weight gains. The voice cast will include Toshiyuki Morikawa, Yuuto Kazama, Nobuo Tobita, Aki Kanada, and Sachi Kokuryu.
The anime will premiere on TV Tokyo on January 7 at 1:30 a.m. (effectively January 8 after midnight) and run every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Fujiminosuke Yorozuya will launch the Character Times manga in Shonen Sunday on January 9. The comedy follows Connie, Brown, and Moon as students at the Tokyo Characters School. Renjuro Kindaichi (Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu, Haré+Guu) and the other members of Team.Kindaichi will launch a four-panel, slice-of-life gag manga called Line Offline ~Bokura Zukan~ (Line Offline - Our Illustrated Guide) on January 4.
The Line app allows users to make free voice calls and send free messages on smartphones and personal computers. NHN created in-app "sticker" or stamp characters that people can attach to their messages, and these characters became popular in their own right. As of November 30, the company reports that Line has 36 million users in Japan and 80 million users worldwide. (NHN Japan's parent company is Korean.) It earns about 300 million yen (about US$3.6 million) a month in sales of the in-app stamps.
Images © Line Offline/TV Tokyo