Anime Director Makoto Shinkai's Daughter Chise Niitsu Gets 1st Starring Film Role
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
As the daughter of renowned anime director Makoto Shinkai (your name., The Garden of Words, Children Who Chase Lost Voices) and actress Chieko Misaka, Chise Niitsu was perhaps destined to enter show business. Although she has previously had other roles, Niitsu now has her first starring role in any film, live-action series, or stage production. The eight-year-old will play Sayaka in the Eki made no Michi o Oshiete (Tell Me the Way to the Station) film, which is slated to premiere in fall 2019.
The film is adapting Shizuka Ijūin's 2004 novel of the same name. The story centers on a girl named Sayaka who cannot accept the death of her dog and continues to wait for the dog's return. She develops a bond with Kōtarō Fuse, an old man who lost his son as a young child. The film will mark Ijuin's first novel to receive a film adaptation since the live-action film adaptation of his Kikansha Sensei novel in 2004.
The audition process for Sayaka began in spring 2017, and four waves of judging took place over three months. Niitsu was a first grader at the time of the auditions. Niitsu described her character as an energetic and kind girl who loves dogs. She said that she also loves dogs, so she was particularly happen to earn the role.
Filming has already begun, and will continue over a full year in chronological order. Niitsu said she is enjoying spending time together with the dog who plays her dog in the film. The rest of the cast will be announced later.
Niitsu played Momo Kawamoto in the live-action March comes in like a lion films, which debuted in 2017. She also played Chibi Chibi in the Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon -Le Mouvement Final- stage musical last year.
Images © Eki made no Michi o Oshiete Production Committee