Gunma, Tochigi Prefectures' 4 Tourism Anime Ads Premiere

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Beautiful gardens, ancient schools, high-energy festival, silk highlighted

Four animated tourism commercials for Gunma prefecture's Kiryū city and Tochigi prefecture's Ashikaga city debuted on YouTube on Tuesday. Each commercial centers on a different season and highlights the beauty of the cities.

The first commercial, "Spring," shows two generations visiting the Ashikaga Flower Park. Aya Uchida voices Haruka, Ko Usami voices her father, and Kōdai Sakai voices her husband.

The second commercial, "Summer," focuses on the Kiryu Yagibushi Festival in Suehiro, Gunma. The festival is characterized by its high-energy street dancing and music. Aya Uchida voices Natsuki, Katsuji Mori voices her grandfather, and Yoko Ojima voices her mother.

The third commercial, "Autumn," follows a middle-aged man named Akikazu (Tomofumi Ikezoe) as he returns home after the death of his mother. While eating with his father (Katsuji Mori), he inherits a silk kimono. This sparks a memory of seeing his mother work in a silk factory in 1967. As a child, he missed his mother who was often gone from the home but as an adult he appreciates her work now that she's gone.

The final commercial, "Winter," follows students as they visit Ashikaga Gakko, Japan's oldest educational institution. The school was allegedly first built in the 9th century. In the video, Tosei (Kōdai Sakai) is greeted by a samurai (Shohei Yamaguchi) who asks him questions about what he's studying. Confused, his friends bring him back to reality and the samurai is gone.

The commercials were animated at the asurafilm, a studio known primarily for its photography work on other anime productions. The studio assisted with animation production for The Case of Hana & Alice and Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part 3: Rebellion films and produced the Would You Like Some Coffee? anime for the Anime Beans app. The studio Creators in Pack are credited with the storyboards and xenron completed the finish animation work. Smartile (Bakumatsu, Fireworks film) provided the background art.

Animator Yū Aoki directed and designed the characters for the shorts. Jazztronik's Ryota Nozaki composed the score.

The plan for the ads was announced last year. Saga prefecture was previously the subject of four anime shorts in 2017 and Gifu's city of Ōgaki's nine-minute promotional anime debuted in April 2018. Gunma itself was the setting of You Don't Know Gunma Yet, the television anime shorts based on Hiroto Ida's Omae wa Mada Gunma o Shiranai manga. The city of Annaka, Gunma used the anime as a jumping off point for its own tourism.

Source: Animate Times

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