Gajumaru Family 4-Panel Manga to be Animated in Okinawa

posted on 2009-08-03 07:58 EDT by Egan Loo
Anime about life in southern Japanese prefecture to employ local talent

The Ryūkyū Shinpō newspaper in the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa reports that Gajumaru Family, Kokoro Momo's four-panel manga about daily life for a typical local family, will be animated. (Gajumaru is a banyan fig tree native to Okinawa.) Okinawa Digital Motion, a studio located in the prefecture's Uruma City, will produce the animation, and it aims to commercialize the project in as little as two years. Hashihito Komatsu is directing the project with various local animators and creators. Since New Year's Day of 2004, Momo has published about 300 Gajumaru Family comic strips in Ryūkyū Shinpō.

Japan's special fund to revitalize employment prospects in various regions is allocating 20 million yen (about US$200,000) from this year's budget, and the allotment will be spent over the course of three years. The project will initially release three DVDs — each with a production run of about 300 to 500 copies — and give about half of the copies to local residents next January, next spring, and next summer. The remaining half will be used to spread and promote the anime nationwide with DVD sales and television broadcasts. After gauging viewer feedback, the project staffers plan to develop the project commercially in two years. The organizers hope this project will also train and employ creators and animators in the area.

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