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Kannagi Director, Idolm@ster Writer Make 'Wake Up, Girls!' Anime

posted on by Egan Loo
Avex, 81 Produce hold auditions for project billed as reunion of Lucky Star staff

The production company avex entertainment announced on Monday that director Yutaka Yamamoto (Kannagi, Fractale, pictured in center) is helming a new anime titled Wake Up, Girls! in collaboration with Avex and the voice talent agency 81 Produce. Avex is billing the anime as a reunion of the Lucky Star staff, since Yamamoto (often nicknamed as "Yamakan") will be working again with scriptwriter/series script editor Touko Machida (Lucky Star, The IDOLM@STER, fourth from the left in photograph) and MONACA composer Satoru Kousaki (Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, fifth from the left in photograph).

On Monday, Avex and 81 Produce launched open auditions for new female talent who will not only star as the main characters of the new anime, but also sing the anime's theme song. The Avex Group has worked with Ayumi Hamasaki, Kumi Koda, AAA, Super Girls, and other idols and musical artists, while 81 Produce has managed such voice cast members as Kana Asumi, Emiri Katō, and Megumi Toyoguchi.

Kato (first from the left in photograph) and Avex talent Kaori Fukuhara (second from the left in photograph) appeared at Monday's press conference as "official supporters" of the new anime; they will not necessarily be in the new anime's cast. The anime's key visual showed seven girls, but the staff emphasized that it is not certain if the final group will still have seven girls.

The new anime is tentatively set in the Tohoku region, an area that was heavily affected by the earthquake of March 11, 2011. Yamamoto has been visiting the Tohoku region frequently, particularly the damaged hometown of Kannagi manga creator Eri Takenashi, and he already made blossom, a charity anime for the region.

This is the second time Avex and 81 Produce worked together to audition new talent this way; the six winners of the first contest earlier this year eventually formed the group i☆Ris, which sang the ending theme song "Color" for the Battle Spirits: Sword Eyes anime which premiered on Sunday.

Update: More information added.

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