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Yuuki Kaji, Ayumi Fujimura, Haruka Tomatsu Join Santa Company Cast in Trailer

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Takahiro Sakurai & Rie Kugimiya also in English-subtitled trailer for holiday film

The Kickstarter campaign website for Kenji Itoso's Santa Company film announced that Yūki Kaji, Ayumi Fujimura, and Haruka Tomatsu will star in the film. Kaji will voice Bell, and Ayumi will voice the character Noel, a 12-year-old girl who despises Christmas. Tomatsu will voice Mint.

The film will also star Takahiro Sakurai as Pedro and Rie Kugimiya as Thomas. ChouCho will perform the film's theme song. All five main cast members and the theme song appear in the first English-subtitled trailer:

The film met its Kickstarter goal of US$50,000 on Sunday. The campaign will accept backers until January 2, 1 p.m. EST.

Pledge levels range from US$5 to US$10,000, and rewards range from a Christmas thank you card, to a download link of the film, the soundtrack, the film on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, a PDF of original drawings, an artbook with an autograph, a T-shirt, a mug, original physical sketches, and an invitation to come to Japan to have dinner with director Kenji Itoso. The DVD and Blu-ray Discs will include English subtitles. Stretch goals include Italian, Spanish and Finnish subtitles at US$100,000; a DVD/BD deluxe edition and English dub at US$150,000; and an exclusive animated short film and documentary at US$200,000.

The story revolves around Noel, a 12-year-old girl who despises Christmas. She has lived with her father ever since her parents divorced three years ago, but her father ends up busy at work every Christmas and she cannot play with her friends from school.

On a lonely Christmas Eve, Noel takes her usual apartment complex elevator ride to her home, but when the doors open, she finds herself lost in a humongous factory — owned by Santa Claus. Santa Claus has gone corporate as Santa Company with the motto "Fast, Reliable and Secret Delivery." The outfit takes orders and delivers top-notch presents to children in the utmost secrecy. Noel meets some new friends, and together, they take off in a sled to deliver presents.

Naohiro Fukushima (Eden of the East, Eureka 7: Astral Ocean) is writing the script, and artist Hidari (Fractale, Natsu-iro Kiseki) drew the original character design illustrations. Itoso's own KENJI STUDIO (Kotonakare Hero Gingerman) is animating the film. Itoso is serving as producer and executive director, while Yumi Kamakura (episode director for Eureka Seven, Blood+, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) is serving as director. Hiroka Harada (Romeo × Juliet, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal) is adapting Hidari's character designs for animation.

The 30-minute film is scheduled to be completed by Christmas 2014. KENJI STUDIO plans to host a special screening of the film for families in Fukushima who were affected by the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake disaster. The studio also plans to screen the film at film festivals worldwide, and to host screenings for children using projection-mapping. Additionally, the studio plans to create a curriculum to teach others how to make animation by using the production materials for Santa Company (Itoso is a university professor who researches film techniques).

As of press time, the campaign has raised US$54,700.

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