Shokotan's Autobiographical Cat & Family Essays Get TV Anime
posted on by Egan Loo
The autobiographical writings of 29-year-old entertainer Shoko Nakagawa (also known as "Shokotan") are inspiring a year-long series of 10-minute television anime shorts. Omakase Mamitasu (Leave It to Mamitasu) will premiere on the public broadcaster NHK's E Tele channel on March 31 and air every Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. The basis of the shorts is Neko no Ashiato (Cats' Pawprints), the autobiographical essay book that marked the professional writing debut of Nakagawa. Magazine House published the book last March.
The main characters of Omakase Mamitasu are 10 cats. Nakagawa owns 10 cats in real life, and she adores one in particular named Mamitasu, the anime's namesake. The anime depicts the slapstick comedy of the idiosyncratic 10 cats and the folks in the unusual "Nakagawa family."
While the anime is aimed at children, its production committee says that the heartfelt story will remind a wide range of generations of something comforting that they may have forgotten in recent times. The anime is slated to air for one year.
Neko no Ashiato also recounts the marriage and life of Nakagawa's father (Katsuhiko Nakagawa, a singer who passed away in 1994) and mother, as well as her grandparents. The anime will animate Nakagawa as a child named "Pokotan," with "Natsuhiko" who watches over her from heaven. Hideki Sonoda (Pokémon, Machine Robo, Sonic Soldier Borgman, Chōja Reideen) is in charge of the series scripts, and Mitsuo Hashimoto is (Dragon Ball episode director, Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Beyblade: V-Force) is directing.
Nakagawa commented, "I never dreamt that the day would come when my precious cat Mamitasu would be animated. I watched lots of anime since I was a girl, and I learned courage and love from them. I hope that many children, or even just one, will feel something similar through this anime."
The anime will run between the popular television variety programs Tensai Terebi-kun and R no Hōsoku. Toy maker Takara-Tomy has decided to merchandise key items in the anime this summer.
Nakagawa's life story already inspired a shōjo manga series by Asumi Hara (Saikyō Seito-kai Tsubakiyo) in Kodansha's Nakayoshi magazine in 2010. She sang theme songs for the Gurren Lagann, Beelzebub, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Saint Seiya Omega, and Pokemon anime, and she voice-acted in the Eyeshield 21, Pokemon, and Saint Seiya Omega anime. Her live-action work includes the tokusatsu special-effects comedy film Nuigurumaa Z, manga creator Kazuo Umezu's directorial debut Mother, and the manga-based street gang film Tokyo Tribe. Nakagawa appeared as a musical guest of honor at Anime Expo in Los Angeles in 2008.
Her Sukashi Kashipanman character spawned an anime on mobile phone websites, a DVD, a Nintendo DS game, a manga by Arima Honda in Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh magazine, and an official sweet bun in LAWSON convenience stores. It also inspired a live-action project in America with Earthworm Jim creator Doug TenNapel.
Nakagawa broke her tailbone while recreating Narancia Ghirga's pose from the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga during a concert last October. However, she went right back on tour that same week.
Source: Sports Nippon
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