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Miyagi Studio Makes Anime Short to Remember Tohoku Quake

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Ima, Futari no Michi starring Nobunaga Shimazaki, Kouichi Yamadera to debut on Wednesday

Asahi Production's spinoff studio in Miyagi, one of the prefectures hardest hit by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster, produced the Ima, Futari no Michi (Now, The Pair's Paths) anime short. The purpose of the short is to thank people for help during the prefecture's reconstruction efforts and prevent victims' memories of the 2011 disaster from fading away. The five-minute, 20-second anime features scenery from Kesennuma and Zaō, Miyagi.

The anime's story focuses on a pair of 16-year-old high school students who experience the Tohoku disaster and grow in the aftermath. Jun Agatsuma's father is a doctor, and she worries about the future. Kunpei Satō's father is a fisherman, and it was decided that the boy will succeed his father in the job. The pair's lives are suddenly disrupted when the 2011 earthquake and tsunami hit their area. The two determine their futures as Miyagi Prefecture recovers in the wake of the disaster.

Three people connected to Miyagi Prefecture were chosen to voice the short's characters. The stage actress and Sendai native Nats Yasumuro stars with voice actors and Shiogama natives Nobunaga Shimazaki (Ace of Diamond, Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club, Silver Spoon) and Kouichi Yamadera (Ghost in the Shell, Evangelion, Ranma ½).

The Sendai Mediatheque library is holding the anime's premiere at the "Anime Gyōkai Seminar" (Anime Industry Seminar) in Sendai's Aoba ward on Wednesday. Studio Pierrot founding CEO Yūji Nunokawa will speak at the event that will run from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nunokawa is from Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, which is part of the Tohoku region that was heavily affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The anime will air on the BS11 channel's news program Onze on March 8 at 6:00 p.m. The online video service Niconico will stream the anime short for free for one month starting on March 11, the fourth anniversary of the Tohoku disaster.

The same Asahi Production anime studio in Miyagi produced the "Neko no Sumu Shima" (The Island Where Cats Live) earthquake-themed television short that premiered in 2012.

Zapuni, a collaborative project between Japanese animators and internationally renowned musicians, also released anime shorts in 2013 to raise funds for children affected by the 2011 disaster.

Source: Kahoku Shimpō

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