Chibi Maruko-chan Anime Film's Theatrical Trailer Previews Guest Cast

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Taishi Nakagawa, Hitori Gekidan, Papaya Suzuki, Rola guest star in film opening on December 23

The official website for the Eiga Chibi Maruko-chan: Italia kara Kita Shōnen, the first new anime film for Momoko Sakura's Chibi Maruko-chan manga in 23 years, began streaming the film's theatrical trailer on Saturday. The video previews Ulfuls' song "Oi!!" and Sakurako Ohara's song "Kimi wo Wasurenai yo" (I Won't Forget You). The video also previews the guest cast and characters.

The guest cast includes:

Taishi Nakagawa as Andrea, a boy from Italy
Hitori Gekidan as Shin, a boy from India
Papaya Suzuki as Nepu, a boy from Hawaii
Naomi Watanabe as Julia, a girl from Brazil
Rola as Xin Ni, a girl from Hong Kong

The film's website also revealed a new poster image on Saturday. The image features the tag line "I won't forget you."

Fuji-TV posted the film's first trailer with English subtitles on Friday. The trailer listed the film's working English title as Chibi Maruko Chan -A Boy from Italy-.

The film features six children from around the world who visit Maruko's town. One of them, an Italian boy named Andrea, confesses his love to Maruko and tries to court her. The film will also follow Maruko and her classmates as they travel to Kyoto and Osaka.

Sakura herself is in charge of the film's script. Jun Takagi (Chibi Maruko-chan television anime, Legend of the Condor Hero) is directing the film at Nippon Animation, and Fuji Television is producing the film. Toho will distribute the film.

The film will open on December 23, and it is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the television anime's broadcast.

The previous film in the franchise, Chibi Maruko-chan: Watashi no Suki na Uta (Chibi Maruko-chan: My Favorite Song), opened in Japan in December 1992.

The October issue of Shueisha's Ribon magazine debuted the new short manga series Chibi Maruko-chan: Kimi o Wasurenai yo (I Won't Forget You) in September. The manga is based on the upcoming film.

Sakura serialized the original manga in Ribon from 1986 to 1996. The manga has approximately 32 million copies in print. She launched a four-panel version in a Japanese newspaper in 2007, and she ended that version in 2011.

The original manga inspired the Chibi Maruko-chan television anime that is consistently the #2 rated anime series after Sazae-san. The first anime series ran from 1990 to 1992, and the ongoing second series premiered in 1995. The 1,000th television anime episode aired in 2012, and the show now has more than 1,100 episodes.

The manga has also inspired several live-action specials and television series.

Sources: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web, Comic Natalie

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