Wake Up, Girls' Yutaka Yamamoto Reveals 2018 Twilight Anime Film Project
posted on by Egan Loo
Anime director Yutaka Yamamoto (Yamakan) announced on the live-streamed program "Anime Gyōkai no Mirai wa Akarui desu ka? Sore tomo..." (Is the Anime Industry's Future Bright? Or is it...) on Saturday that his new original anime film project is slated for 2018 under the title Hakubo (Twilight). He is accepting crowdfunding on the Campfire website.
Yamamoto is planning the anime as the last of his self-described "Tōhoku trilogy" set in Japan's Tōhoku region in the northeast. Hakubo in particular follows youths living in "the now and present" in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. (The previous two Tōhoku projects, blossom and Wake Up, Girls!, were set in the town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture and Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, respectively.)
Yamamoto said that he first conceived of the project's initial concept two decades ago when he was in college. When he mulled over what would be a good perspective to depict Fukushima, he recalled this idea from his past and set it in Tohoku.
"A way of life that could be anywhere, experienced by a girl who could be anywhere.
A life that could be anywhere.
A love that could be anywhere."
Yamamoto will post the original novel that inspired the anime on the web.
People who back the crowdfunding campaign can receive a thank you message from Yamamoto, the original novel signed by Yamamoto, project updates and other contents by email, a listing in the end credits, invitations to the preview screening and a premium talk event with the cast, early news of the casting, dinner with Yamamoto and the staff, a bus tour of Iwaki with Yamamoto and the project "cheerleader" (voice actress Kaori Fukuhara), and an opportunity to name a character.
Yamamoto announced on Twitter last May that he was taking an indefinite leave to recuperate after "far too unreasonable circumstances piling up" caused him to be in poor health. Yamamoto founded his studio Ordet in 2008 after leaving Kyoto Animation in 2007. The studio worked on Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens with A-1 Pictures, with Yamamoto as director. He has also directed the Fractale series, and directed and supervised the Wake Up, Girls! idol series and films. The franchise's latest entry, the Wake Up, Girls! Beyond the Bottom film, premiered in Japan in December 2015. A new Wake Up, Girls! TV anime has been green-lit for this year, but Yamamoto and Ordet are no longer working on the new project.
Before leaving Kyoto Animation, Yamamoto most notably served as the series production director on the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime. He is also credited as an assistant director for Munto 2: Beyond the Walls of Time. He also directed and storyboarded episodes of Air, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, and Kanon. His last work with Kyoto Animation was directing the first four episodes of Lucky Star.