Fukushima Gainax's Kumo no Kanata Anime Short Streamed

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Song-inspired short tells story of injured bird in quake-hit area

Anime studio Fukushima Gainax revealed its Kumo no Kanata (Beyond the Clouds) anime short inspired by the Fukushima Prefecture song of the same name on Monday. Fukushima Prefecture began streaming the short with Fukushima Gainax's animation.

In the video, actor Dean Fujioka (live-action Happy Marriage!?, Dame na Watashi ni Koishite Kudasai) introduces the story, and actress Airi Matsui (live-action anohana special, Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches) reads the title. Both actors are from Fukushima Prefecture. The short's story is set in Matsukawa-ura Bay in Sōma, Fukushima, one of the areas affected by the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster in March 2011. The story centers on an injured little egret that recovers to fly again and later returns to Matsukawa-ura Bay.

Fukushima Gainax president Yoshinori Asao appeared at the announcement event for the short on Monday. He said at the event, "To the best of our abilities, we eliminated explanation and made it abstract." The anime short is the 11th work in the "Mirai e no Tegami―Kono Michi no Tochū kara" (Letters to the Future: From the Middle of This Path) project.

Shinji Tanimura (Heaven's Lost Property, Turn A Gundam theme songs) composed the song and wrote the lyrics. The Nihon University Tohoku High School's choir performs the song in the short. The song, lyrics, and score are available to download on Fukushima Prefecture's official website.

Fukushima Gainax announced in November that it is producing an anime titled Rescue Academia. The story will be set in the city of Minamisōma in Fukushima Prefecture, and will center around a down-and-out protagonist who gets to know a robot while working rescue efforts. The studio is producing the anime to promote Fukushima's "Innovation Coast" initiative that aims to revive industry and tourism in the region after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The anime is currently in production, and is slated to be finished in 2018.

Gainax opened the new studio in Fukushima in 2015. The new studio and museum makes use of a closed junior high school building. The studio announced its Flying Girls anime project in November that is set in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. The studio also debuted its "Miharu no Arumiigo" online series and its "Omoi no Kakera" (Fragments of Feelings) animated short to promote Fukushima last year.

Source: Fukushima Minyū

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