Yutaka Yamamoto Will Produce Twilight Anime Film Even if Crowdfunding Fails
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Anime director Yutaka Yamamoto (Yamakan) posted on his Twitter account last week that even if the crowdfunding campaign on his new Hakubo (Twilight) original anime film project does not meet its goal, he plans to continue production on the project.
The campaign seeks to raise 15 million yen (about US$131,598) to fund production, and as of press time has raised 5,570,515 yen (about US$48,680) with 52 days remaining. The campaign will end on April 29. The film is slated for 2018.
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.