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Studio Ponoc Reveals Anime Short Anthology Project by Ghibli Veterans

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
1st volume is August 24's Modest Heroes by When Marnie Was There's Hiromasa Yonebayashi, others

Studio Ponoc revealed on Tuesday that it is working on a new anime project titled Ponoc Short Films Theatre (Ponoc Tanpen Gekijō). The project is an anthology of anime shorts, divided into volumes with different themes, the first of which is titled Modest Heroes (Chiisana Eiyū: Kani to Tamago to Tōmei Ningen), which opens in Japan on August 24. Studio Ponoc debuted a teaser video for the project in both English and Japanese.

Modest Heroes will consist of three shorts by three different directors: "Kanini & Kanino" ("Kanini to Kanino") by Hiromasa Yonebayashi will be a 15-minute fantasy adventure story of two crab siblings. "Life Ain't Gonna Lose" ("Samurai Egg") by Yoshiyuki Momose will be a 15-minute "human drama" showing the love between a mother and a boy. "Invisible" ("Tōmei Ningen") by Akihiko Yamashita will be a 14-minute "action spectacle" that centers on the lonely struggle of one invisible man. Studio Ponoc describes the shorts as "tales of Modest Heroes of our times."

Yonebayashi, who directed the studio's previous Mary and The Witch's Flower film and Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There, will tackle an original story for the first time. Momose worked closely with Ghibli director Isao Takahata in various roles on his films Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, including as animation director, storyboarder, visual design, and special scene design. Yamashita also worked in various roles in Hayao Miyazaki's films in Ghibli, including as animator, animation director, character designer, animation supervisor, and assistant director in such films as Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, and The Wind Rises.

The cast for the Modest Heroes shorts include Joe Odagiri, Machiko Ono, Min Tanaka, Yasutaka Nakata, and Takatsugu Muramatsu.

Yoshiaki Nishimura is credited as producer for the project.

Mary and The Witch's Flower opened in Japan last July and has earned 3 billion yen (US$28 million). The home video release is slated for March 20 in Japan. GKIDS and Fathom Events opened the anime in U.S. theaters on January 18. The film had earned US$1.9 million in the United States as of February 8.

Source: Comic Natalie

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