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Project Anima Announces Results of Science-Fiction/Robot Anime Contest

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Satelight to produce anime of Nekotarō Inui's Sakugan Labyrinth Marker novel for 2020 broadcast

The official website for Project Anima announced on Friday that Nekotarō Inui's Sakugan Labyrinth Marker (Drilling Labyrinth Marker) novel is the runner-up for the "Science-Fiction/Robot" category of the competition. Satelight (Macross, Aquarion, Symphogear) will produce an anime adaptation of the work that is slated for a 2020 broadcast.

The novel's description on the Everystar website reads:

The distant future, long after the Western calendar is no longer used.

Humans live shoulder-to-shoulder, cramped in the "Labyrinth," an underground world deep below the surface.

There are many colonies where people live in the underground Labyrinth. The place is known for extreme high temperatures, but also for lodes of gold, silver, and other riches.

In one of the colonies named Pin-in, a curious nine-year-old girl named Memenpū and her father Gaganbaa board a two-person work robot and mine for ore. They eke a living as the lowest of lowest "Worker" occupations.

One day, Memenpū begs her father Gaganbaa to set out as Markers — those who chart the innards of the Labyrinth as a spelunker — to search for her mother who left their home.

If they encounter a "mysterious giant creature" lurking in the caves, the survival rate is less than 5%. Since discovering an unknown world is dangerous work, "maps" hold great value in the world of Labyrinth and fetch high prices on the market.

A Marker is the most dangerous, but also the most lucrative, job.

Gaganbaa decides he cannot hold back the ever-curious Memenpū from going off on her own countless times, and finally gives in. The two embark on a journey together in the work robot.

However, the "cost" of curiosity …

The "truth" they finally uncovered …

This is a father and daughter's epic journey with the theme of family love.

Judges decided that no work in the "Science-Fiction/Robot" category fit the project's criterion of being an "idea overflowing with originality that makes a new genre of animation." Therefore, Inui's work was a runner-up and did not receive a grand prize — even though it will still be animated. In addition to the anime adaptation, Inui will receive a monetary prize of 1 million yen (about US$9,050) at an award ceremony that will be held at the C3AFA Tokyo 2018 event in Makuhari Messe in Chiba on August 25.

The "Science-Fiction/Robot" category was further divided into novel and script, manga, and proposal and other submission categories for judging. Submissions were accepted from both professional and amateur creators, as well as from both individuals and groups such as companies from February 1 to April 15. The project received thousands of submissions.

The electronic and mobile commerce company DeNA's editors and producers were judges for the first phase. DeNA, advertising agency and sponsor Sotsu Co., Ltd., radio station Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, and radio and television company Mainichi Broadcasting System judged the second wave of the competition along with Satelight producers. Directors joined the judges for the final stage of judging.

Each category of the project has different application and judging periods. Staff plan to announce the interim results for the "Another World / Fantasy" category in mid-September. The project is accepting submissions in the "Kids / Game" category until November 15.

Project Anima is accepting story submissions from the general public through DeNA's MangaBox, Everystar, and similar user-submitted content platforms. The companies are hosting competitions in three categories. J.C. Staff (A Certain Magical Index, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, Children of the Whales) will animate the winner of the "Another World / Fantasy" category, and Doga Kobo (Majestic Prince) will animate the winner of the "Kids / Game" category.

Project Anima is a collaboration between companies to make three television anime in different genres for the 2020 broadcast season. Mengo Yokoyari (Scum's Wish) drew the project's main visual (pictured above right).

The project allows submissions in the form of novels, scripts, manga drafts, thumbnail sketches, illustrations, videos, and other formats. The project also accepts submissions from both professional and amateur creators, as well as from both individuals and groups such as companies. In addition to the television anime adaptations, the three main partners and the collaborating productions companies will explore other adaptations for the winning entries such as books, manga, and games.

Sources: Project Anima's website, Everystar, Comic Natalie

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