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Keiichi Hara's Next Anime Film Birthday Wonderland Opens on April 26

posted on by Karen Ressler
New film from Miss Hokusai director adapts 1988 children's book

Warner Bros. announced on Tuesday that director Keiichi Hara's next anime film is titled Birthday Wonderland, an adaptation of Sachiko Kashiwaba's 1988 children's book Chikashitru Kara no Fushigi na Tabi (Strange Journey From The Basement). The film is slated to open in Japan on April 26.

The staff unveiled a promotional video and two teaser visuals.


Russian artist Ilya Kuvshinov is designing the characters and visuals. Miho Maruo is writing the script.

Mayu Matsuoka is voicing the protagonist Akane in her first anime role.

The story follows Akane, a girl with no self-confidence. On the day before her birthday, she meets a mysterious alchemist Hippocrates and their student Pipo, who both tell her they're on a mission to save the world. Together, they set out from the basement for "Wonderland," and Akane finds herself labelled Wonderland's savior.

Hara had announced in 2017 that his next work would be a "female adventure fantasy." At the time, he debuted a teaser image.

Hara's most recent work, Miss Hokusai, debuted in May 2015. The film won the Jury Prize at Annecy in June 2015. Hara also won the Asiagraph 2015 Tsumugi Prize in recognition of individuals who have made valuable contributions to digital art.

Hara worked for years on the Crayon Shin-chan television anime series before garnering critical attention for such films as Crayon Shin-chan: Arashi o Yobu Appare! Sengoku Daikassen (Crayon Shin-chan; Brilliant! The Great Battle of the Warring States) and Summer Days with Coo. He earned the Jury's Special Distinction and the Audience Award for the bittersweet film Colorful at Annecy 2011. He has since made his first live-action film, a 2013 biography about the Japanese filmmaker Keisuke Kinoshita.

Sources: Birthday Wonderland film's website, Comic Natalie


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