Yutaka Yamamoto's Hakubo Anime Launches Kickstarter for English Subtitles

posted on by Karen Ressler
Project also seeks to expand Fukushima theatrical premiere

Director Yutaka Yamamoto launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for his original anime project Hakubo (Twilight) on Wednesday. The project is seeking to raise 5 million yen (US$45,329) by March 31 in order to create English subtitles and expand the anime's theatrical premiere in Fukushima. Specifically, the project aims to give away tickets to Fukushima students and hold screenings in public facilities in areas that are not near theaters.

The campaign is offering a Blu-ray Disc release of Hakubo for those backing 10,800 yen (about US$98) or more. Other rewards include a signed copy of the Hakubo novel, key frame art, and a tour of Yamamoto's Twilight Studio.

As of press time, the project has raised US$1,953.

The anime previously had a Japanese Campfire crowdfunding campaign to fund the initial project. The project met its goal of 15 million yen (about US$137,000) in April 2017. The anime was previously slated for 2018 before being delayed to 2019. The official website announced last month that the anime will open in Japan at Porepore Cinemas Iwaki Onahama in Fukushima prefecture on May 24, then screen elsewhere in Fukushima before getting a larger countrywide release.

Yamamoto (also known as Yamakan) himself is credited with the original work, script, direction, and sound direction. Sunao Chikaoka (Wake Up, Girls!) is designing the characters and is also the chief animation director. Merrill Macnaut is the art director, Fuyuto Muraguchi is handling the color design, and Yō Yamada (Black Bullet) is in charge of sound production. Sōhei Kano (Fractale) is composing the music. Twilight Studio is in charge of animation.

The cast includes Hiyori Sakurada, Seishirō Katō, Hiro Shimono, Ayane Sakura, Kana Hanazawa, Kaori Fukuhara, Sumi Shimamoto, and Sora Amamiya.

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 Tōhoku 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 Tōhoku.

Yamamoto has posted his original novel that inspired the anime online.

Source: Hakubo Kickstarter campaign via WTK

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