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Sunao Katabuchi Streams The Mourning Children Anime's Pilot Film

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Yūji Kaneko credited as new art director for upcoming film taking place in Kyoto in 10th century

Sunao Katabuchi screened a pilot film for his new feature-length anime film The Mourning Children: Nagiko and the Girls Wearing Tsurubami Black (Tsurubami-Iro no Nagiko-tachi) at the Kyoto International Manga and Anime Fair on Saturday.

Yūji Kaneko (Ranking of Kings, Little Witch Academia, Kill la Kill) is now credited as the art director. (Toshiharu Mizutani was credited as art director in previous videos for the film.)

Katabuchi began developing the project in 2017. The story is set in Kyoto during the 10th century "when The Pillow Book was written" by real-life literary figure Sei Shōnagon.

A previous video for the film teased that the film's story will feature an epidemic, and teased that Sei Shōnagon will be a character in the film, alongside character names such as Koretada, Tokinaka, Chikatada, and Takaie.

Katabuchi is credited with the original work and is also penning the script in addition to directing the film. Chie Uratani (Hijikata Toshizo: Shiro no Kiseki, Princess Arete, Ushiro no Shōmen Daare) is serving as directing assistant (translated as co-director in the pilot film), and Masashi Ando (The Deer King, Princess Mononoke) is the chief animation director. Akira Senju (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Mobile Suit Victory Gundam) is composing the music.

Contrail, the anime studio that Katabuchi established in September 2019, is producing the film. MAPPA's Manabu Ohtsuka is Contrail's representative director, and Katabuchi is a board member. The company is located in Tokyo's Suginami ward.

Katabuchi has directed such anime as Black Lagoon, Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail, Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage, Mai Mai Miracle, Princess Arete, and Meiken Lassie. He wrote the screenplay and directed the critically acclaimed In This Corner of the World film, which opened in November 2016. The extended version of the film, In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World, opened in Japan in December 2019.

Source: Stage presentation at Kyoto International Manga Anime Fair

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