Studio 4˚C, known for movies like ‘Children of the Sea’ and ‘Tekkonkinkreet’, is now producing a new anime film called Gyokō no Nikuko-san (Nikuko of the Fishing Harbor), an adaptation of Kanako Nishi’s novel. It will be released in Japanese theatres in early summer this year.
The director of the anime film is Ayumu Watanabe, with Sanma Akashiya planning and producing the film. Kenichi Konishi (known for his work on ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’, among other Studio Ghibli movies) is the character designer and chief animation designer, and Satomi Ooshima the scriptwriter.
This is the first anime movie of Studio 4˚C that is to be released in theatres and has been a five-year-long project that is finally coming to the screens. It is also a producer and planner of Sanma’s first time producing an anime film. Sanma has previous experience producing and planning Netflix’s Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot. To him, ‘Nikuko of the Fishing Harbor’ “is a very good and moving work, so I wanted to make it into a movie. When I made an offer, Kanako Nishi immediately accepted it. It was finally realized after waiting for about 5 years after I first talked about it,” he revealed that it was a visualization that fulfilled his expectations.
Originally a novel published in April 2014, Kanako Nishi’s work is a “human drama” novel depicting the trajectory and growth of Nikuko and Kikuko, a mother and daughter who live on a boat at a fishing port.
The released visual depicts Nikuko smiling on the ship and Kikuko concentrating on reading, and says that “Big and cheerful Nikuko brings happiness to everyone.”
Published by Gentosha, the novel has more than 350,000 copies in circulation.
Ayumu Watanabe is “glad that Sanma Akashiya gave me a chance to animate. I like all the novels written by Kanako Nishi because they are full of visual elements. I was fascinated by the intense characters in her novels, so much that they feel even fantastical in a sense.”
Nishi, however, could not believe that Akashiya— who she has seen on TV and in movies since her childhood—would be producing the movie. She has also talked about how she “drew my ideal world” while writing the novel, and that she “couldn’t help but love all the characters.”
For future updates on the movie, you can also check the official website.