GKIDS Screens 'Summer Ghost' Anime Short in N. America in Summe

  • GKIDS announced on Thursday that it has acquired the North American distribution rights to the "Summer Ghost" anime short, the directorial debut of illustrator loundraw (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, Josee, The Tiger and the Fish, Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song-). The company will release the anime in Japanese with English subtitles and with a new English dub in theaters this summer. The anime will screen along with a documentary about the production of the film and additional special content.

    Chiaki Kobayashi stars as the main character Tomoya Sugisaki, a third-year student with good grades. However, he is reluctant to take the college entrance exams because he rather be drawing art.

    The other cast members include:

    Miyuri Shimabukuro as Aoi Harukawa, a second-year student who is dealing with bullying in the high school's clique system

    Nobunaga Shimazaki as Ryō Kobayashi, a third-year student who is a popular member of the basketball team, but is now facing an illness he hasn't told even his friends about

    The story of the short developed from a single illustration that loundraw had drawn. Tomoya, Aoi, and Ryō are high school students who met online. An urban legend speaks of a "summer ghost," a spirit girl who appears when fireworks are set off.

    Tomoya cannot live the life he envisioned for himself. Aoi cannot find her place in the world. Ryō has his once shining future suddenly pulled away. Each has their own reason for needing to meet the summer ghost. On a summer night when life and death cross paths, where will each of their emotions take them?

    In addition to directing, loundraw also drafted the original character designs, and Flat Studio, the studio loundraw established in 2019, is animating. Hirotaka Adachi, better known as the novelist Otsuichi (Stare film, Goth, Calling You, Zoo), wrote the screenplay. Flagship Line is planning and producing the project, and Avex Pictures is distributing. In addition to internationally renowned pianist Akira Kosemura, Itoko Toma, Guiano, and Hideya Kojima are contributing to the soundtrack.

    Yoshi Inomi launched the manga adaptation in the Tonari no Young Jump service on October 8, and its compiled book volume shipped on November 19. The anime's scriptwriter (and acclaimed novelist) Otsuichi wrote a novelization that expands the story, and it shipped on October 29. In addition, the spinoff original novel Ichinose Yūna ga Uiteiru (Yūna Ichinose Is Floating), which picks up the motif of "fireworks and ghosts," shipped on November 26.

    The short is part of Project Common, a multimedia initiative "to express the true loundraw." The illustrator said last summer, "Unchanging at any time, I want to find my steadfast self. This project is a challenge to find the true 'loundraw' with myself and everyone." The project's website included the English text "real or fake? The way he thinks, the way he draws. These all become 'one.'"

    loundraw drew the original character designs for the Tsuki ga Kirei television anime series, and also provided the original character designs and cover illustration for Yoru Sumino's I Want to Eat Your Pancreas novel. The novel has inspired an anime film using his original character designs. He also drew the character designs for an animated promotional video based on Yusuke Yamada's Boku wa Robot Goshi no Kimi ni Koi wo Suru (I fall in love with you through a robot) novel. The novel is also getting a full animated film adaptation.


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