At the AnimeJapan 2023 expo the ‘NBCUniversal Entertainment’ booth highlighted 13 titles in total in a diverse array of colorful exhibits, with ‘Rokudo’s Bad Girls’, ‘The Demon Sword Master of Excalibur Academy’, ‘The Great Cleric’, ‘Tengoku-Daimakyo’, ‘Girlfriend, Girlfriend’ and ‘The Duke of Death and His Maid’ being showcased onstage on the 25th and ‘Kawagoe Boys Sing’, ‘Opus.COLORs’, ‘The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess’, ‘Golden Kamuy’ and ‘Whispering You a Love Song’ taking to the stage on the 26th.
Moreover, at the NBCUniversal Entertainment booth at AnimeJapan 2023, the new animated logo for NBCUniversal Anime & Music was announced. The logo was produced by Production I.G who have lent their talents to a number of popular series, such as ‘Ghost in the Shell’, the ‘PSYCHO-PASS’ series and the ‘Tengoku Daimakyo’ series, to name but a few.
The logo features an image of the earth as part of the Universal globe, a symbol of the company. In 24 seconds, rocks come together and form the earth, water emerges, life is born and the factors that give rise to civilization are depicted. The logo is at once full of energy and life but also an impressively polished pop logo. We are sure that you will be seeing it pop-up in a number of works moving forward, so make sure to look out for it.
- Original Animation: Tetsuya Masuda
- Color Design: Izumi Hirose
- Finish: Yuko Fujita
- Photography: Yumiko Nakata
- Editing: Taeko Hamauzu
- Animation Production: Production I.G
– Report on the Special Stage Showcases-
■Day 1 Saturday, March 25th
The Special Stage Showcase for ‘Rokudo’s Bad Girls’
With the televised anime series finally kicking off in April, the cast shared what they think viewers should pay particular attention to when watching the series. Gen Sato stated that ‘It has passionate friendships! It has battles! It has tears! Rokudo possesses an ‘extremely powerful grit!’. Mr. Sato put his heart and soul into his portrayal of Rokudo, garnering praise from women for his passionate performance.
The Special Stage Showcase for ‘The Demon Sword Master of Excalibur Academy’
Present on stage for this event were Marina Inoue, Yui Ishikawa, and Aya Suzaki, with comedian ‘Doichu’ acting as MC. The showcase introduced the world of the anime and its characters.
In addition, the four people onstage introduced the highlights of the series. The first point raised was the ‘profound world view’ adopted in the anime which was introduced in tandem with art and illustrations. Hiroyuki Morita, who has previously worked as director for Studio Ghibli (and who also acts as director for this series) beautifully managed to depict a world that blends fantasy and Sci-Fi.
While it has yet to be announced when it will be broadcast, please look forward to it.
The NBCUniversal Special Stage Showcase for ‘The Great Cleric’
This showcase featured Reiji Kawashima who lends his voice to main character Luciel, and Tomoaki Maeno, who voices Grulga.
During the event, videos were shown that featured Akio Otsuka who plays Brod and Showataro Morikubo, who it was first revealed would appear in the show as an additional character playing the teacher, Mr. Koun, driving the audience wild.
In addition, the two guests onstage read out comments from Nasuo☆, who sings the opening theme ‘Bagu-chan’, and Yuki Nakashima, who sings ‘A New Day’, the song that plays over the end credits.
‘The Great Cleric’, a TV anime that tells the story of the growth of Luciel, is scheduled to air on TBS and BS11 starting in June.
The NBCUniversal Special Stage Showcase for ‘Tengoku Daimakyo’
This showcase featured Sayaka Senbongi (who plays Kiruko), Misato Fukuen (Mimihime), Shunsuke Takeuchi (Shiro) and Tomoyo Kurosawa (Kuku).
Each cast member highlighted their own personal highlights from the series in a segment called ‘The Walk of the Tengoku Daimakyo’, informed by their unique perspectives. Ms. Fukuen emphasized the unique characteristics of the work saying ‘The story! The mysteries of this world! It boils down to this’. Mr. Takeuchu emphasized a very specific peronal highlight, saying, ‘Mimihime’s ears are so cute’. Ms. Kurosawa raised the ‘depth of the characters of the academy team’, who live in the Takahara Academy which is surrounded by a wall and labelled ‘paradise. Ms. Senpongi stated “I am focused on the action scenes and the interactions between Marco and Kiruko” who live on the Makyo side, in the ruined ruined Japan. She added that the action scenes were of particularly high quality, exceeding her expectations.
The TV anime Tengoku Daimakyo’ is being broadcast on Tokyo MX and other channels every Saturday at 22:00. “Disney+” has secured exclusive worldwide distribution rights for its streaming service.
The Special Stage Showcase of ‘Girlfriend, Girlfriend’
The first season of ‘Girlfriend, Girlfriend’ was broadcast in July 2021. It was announced that season 2 will finally commence its long-awaited run in October 2023.
The news that season 2 would commence its broadcast in October was greeted by a rapturous round of applause from attendees. This time production duties were handled by SynergySP. Beginning in season 2 Shino has a more expanded role. Rie Takahahsi who plays her, stated that she is ‘looking forward to seeing how the story develops’.
Other characters who join the cast from season 2 were also introduced. When the character design for Rika Hoshizaki’s younger sister Risa was revealed and it was announced that Aoi Koga would play her, Junya Enoki let it slip that he wonders if she might also fall for Naoya. When the the female cast heard this, they cried out ‘Do something about us first!’.
The Special Stage Showcase of ‘The Duke of Death and His Maid’
The TV anime ‘The Duke of Death and His Maid’ began its run in July 2021, with season 2 scheduled to begin in July of 2023.
At this event, the new characters that will appear in season 2 were announced, along with the voice cast who will play them. The head of the ‘Gemini’ circus troupe, who is treated as strange for his laid-back personality but trusted by other members of the troupe is portrayed by Masaaki Mizunaka, with Reina Ueda playing the role of Amelia, a witch who specializes in breaking curses.
In addition, the opening theme ‘Kimi to Review’ will be carried over from season 1 and continue to be sung as a duet between Bocchan and Alice. Ayumi Mano stated that, “It’s a really cute song and you won’t be able to stop yourself from humming along”. “Hoshikuzu Requiem” (Stardust Requiem) has been decided upon as the ending theme.
This season features a deeper exploration into the characters that emerges gradually in tandem with a slow reveal of secrets of the curse, so please look forward to it hitting your screen!
■Day 2, Sunday March 26th
The Special Stage Showcase for ‘Kawagoe Boys Sing’
The event featured the first showing of a teaser music video, with the cast taking to the stage dressed in the uniforms of their characters, just as the expectations of the audience piqued. There were 10 guests in total, making for a lively and extravagant stage show.
The cast were also seeing the teaser music video for the first time on the day, with Subaru Kimura taking to his feet and highlighting points of interest in the video that would surely attract the attention of any viewer, stating, “The song that was just shown off earlier was really interesting, right?” By the way, the background music accompanying the NBCUniversal logo that was shown before the video began was sung by a chorus of the characters of the anime emphasizing that this work was one that is centered around “song”.
The Special Stage Showcase for ‘Opus.COLORs’
An announcement was made of plans for merchandise involving collaborations between Illumination’s ‘Minions’, the artful teenage anime ‘Opus.COLORs’, the teenage musical anime ‘Star-myu’, the voice actor ‘Natsuki Hanae’ and the music artist ‘Urashimasakatasen’.
Following on from this, a new music video from the anime was unveiled for the first time. It raised the question of ‘What is the meaning of the perception art found in this work?’ The atmosphere was conveyed in the subtle finish of the video, with cast members adding “This video will raise expectations even higher!” The production of this art part was headed up by OTOIRO, with creators from companies in a wide variety of fields such as DECO*27 assisting.
‘Opus.COLORs’, a TV anime imbued with art that tells the human story of a group of teenagers, premiers at midnight on Thursday, April 6th.
The Special Stage Showcase for ‘The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess’
This event showcased the TV anime ‘The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess’ which will commence broadcasting in October 2023.
Speaking about the anime, Manaka Iwami explained ‘It’s really fun! It mixes the comedic and the serious, so it’s like getting your fill of salt and sugar at the same time.” Miyuri Shimabukuro said that “there is a gap between how the characters look and their true character and it’s the same for the anime itself”. In addition, Fairouz Ai told the story of how she read an old version of the script in her studio audition, rather than the latest one. However, it was the kind of pleasant working environment where her colleagues involved in producing the series would simply find such events funny and warmly laugh them off.
The Special Stage Showcase for the TV Anime ‘Golden Kamuy’ – Right Before the 4th Season
Chikahiro Kobayashi (who plays Saichi Sugimoto), Haruka Shiraishi (Asirpa), Kentaro Ito (Yoshitake Shiraishi), Kenyu Horiuchi (Sergent Kituka), Masaaki Mizunaka (Ariko Rikimatsu) and Tomokazu Seki (Botaro Kaizoku) graced the stage for this showcase.
Round 2 of the collaboration between ‘Golden Kamuy’ and Sanrio characters was announced at the event. Visuals showing a collaboration between 25 different characters were also shown off.
The fourth season of the TV anime ‘Golden Kamuy’ is being broadcast every Monday at 11pm on Tokyo MX and other stations. It is also available to stream now on demand exclusively on Prime Video.
The Special Stage Showcase for ‘Whispering You a Love Song’
The TV anime ‘Whispering You a Love Song’ is scheduled to begin its run in January 2024, so the cast selected famous scenes from the first volume of the manga to convey the charm of the series.
The vocals for the band members that appear in ‘Whispering You a Love Song’ are actually performed by real artists, so fans were greeted to a surprise guest appearance by Kana Sasakura who takes on the vocals of Yori Asanaga, and Sui Mizukami, who performs the vocals of Izumi Shiho. Both guests were nervous but Ms. Sasakura wowed attendees with a performance of the theme song from SSGIRLS, ‘Humming Love’ (Lyrics: Shoko Fujibayashi/Music: Tako Yamaguchi/Editing: Katsuhiko Kurosu) and Ms. Mizukami performed ‘Meritocracy’ (Lyrics and Music: Sho Watanabe/Editing: Takuya Watanabe) the theme song from Lorelai. Both performers make their screen debut in ‘Whispering You a Love Song’ and they hope to imbue the series with energy through music.
|The special website for the ‘NBCUniversal Entertainment’ presence at AnimeJapan 2023
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