The Scotland Loves Anime Festival announced on October 19 that Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko, Studio 4°C‘s anime film of Kanako Nishi‘s Gyokō no Nikuko-chan (Nikuko of the Fishing Harbor) novel, has won its Jury Award. Additionally, Funimation and J.C. Staff‘s original anime film coproduction Sing a Bit of Harmony (Ai no Utagoe o Kikasete) won the festival’s Audience Award.
Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko opened in Japan on June 11.
Ayumu Watanabe (Children of the Sea, Space Brothers) directed the anime at Studio 4°C. Satomi Ooshima (Hataraki Man) wrote the script. Kenichi Konishi (Children of the Sea, A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd) was the character designer and chief animation director. Sanma Akashiya (Santa Claus Tsukamaeta! screenwriter and original creator) planned and produced the film. ASMIK Ace distributed the film.
10-year-old Kurumi Inagaki performed a GReeeeN-produced cover of “Image no Uta,” the debut single of veteran singer-songwriter Takuro Yoshida, as the film’s theme song. GReeeeN performed the film’s ending theme song “Taketen.”
Gentosha published the original novel in April 2014. The “human drama” novel centers on a mother named Nikuko and her daughter, Kikuko, who live on a boat. The novel follows their paths in life, and their growth. The novels have more than 350,000 copies in print.
Sing a Bit of Harmony opened in Japan on Friday. Funimation will screen the film in theaters in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand in early 2022.
Funimation describes the film:
Sing a Bit of Harmony tells the story of the beautiful and mysterious Shion (Tao Tsuchiya) who transfers to Keibu High School where she quickly becomes popular for her open-hearted personality and exceptional athletic talent… but she turns out to be an AI (artificial intelligence) in the testing phase! Shion’s goal is to bring chronic loner Satomi (Haruka Fukuhara) “happiness.” But her strategy is something no human would expect: she serenades Satomi in the middle of the classroom. After finding out that Shion is an AI, Satomi and her childhood friend, engineering geek Toma (Asuka Kudo), steadily warm up to the new student. Along with the popular and attractive Gotchan (Kazuyuki Okitsu), the strong-willed Aya (Mikako Komatsu), and judo club member “Thunder” (Satoshi Hino), they become more and more moved by Shion’s singing voice and earnestness even as her antics bewilder them. But what Shion does for Satomi’s sake ends up involving them all in some serious pandemonium… Get ready for the heartwarming story of a not quite market-ready AI and her classmates!
Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Time of Eve and Patema Inverted) directed the film. Yoshiura and Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass, Princess Principal, Seven Days War) co-wrote the script. Kanna Kii, the creator of the Seaside Stranger manga, drew the original character designs. Shuichi Shimamura (Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile) designed the characters for animation, and was also the chief animation director. Ryō Takahashi (Sk8 the Infinity) composed the music, and Yohei Matsui (Ensemble Stars!) wrote the songs.
Source: Scotland Loves Anime Festival’s Twitter account