The Scotland Loves Anime Festival took place last month, and it included two categories where anime could win: the Jury Award and the Audience Award. The Jury Award went to Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko, and the Audience Award went to Sing a Bit of Harmony.
Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko is based on the novel Gyokō no Nikuko-chan (translated as Nikuko of the Fishing Harbor) by Kanako Nishi. The anime movie adaptation was directed by Ayumu Watanabe, who previously worked on Children of the Sea. Its script was written by Satomi Ooshima of Hataraki Man, and it premiered in Japan back in June. This is how it’s described:
“Fortune Favours Lady Nikuko is the heartwarming and moving comedy drama of an unconventional family ‒ a not-so-ordinary mother-and-daughter pair who live their lives to the fullest.
Easy-going, cheerful, passionate and always ready to eat something delicious, mother Nikuko falls hard for the bad guys. Her happy motto: ‘Being ordinary is best of all!’
Naturally Nikukoʼs loud and bold spirit embarrasses 11-year-old Kikuko, her daughter on the verge of puberty. With nothing in common except living together on a boat at the port, a miracle occurs when their secret is revealed.”
Meanwhile, Sing a Bit of Harmony is an original anime co-produced by Funimation and J.C. Staff. It’s directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, who previously worked on Time of Eve. The script was written by Yoshiura and Ichiro Okouchi of Code Geass. It just came out in Japanese theaters last week. This is how it’s described:
“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!”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.