Crunchyroll announced on Thursday that it has added the Backflip!! anime film and the Hula Fulla Dance anime film to its service. The Backflip!! film is available in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and CIS. Hula Fulla Dance is available in North America, Central America, South America, Europe (excluding the United Kingdom and Ireland), Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, CIS, and India.
The company will also add the Chinese-animated film The Legend of Hei on May 18 in the United States and Canada.
The Backflip!! film opened in Japan in July 2022. The film is based on the Backflip!! TV anime. The original 12-episode television anime premiered on Fuji TV‘s Noitamina programming block in April 2021. Crunchyroll streamed the anime as it aired in Japan.
The anime, which is set in Miyagi Prefecture, is one of three anime projects part of the larger “Zutto Ōen Project 2011 + 10…” initiative aimed at promoting Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima (the other two anime projects are Misaki no Mayoiga and Hula Fulla Dance). The “Zutto Ōen Project 2011 + 10…” is in remembrance of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami 12 years ago.
The anime is set in Miyagi Prefecture‘s Iwanuma City, and centers on a high school rhythmic gymnastics team. The anime follows Shōtarō Futaba, who is fascinated by gymnastics after seeing it in his third year of middle school, and joins the rhythmic gymnastics team of his new high school Sōshūkan High School, nicknamed “Ao High.” He makes a friend with his schoolmate Ryōya Misato, who earned fame as a gymnast during middle school.
Aniplex‘s original anime film Hula Fulla Dance opened in Japan in December 2021.
The film’s story centers on Hiwa Natsunagi (played by Haruka Fukuhara), a novice at hula dancing who nevertheless takes a job as a hula dancer at the real life Spa Resort Hawaiians hotel. The film shows the relationships between her and her colleagues. The same hotel in Iwaki city, Fukushima was also the setting for the popular 2006 film Hula Girls. Iwaki is also the setting for Gaina‘s Hulaing Babies anime, which is similarly centered on hula dancing.
Shinya Watada (Aikatsu Stars!, Gundam Build Divers, Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE) directed the film at Bandai Namco Pictures, with Seiji Mizushima (Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam 00) as supervising director. Reiko Yoshida (K-ON!, Violet Evergarden, Liz and the Blue Bird) penned the script. Aikatsu! anime character designer Hiroko Yaguchi designed the film’s characters. Michiru Oshima (Fullmetal Alchemist, Snow White with the Red Hair, Bloom Into You) composed the music.
Sources: Email correspondence, Crunchyroll (Kyle Cardine)
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc. (Sunrise) is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.
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