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Doraemon Co-Creator Fujiko Fujio A’s Long-Lost Fūta-kun Pilot Anime Rediscovered on Film

A long-lost pilot anime for the Fūta-kun manga by Doraemon co-creator Fujiko Fujio A (real name Motoo Abiko) has been rediscovered on film.

In response to an inquiry from a video software researcher, Tokyo film company Kokuei searched for and found a film of Fūta-kun in a warehouse. In response to social media, the company will digitize the discolored film and restore the image. Kokuei is asking Tokyo Laboratory for help with these processes.

NTV had planned to air an anime for Fūta-kun in 1967. Although the COM magazine had reported that there was a completed pilot for two 15-minute segments for Fūta-kun, NTV never aired it. However, following a research investigation, it was discovered that Hiroshima TV had aired the pilot once on December 11, 1972, from 4:30-4:45 p.m.

The production company for the pilot has already disbanded, but parent company Kokuei still remains.

The original manga launched in Shonen Gahosha’s Weekly Shonen King in 1964 and ran until 1967. The gag manga follows Fūta-kun, who travels around the country working part-time jobs in order to save up 1 million yen.

Fujiko Fujio A passed away on April 7.

Fujiko Fujio A is perhaps best known for his collaboration with Fujiko F. Fujio (real name Hiroshi Fujimoto) under the collective pseudonym Fujiko Fujio. The duo penned the world-famous Doraemon manga about the titular robot cat from the future and his friendship with the boy Nobita. The manga ran from 1970 to 1996. The pair worked together before parting in 1987, with Abiko taking the Fujiko Fujio A pseudonym, and Fujimoto taking the Fujiko Fujio F (later Fujiko F. Fujio) pseudonym. Fujimoto passed away in 1996. Doraemon has launched one of the most successful children’s media franchises in the world, inspiring numerous anime films and three separate television anime runs, the third of which began in 2005 and is still ongoing and remains one of the most highly rated anime on Japanese television week after week.

Motoo Abiko also penned a number of successful manga series, including Ninja Hattori-kun, Kaibutsu-kun, Pro Golfer Saru, and Warau Salesman. Ninja Hattori-kun inspired a television anime that ran from 1981 to 1987, three anime films from 1982 to 1984, and a live-action film in 2004. Kaibutsu-kun inspired two television anime that ran from 1968 to 1969 and 1980 to 1982, respectively, as well as two anime films in 1981 and 1982. Pro Golfer Saru inspired a 1982 TV anime special, a television anime that ran from 1985 to 1988, and two anime films in 1986 and 1987. Warau Salesman inspired a television anime that ran from 1989 to 1992, as well as The Laughing Salesman NEW, a 2017 television anime that represents the latest adaptation of his individual work.

Source: Huffington Post (安藤健二) via Otakomu

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