New video shows storyboards, teases character names
Contrail, the anime studio that director Sunao Katabuchi established in September 2019 for a new feature-length animated film, posted a second English-subtitled video on Tuesday to introduce Katabuchi’s next film. The video features behind-the-scenes footage and storyboard footage. Additionally, the video teases that the film’s story will feature an epidemic, and teases that Sei Shōnagon will be a character in the film, alongside character names such as Koretada, Tokinaka, Chikatada, and Takaie.
The story is set in Kyoto during the 10th century “when The Pillow Book was written” by real-life literary figure Sei Shōnagon. (Katabuchi noted that Sei Shōnagon appeared in his previous film Mai Mai Miracle.)
Chie Uratani (Hijikata Toshizo: Shiro no Kiseki, Princess Arete, Ushiro no Shōmen Daare) is serving as directing assistant (translated as co-director in the video), and Masashi Ando (The Deer King) is the chief animation director. Toshiharu Mizutani (Akira, Children of the Whales, Banana Fish, Little Busters!) is directing the art.
Katabuchi began developing the project five years ago in 2017, and the film began full-fledged animation production during this fiscal year. Contrail started accepting applications for animation and production staff in January 2020.
Katabuchi said he chose the new studio’s name with the thoughts of “I want to make an animated work that will be loved by many people forever.” MAPPA‘s Manabu Ohtsuka is Contrail’s representative director, and Katabuchi is a board member. The company is located in Tokyo’s Suginami ward.
Katabuchi has directed such anime as Black Lagoon, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage, Mai Mai Miracle, Princess Arete, and Meiken Lassie. He wrote the screenplay and directed the critically acclaimed In This Corner of the World film, which opened in November 2016. The extended version of the film, In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World, opened in Japan on December 20, 2019.
Source: Contrail’s YouTube channel