Hatsune Miku designer to release new anime

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The illustrator who helped create the computer-generated idol Hatsune Miku has teamed up with anime studio Gonzo K.K. on a new anime series called “Copihan.”

The anime will be streamed online by the Nico Nico Douga video-sharing website starting from Aug. 11 and will revolve around nine cute-looking characters created by the illustrator KEI, who rose to fame over the Internet and is best known for the Hatsune Miku character. Much of the detail of the plot is being kept under wraps.

Yusuke Kamada, who worked on many well-known anime projects including “Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny,” is the animation director and character designer for the series. Gonzo are well known for the “Strike Witches” and “Saki” animated TV series.

A section dedicated to the new anime, called “Copihan Channel,” has been set up on the Nico Nico Douga website. The first episode will be streamed at midnight on Aug. 11, or midnight on Aug. 12. Subsequent episodes will stream on every other Thursday at midnight.

A 30-minute talk show in which members of the anime production team will talk about the production process will be streamed live online at 10 p.m. on Aug. 11, just before the first episode.

A related online event started on Aug. 2 at the Nico Nico Seiga website. Fans are encouraged to post their illustrations based on the anime. Those illustrations may be featured at the end of each episode.

For more information, visit the anime’s official website at (http:copihan.com/), and Nico Nico Douga at (http://ch.nicovideo.jp/channel/copihan) and Nico Nico Seiga at (http://info.nicovideo.jp/seiga/endcard/).

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura, who make up the girl pop duo Puffy, or Puffy AmiYumi, will guest star on the popular “Usagi Drop” (Bunny Drop) animated TV series, the anime and Puffy’s official websites announced.

They will make an appearance in the form of anime characters in the ninth episode, which will air on Sept. 1, the websites said.

“Usagi Drop” is a popular anime show airing on Fuji Television Network Inc.’s “noitaminA” animation block and elsewhere. It revolves around a 30-year-old single man named Daikichi who becomes the guardian of Rin, his grandfather’s illegitimate 6-year-old daughter.

In the show, they will play instructors at the nursery school that Rin, and her friend Koki attend, they said.

After they recorded their lines, Ami and Yumi shared their excitement for their collaboration with the anime.

“I think our personality traits and vibes are expressed very well. You can see which one is Ami or Yumi when you look at the picture,” Yumi said. “I’m very nervous what you will think when our pictures are given life on the air.”

“But actually, that character is not speaking in a voice I imagined she would speak,” Ami said, laughing, of her character in the show. “I wanted her to speak in a prettier voice. …”

Ami also said she was overwhelmed to see how devoted the production staff members were. She even said she thought she should have enrolled in a voice acting class.

A big fan of “Usagi Drop,” Yumi said they were under pressure not to destroy the anime’s world.

Puffy is also popular outside Japan and has performed theme songs for many animated series. For “Usagi Drop,” they sing the main theme song titled “Sweet Drops.”

The song is also used as the theme song for the live-action adaptation of the anime, which is based on the manga of the same title by Yumi Unita. The movie will hit cinemas across the country on Aug. 20.

“I love the original manga, and the anime is such a good piece of work, and we sing the song as we conjure up their images in our minds,” Yumi said. “I’d be happy if you would think everything about it is great.”

“I think it will reach the hearts of girls our age, and we’d like men to see how Daikichi lives his life,” Ami said. “This is a kind of work that is not only fun but also a little thought-provoking.”

Visit the anime’s website at (http://www.usagi-drop.tv).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.