Will Studio Colorido be the next Studio Ghibli? Animation studio Colorido just signed a multi-year deal with Neflix to co-produce three anime movies.
The first, Drifting Home (Ame Wo Tsugeru Hyouryuu Danchi), will premiere on September 16, 2022. It will be produced by Twin Engine. Fans of Penguin Highway, Burn the Witch and A Whisker Away can look forward to the magic of Studio Colorido for Drifting Home.
Studio Colorido’s first film was Penguin Highway, which was released in 2018 and has been viewed in more than 30 countries.
A Whisker Away was distributed exclusively on Netflix in 2020 and reached their top 10 movie rankings. A Whisker Away was directed by Tomotaka Shibayama alongside Junichi Sato. The screenplay is written by Mari Okada and the music is composed by Mina Kubota. The opening song of the film titled Hana ni Borei and the closing song Usotsuki were both sung by the Japanese rock duo Yorushika.
Hiroyasu Ishida directed Penguin Highway in 2018 at the age of 29. Drifting Home will be his 2nd feature film that he will direct at the age of 33. Hiroyasu Ishida won the 42nd Japan Academy Prize for Animation of Excellence and the Fantasia International Film Festival Kon Award (prize for best animation).
Drifting Home: Adorable puppy love, supernatural mysteries and adventure await…
The plot revolves around Kousuke and Natsume who are childhood friends. However, their relationship becomes strained as they get older and they begin to develop “puppy love” for each other. These new uneases cause the two sixth-graders to avoid each other because they don’t know how to interact with each other anymore.
One day, during summer vacation, they decide to visit an old residential complex where they grew up that is slated to be demolished. The place holds many fond memories of their childhood that they spent together.
While exploring the housing complex, they are suddenly swept up in a mysterious supernatural phenomenon. When they regain consciousness, they discover that the housing complex has drifted into the middle of a mystical ocean and their friends are trapped there too. Kousuke, Natsume and their friends will have to work together to find a way to return to their previous reality before it’s too late.
A new Netflix trailer has just been released for the film.
Studio Colorido’s Legacy Started With Penguin Highway
Penguin Highway was originally a Japanese sci-fi novel written by Tomihiko Morimi that was published in 2010. It was later picked up for a manga serialization in Media Factory’s Monthly Comic, live from March 27, 2018 to February 27, 2019. Due to the success of the manga, an anime film adaptation by Studio Colorido was made and premiered in August 2018.
The plot revolves around a young fourth-grader named Aoyama-kun. When penguins suddenly appear in his village, he sets out to find the mysterious reason behind this phenomenon. He discovers that it is somehow related to the strength of a young witch who works in a dental clinic.
The film has the same surreal and whimsical qualities that anime fans have come to expect from Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. Penguin Highway set the ‘theme’ for the next films that Studio Colorido would animate.
Hiroyasu Ishida directed the film, Yojiro Arai oversaw the character design, Makoto Ueda wrote the screenplay, and Umitaro Abe composed the music. The theme song of the movie is called Good Night and it was sung by the popular and renowned Hikaru Utada whose songs have always had a very whimsical fairytale feel to them.
The film premiered at Crunchyroll Expo in San Jose on September 2, 2018 and a wider release on April 12, 2019. The film is now available on DVD Blu-ray and digitally from Shout! Factory.
Who thought they would see a Coke can turn into a penguin?
Watch the Penguin Highway trailer here:
Studio Colorido will then team up with Bleach creator Tite Kube!
Burn the Witch was originally a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo, who is best known for his manga Bleach. In July 2018, it was published as a one-shot in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. It was then decided that there would be a serial continuation of the one-shot in Weekly Shonen Jump with a seasonal release schedule.
Four chapters were published from August to September 2020 and it is considered an ongoing series. Studio Colorido produced the Burn the Witch anime movie and it premiered in Japan on October 2, 2020.
Burn the Witch was directed by Tatsuro Kawano. The film is distributed by Shochiku. The theme song for the film is called Blowing and is sung by Nil. On October 1, 2020, Crunchyroll streamed the film in three episodes. Viz Media will release the series on DVD.
The story of Burn the Witch is set in the Bleach universe, which, as any true anime otaku worth their salt knows, is filled with evil spirits called Hollows and the Shinigami or Soul Reapers who defeat them. In the anime/manga Bleach, high school student Ichigo Kurosaku has the ability to see ghosts and one day gets soul reaper powers from Rukia Kuchiki. Then he fights Hollows by her side.
Burn the Witch is about two witches named Noel Niihashi and Ninny Spangcole, who work for the Western Branch of Soul Society, which is located in Reverse London (an alternate version of London that exists in another dimension). Noel and Ninny are protection agents working for a mysterious organization known as Wing Bind that is concerned with the conservation and management of dragons. Their main responsibility is to protect the dragons and make sure they don’t hurt any of the innocent civilians in London, who can’t see the dragons flying around them.
This particular film has a fantasy, medieval feel with added surrealistic elements. Watch the official Crunchyroll trailer for Burn the Witch here:
Studio Colorido became famous after the success with A Whisker Away
In the story A Whisker Away, Miyo Sasaki is an optimistic, cheerful high school girl, despite her relationship with her father having been strained since he remarried. The way her new stepmother tries to act like her new mother annoys Miyo and makes her stressed.
Miyo falls in love with one of her classmates – Kento Hinode. By focusing all her time and energy on her crush and coming up with strange ways to show that she likes him, she manages to take her mind off her own problems.
However, these “demonstrations of love” only serve to confuse Hinode about Miyo’s true intentions. Miyo begins to lose hope that her feelings will ever be successful on Hinode when a supernatural opportunity arises where she can use a mask to turn into a cat. In her cat form, she is finally able to get close to Hinode and gain his affection.
Hinode calls the cute white cat with blue eyes “Tarou” after a pet he used to have. When Miyo realizes she can’t help Hinode with his real-life problems, which she learns about while in cat form, she understands she will have to make a tough choice – stay close to Hinode if Tarou or reveal her identity, and risk losing Hinode’s affection to help him as her human self.
Watch the trailer for A Whisker Away, currently streaming on Netflix:
Upcoming movie by Tomotaka Shibayama, slated for 2024, has no title yet
Not much is known about the upcoming movie of Tomotaka Shibayama who directed the hit hit A Whisker Away.
“The new movie I’m currently planning is a story about a mysterious love, set during a winter season. I would like to deliver a work that will be an uplifting experience for everyone, while carefully portraying the extraordinary things that suddenly come into everyday life and the emotional growth of the characters. We hope you will enjoy it.”
Koji Yamamoto, the president of Studio Colorido, made a statement on their official website regarding their deal with Netflix.
“Netflix connects Japanese movies with users around the world. For the next 10 years, we want to continue to create original works that are unique to [Studio] Colorido with confidence,” Yamamoto said. “We will use this 10-year milestone since our inception as an opportunity to partner with Netflix to deliver such ‘works that are unique’ [Studio] Colorido to the world.”
Studio Colorido is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary and on May 6, 2022 there will be an online festival on YouTube! Make sure to go to Twin Engine’s YouTube channel to watch it.
It’s also worth noting that Studio Colorido had a hand in Pokemon: Twilight Wings.
Fans can only speculate what the third movie in the Netflix collaboration will be about, but it will certainly be filled with quirkiness and fantasy.