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GKIDS Picks Up North American Rights to Japanese Anime Film Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko

GKIDS announced today that it has acquired the North American distribution rights for STUDIO 4°C’s animated Japanese film, Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko. The movie distributor is set to release the feature, which is being helmed by esteemed director Ayumu Watanabe, in theaters early next year.

The deal marks the next collaboration between the two companies. They previously worked together when GKIDS locally distributed STUDIO 4°C’s 2019 Japanese animated film, Children of the Sea, which was also helmed by Watanabe. GKIDS will also work with Japanese comedy legend and producer, Sanma Akashiya on Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko.

The coming-of-age comedy-drama, whose script was written by Satomi Ohshima, is based on the novel by Kanako Nishi. The Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko screen adaptation will feature the voices of Shinobu Otake, Cocomi and Natsuki Hanae.

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko follows the titular character (Otake), a brash, jolly, scattered and passionate woman who lives in an otherwise sleepy seaside town in northern Japan. She’s also the single mother of 11-year-old Kikuko (Cocomi), who’s her opposite in many ways. Kikuko is a pensive, quietly curious young girl, who’s methodical in how she approaches life in their small harbor town.

Nikuko embarrasses Kikuko as any mom of a preteen would, but Nikuko’s bold spirit makes her especially well-known in a town where Kikuko wants nothing more than to simply blend in. As Kikuko navigates the everyday social dramas of middle school, enhanced with touches of magical realism from her ever-present imagination, a shocking revelation from the past threatens to uproot the pair’s tender relationship.

“We’re thrilled to work with director Ayumu Watanabe and creative producer Sanma Akashiya on a film that puts their unique artistry and talents on full display,” GKIDS’ president, David Jesteadt said. “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko is a big-hearted coming-of-age story with unforgettable characters and a poignant mix of comedy and drama, that is sure to leave an impact on audiences here next year.”

In celebration of the announcement that the acclaimed animated film production and distribution company will release the feature in North America, Watanabe stated: “To everyone in the United States! This is terrific news! I am very excited that this film will be shown to you all.

“Occasionally, I feel that I am inspired by the art that is American entertainment. I’m revealing this for the first time here, but back when Nikuko didn’t have a soundtrack or theme song, and I was planning out this film, there was a song I always listened to. I heard that a long time ago, Americans hummed this song to overcome predicaments. It’s a great story that makes you perceive the power of entertainment. It had a substantial influence on the spirit of this movie. It would be nice if that’s conveyed to you all! Many thanks to the excellent song from America, ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street,'” the helmer added.

Karen Benardellohttps://cinemadailyus.com
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.

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