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Animatsu Picks Up Rights On ‘Corner’

New U.K. anime sales company announces to operate worldwide

ANNECY  — London-based Animatsu Entertainment, a new U.K. anime production, distribution and sales company has taken global rights to “In This Corner of the World,” (aka “To All the Corners of This World”).

“Corner” was presented in a Work in Progress session at Annecy on Thursday 16. The third feature from director and scriptwriter Sunao Katabuchi, “Corner” is produced by Genco’s Taro Maki, producer of TV skein “Mobile Police Patlabor,” “Nodame Cantabile,” and “Sword Art Online,” as well as MAPPA studio, founded by Masao Maruyama. President and later chief creative officer at prestigious Japanese studio Madhouse until 2011, Maruyama produced “Kids on the Slope” and “Terror in Resonance,” among many other TV series.

Katabuchi (“Mai Mai Miracle”) began his career with Oscar-winning animation helmer Hayao Miyazaki as a writer on his celebrated “Sherlock Holmes” TV series. He later served as assistant director on Miyazaki’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service.”

“In This Corner of the World” benefitted initially from a crowdfunding campaign, via the Makuke site, backed by 3,374 contributors, a Japanese record in 2015. It raised $350,000, 80% above the $161,000  initial aim.

“Corner” is based on a manga series, written and illustrated by Fumiyo Kōno. Series ran from 2007 to 2009 in Weekly Manga Action and  won the 2009 Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence Prize, in the Manga Division. It follows teen Suzu who moves to the small town of Kure, a village near Hiroshima, in the 1940s to live with her husband’s family. Suzu’s life will be rocked to the core by Hiroshima’s nuclear destruction.

“We believe the film will perform very well across Europe, Latin America, Asia and the English-speaking world. It’s a family film with a heartwarming message, Animatsu Entertainment chief operating officer Jerome Mazandarani said to Variety. He argued it will help fill some of the gap left in the anime features scene since Hayao Miyazaki retired from filmmaking, adding that Animatsu is in negotiations with several major territories.”

Mazandarani underlined the message of hope and fortitude in “Corner:” “While it is of course heart-breaking to behold the before and after scenes, the willpower that normal people muster in the name of love and caring is what really stands out,” Genco president Taro Maki said. “Corner” is scheduled to open in Japan this October.

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