This upcoming film slated for a February 2018 release will also mark the directorial debut of female anime screenwriter Mari Okada.
We’ve spent a lot of time on this site covering director Makoto Shinkai’s overwhelmingly successful 2o16 animated film Your Name and all of the box office records it has since gone on to crush. We had pretty much accepted the fact that another film of its caliber wouldn’t come along for another 15 years or so, keeping in pattern with its 2001 predecessor Spirited Away, but today the Japanese Internet is abuzz with rumors that a likely contender could be less than a year away.
▼ Quickly now, before Makoto Shinkai’s new film is released!
The new film is titled Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarou (tentatively Let Us Adorn the Morning of Farewells With Flowers in English) and is being directed by Mari Okada, a prolific anime screenwriter who won the 16th Animation Kobe Award for her work on the 2011 anime TV series Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. P.A. Works is leading the production, along with a talented team of creators including character designs by Akihiko Yoshida of Final Fantasy fame and music by Kenji Kawai, whose resume includes composition work on such diverse titles as Vampire Princess Miyu, the Ghost in the Shell films, Ranma 1/2, and even the live-action Japanese Ring horror film.
The first 30-second trailer for Sayoasa, as the film is currently being called for short, was just released. Watch the clip below and scroll down for more details.
▼ The opening narration announces “One who was alone met another one who was all alone” and “An eternal moment woven from meetings and farewells.”
As shown in the trailer, the film’s lush visuals, soft contours, and deeply human elements are certainly reminiscent of the works of Makoto Shinkai, Your Name included.
On the other hand, the character designs seem to be more in line with the ongoing mainstream anime trend towards cute, moe-type characters (though to be fair, the trailer only reveals one character’s face so far).
▼ “At that time, the girl was touched by love.”
Interestingly, the film came about as a desire of the P.A. Works CEO to see a work to which Okada lent 100 percent of her creative talents. Who knows what hurdles Okada has to overcome as a woman in the male-dominated field of anime directors, but she seems more than up to the challenge, given her recent remarks regarding Sayoasa.
“From a screenwriter’s point of view, this is a story that I’ve always wanted to write. As a director, I can now feel both the joy and the pressure of being involved with the artwork and sound, further along in the animation process.”
“It’s a tale about the interwoven meetings, farewells, and connections between people. I’m aiming to create a warm work which everyone can see overlapping a little bit with their future selves.”
Let Us Adorn the Morning of Farewells With Flowers is set to be released in Japanese theaters on February 24, 2018.