Spring Anime 2012 Season Preview: Furusato Saisei: Nihon no Mukashi Banashi (ふるさと再生 日本の昔ばなし)

There was an old couple, who lived in virtue. One day, the family’s beloved dog found a box of gold pieces, while digging into their garden. Unfortunately, their neighbour was an envious man. He believed the dog was “magical” and would find treasure in every garden… He took it and made it look into his own yard, but all the dog dug out, were old rotten bones… Enraged, the man killed the pet and lied to the old couple that it’s been all an inevitable and tragic misfortune.

Few nights later, the dog visited his owner’s dream and asked him for a mortar, made of the old tree the treasure was once found under. The next day, all the rice put into the new mortar turned into gold. The neighbour saw this and was blinded by envy once more. He borrowed the mortar and waited for the gold to appear. Believe it or not, all he got were rotten berries…Showing his true nature, the jealous man broke and burned the wooden vessel… There was another dream, more gold and acknowledgement for the pure-hearted couple and more punishment for the man, who blinded by anger destroyed what’s been precious for others…

This is actually part of “Hanasaka Jiisan” or “The Story of the Old Man Who Made Withered Trees to Blossom” – a touching story form Japan’s Tohoku region. It will be told in the first episode of the new “Furusato Saisei: Nihon no Mukashi Banashi” (“Hometown Regeneration: Japan’s Folklore”) anime that will air on 1 April. As Shinigami-sama already informed you , the show will be focused on famous legends and stories, taken straight from the history of Japan. Each episode will tell a different folktale.

What I can add is that the team working on the show is quite intriguing. There will be two narrators who will guide us through each story. One of them is notable actor Akira Emoto, winner of the Japanese equivalent of Oscar (Best Actor for his performance as WWII Dr. Akagi), while the other is Yoneko Matsukane (Jeanne in “Rose of Versailles”).The animation is in the hands of Tomason – a studio that stands behind a considerate amount of short educational movies, made for the Japanese government.

The opening and ending are both performed by Shoko Nakagawa, who is quite a star herself (she has a manga on her life after all – “Nakagawa Shōko Monogatari”). She’s not only an Idol and a presenter of “Pokémon Sunday”, but she’s also famous for her cosplay from shows like “Final Fantasy” and “Evangelion”. Nakagawa-san is also the voice of the openings for “Gurren Lagann”, “Beelzebub”, and “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”. Quite an impressive bio, I would say…

Having all this in mind, I cannot help but wonder how would the series look like and would they be loved by the mass audience. Judging by the animation style demonstrated by Tomason, I am really close to declaring the anime “kids only”. All folktales, however, are something everyone could learn from, regardless their age. Having this in mind, I can only offer you some additional details, to help you decide whether to watch it or not, when it premiers on 1 April.


Akira Emoto as Narrator
Yoneko Matsukane as Narrator

Production: Hakuhodo DY Media Partners; Tomason; TV Tokyo
Character Animation: Tomason
OP: “Hitori no Kimi ga Umareta to sa” by Shoko Nakagawa
ED: “Arukou” by Shoko Nakagawa
Music Production: Sony Music Entertainment

Images: ©テレビ東京・博報堂・トマソン
Furusato Saisei: Nihon no Mukashi Banashi Official Website


by Death Scythe

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