The special release takes us through the love story of Cassis and Arles, a romance the animator has been developing for ten years.

Yoshiharu Sato is a talented Japanese animator best known for helping to direct and design the 1988 Studio Ghibli anime film My Neighbour Totoro. Having worked as a key animator on other Ghibli films like Porco Rosso and The Secret World of Arriety, Sato has also gone on to work for other greats in the industry, including Walt Disney Japan and game developer Taito.

For the last ten years, however, the experienced artist has been using his talents to help promote a local bread company called Francois. Based in Fukuoka, on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, the bread company has a number of outlets exclusive to the region, and one of their best-selling ranges is the beautiful-sounding Slow Bread series.

The European style bread has been on the market since 2007, and Sato has been there from the very beginning, creating a series of commercials for the brand featuring the characters of 17-year-old Cassis, who works at her mother’s bakery, and the handsome Arles. The relationship between the two main characters has blossomed over the years, and now to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their collaboration, Sato has created a brand new commercial which takes a look back at their heartwarming love story.

Take a look at the beautiful commercial below:

The warm style of animation used in the commercials is reminiscent of a Studio Ghibli film, with stunning environments and beautifully illustrated scenes instantly drawing you into the world of the characters.

At the very end of the commercial, we get to see the adorable little leaven sprite which makes the Slow Bread so delicious.

While the Sato-produced Slow Bread commercials usually only air on local television stations in Fukuoka Prefecture, this tenth anniversary edition has been made a web-exclusive, allowing for a longer two-and-a-half minute look at the animated characters and their story.

The adventure isn’t over yet, either, as the company has just released a 30-second commercial for television, announcing that new stories will appear in the series.

We can’t wait to see where the newly betrothed couple will take us to in the next instalment! To get up to date with the story of Cassis and Arles, you might want to take a look here to view some of the commercials that have aired in the past, or head on over to the Francois website for more details.

Insert images: YouTube/francoisjp