Animate and the Toshima ward of Tokyo held a joint press conference on Friday to announce that an “Ikebukuro PR Anime” is in the works.

Toshima mayor Yukio Takano was at the press conference and explained that organizers hope the project spreads the “Cool Ikebukuro” image as a place for anime pilgrimages prior to the Olympic Games in 2020.

The promotional anime will be about three minutes long and there will also be a shorter cut that runs for approximately one minute. The main character will be designed via a contest held on the art website pixiv. The target audience is women, so the staff are requiring the main character to be a man in his late teens or early 20s and he must personify the area’s “owls.” Ikebukuro’s kanji is the subject of world play, as part of it can also be read as “fukurō,” which means owl. The district has a particular statue, the Ikefukurō-zō, that is quite popular.

The pixiv website will acept entries for the main character design on December 11 until January 9. Mayor Takano also mentioned that new animators will be recruited for the project. The staff and production studio will be announced in March and the anime is expected to be completed in 2019.

Promotional anime to enhance tourism in Japanese prefectures has become increasingly common. Chichibu premiered its own promotional anime last month at a film festival. Okayama prefecture’s Kibi Dango promotional anime looked to dating sims for inspiration, Saga prefecture had four animated shorts this year, and Shizuoka teamed up with DLE Inc. and Asami Imai for a series of shorts last year.

Source: Comic Natalie
Featured image: Toshima Press Release

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