J-pop star performs theme song for new anime from creator of The Tatami Galaxy.

Penguin Highway is an upcoming anime film by Studio Colorido. Since this is the same studio that can make working part-time at McDonald’s or drinking a bowl of miso soup seem like a deeply emotional experience, it’s no surprise that the trailer is gorgeous, featuring achingly nostalgia-inducing summertime scenery and expressive character animation.

But as impressive as the trailer looks, a lot of people are going to be even more excited by how it sounds. Handling theme song duties for Penguin Highway is none other than J-pop megastar Utada Hikaru (who recently announced her first concert tour in over a decade). Starting at the trailer’s 28-second mark viewers can hear her as-yet-unreleased song “Good Night” playing in the background.

The film is centered on Aoyama, a studious and inquisitive elementary schooler, and an unnamed woman who’s part of the staff at the dentist’s office the boy goes to. One summer day, penguins appear in their suburban neighborhood, despite it being nowhere near Antarctica.

Determined to learn where the animals came from, and why, Aoyama begins investigating, and things get even more mysterious when he sees the woman throw a soda can into the air, only to have it transform into a penguin before their very eyes.

In addition to Utada, Penguin Highway has star power in Tomihiko Morimi, the author of the novel the anime is being adapted from. Morimi aso wrote The Tatami Galaxy, Night is Short, Walk on Girl, and The Eccentric Family, which were all adapted into critically acclaimed anime in recent years.

Penguin Highway opens in Japanese theaters August 17.

Source: YouTube/TOHO animation チャンネル via Otakomu
Featured image: YouTube/TOHO animation チャンネル
Top image: Penguin Highway official website

Insert images: YouTube/TOHO animation チャンネル