Tonko House will take responsibility for bringing Kumamon’s exploits overseas in a future animation project.

Kumamon is a super distinctive character, and even if you don’t know your way around Japan’s rogues gallery of mascots it’s likely you’ve seen this smiling, red-cheeked bear on your snacks, lunch boxes or even Chinese television.

Despite Kumamon’s ubiquity in his native Japanese prefecture of Kumamoto and his popularity all over Japan, he hasn’t quite smashed through to worldwide fame yet. Much like Anpanman his appeal seems to be limited to a certain portion of the globe. A new animation project, though may be just the thing to bring Kumamoto’s favorite bear into the international spotlight!

In an announcement by Ikuo Kabashima, the current governor of Kumamoto Prefecture, it was revealed that the project’s title will be The Mystery of Kumamon and our favorite red, black and white ursine will play the starring role. The animation studio responsible for bringing Kumamon to life on-screen will be California-based studio Tonko House, founded by ex-Pixar employees Robert Kondo and Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi.

▼ The studio has already earned an Oscar nomination for its flagship short The Dam Keeper

The movie poster features the tagline “What does it mean to be happy?” and a charming treehouse, with Kumamon peeking his head out from behind it. The prefecture of Kumamoto receives a credit for Kumamon’s creation, and the work will be supervised by writer Kundo Koyama who spear-headed Kumamon’s design process with art director Manabu Mizuno back in 2010. Koyama has written for movies before, but he’s possibly best-known in the West for writing the scripts for the popular cooking show Iron Chef.

At this early stage in proceedings, The Mystery of Kumamon is chock-full of enigmas. Who will voice the lead, if anyone? What does it mean to be happy? Will Kumamon pull the chair out from under any unwitting reporters in this movie? We at SoraNews24 can’t wait to find out!

Source: AnimeAnime via Otakomu
Featured image: Flickr/Martin Lewison