Correspondence education service Z-Kai began streaming a “full version” of animator and illustrator loundraw‘s earlier “Ichiban Chikakute Tooi Hoshi” (Both the Closest Yet Furthest Star) anime commercial for the company on Tuesday. The previous 60-second version of the commercial debuted on February 19.
The commercial’s story centers on Kaori (Nao Tōyama), a reserved but strong-willed member of her school’s astronomy club. Her best friend Yuki (Lynn) supports her, but begins to worry that she is losing Kaori to the latter’s love of the stars.
The commercial promotes both Z-Kai and “Summer Ghost,” the upcoming directorial debut of illustrator loundraw (I want to eat your pancreas, Josee, The Tiger and the Fish, Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-). The official website for the “Ichiban Chikakute Tooi Hoshi” short notes that the short is the concept origin for “Summer Ghost,” and that the latter is also “another story” set in the same world as “Ichiban Chikakute Tooi Hoshi.”
In addition to directing, loundraw also drafted the original character designs, and Flat Studio, the studio loundraw established in 2019, is animating. Hirotaka Adachi, better known as the novelist Otsuichi (Stare film, Goth, Calling You, Zoo), wrote the screenplay, and internationally renowned pianist Akira Kosemura and others are contributing to the soundtrack. Flagship Line is planning and producing the project, and Avex Pictures is distributing.
The story of the short developed from a single illustration that loundraw had drawn. Tomoya, Aoi, and Ryō are high school students who met online. An urban legend speaks of a “summer ghost,” a spirit girl who appears when fireworks are set off.
Tomoya cannot live the life he envisioned for himself. Aoi cannot find her place in the world. Ryō has his once shining future suddenly pulled away. Each has their own reason for needing to meet the summer ghost. On a summer night when life and death cross paths, where will each of their emotions take them?
The short is part of Project Common, a multimedia initiative “to express the true loundraw.” The illustrator said last summer, “Unchanging at any time, I want to find my steadfast self. This project is a challenge to find the true ‘loundraw‘ with myself and everyone.” The project’s website included the English text “real or fake? The way he thinks, the way he draws. These all become ‘one.'”
loundraw drew the original character designs for the Tsuki ga Kirei television anime series, and also provided the original character designs and cover illustration for Yoru Sumino‘s I want to eat your pancreas novel. The novel has inspired an anime film using his original character designs.
He also drew the character designs for an animated promotional video based on Yusuke Yamada‘s Boku wa Robot Goshi no Kimi ni Koi wo Suru (I fall in love with you through a robot) novel. The novel is also getting a full animated film adaptation.
Source: Z-Kai‘s website