Gkids has acquired North American rights to Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom, an animated film from directors Akiyuki Shinbo and Nobuyuki Takeuchi that bowed last year in Japan. The distributor, a perennial Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature category including The Breadwinner this year, is eyeing a summer 2018 release.
The pic, which has grossed $26 million in Japan since its August 2017 bow, is produced by Shaft and Genki Kawamura (Your Name). The sci-fi/fantasy plot centers on Shy Norimichi and fast-talking Yusuke, who are goo-goo-eyed over the same elusive classmate, Nazuna. But Nazuna, unhappy over her mother’s decision to remarry and leave their countryside town, plans to run away and has secretly chosen Norimichi to accompany her. When things don’t go as planned, Norimichi discovers that a glowing multi-color ball found in the sea has the power to reset the clock and give them a second chance to be together. But each reset adds new complications and takes them farther and farther away from the real world – until they risk losing sight of reality altogether.
Takeuchi was a key animator for Studio Ghibli that included work on Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea; Gkids handles North American distribution for the famed animation studio.
The deal was negotiated by Gkids’ Eric Beckman and Rui Machida at Toho Co. Ltd.