Kumamon, the smiling mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, is preparing for a new animated adventure.
Titled MYSTERY OF KUMAMON, the new work was announced by Kumamoto governor Ikuo Kabashima. The anime project will be handled by Berkeley-based animation studio Tonko House, founded by directors Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi (both formerly of Pixar).
Little is known of the nature of the work at the moment, except that Kumamon will be the protagonist. It's also been stated that the hope is to create a project with global appeal, and that there are hopes for overseas development for the mascot.
Kumamon was created in 2010 to help promote tourism to Kumamoto Prefecture, and topped a poll of mascots across Japan the following year. Since then, he has appeared in everything from Yo-Kai Watch to an ever-growing list of memes.
Source: Anime! Anime!
Kara Dennison is responsible for multiple webcomics, and is half the creative team behind the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. She blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos. Her latest work can be seen in the anthology Relics, currently available from Red Ted Books.