Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko, INU-OH Anime Films Win Special Awards at Bucheon Int'l Animation Festival
Lady Nikuko also won the Jury Award at Scotland Loves Anime
Hot off the heels of winning the Jury Award at Scotland Loves Anime last week, the Bucheon International Animation Festival in South Korea revealed on October 24 that the Ayumu Watanabe-directed anime film Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko won the Korean Society of Cartoon and Animation Studies (KOSCAS) President's Prize, under the Special Awards category.
Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko is directed by Children of the Sea director Ayumu Watanabe with fellow Children of the Sea character designer and chief animation director Kenichi Konishi continuing those roles at STUDIO 4℃. Satomi Oshima adapted the novel into a screenplay. Comedian and talent Sanma Akashiya produced the film which was released in Japan on June 11. Scotland Loves Anime describes the film as such:
Fortune Favours Lady Nikuko is the heartwarming and moving comedy drama of an unconventional family ‒ a not-so-ordinary mother-and-daughter pair who live their lives to the fullest.
Easy-going, cheerful, passionate and always ready to eat something delicious, mother Nikuko falls hard for the bad guys. Her happy motto: “Being ordinary is best of all!”
Naturally Nikukoʼs loud and bold spirit embarrasses 11-year-old Kikuko, her daughter on the verge of puberty. With nothing in common except living together on a boat at the port, a miracle occurs when their secret is revealed.
Alongside Lady Nikuko's win, in the International Competition - Feature Film category, Masaaki Yuasa's swansong film INU-OH won a Special Distinction Prize. INU-OH has already had its North American premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival that was held in September, with GKIDS releasing the film in the region at some point after its Japanese theatrical release in 2022, describing it as such:
Inu-Oh is born with unique physical characteristics, and the horrified adults cover every inch of his body with garments, including a mask on his face. One day, he meets a boy named Tomona, a blind biwa player, and as Tomona plays a delicate song of tangled fate, Inu-Oh discovers an incredible ability to dance. Inu-Oh and Tomona become business partners and inseparable friends, using their creative gifts to survive on the margins of society, as song after song gain them notoriety and propel them to stardom. Through the songs, Inu-Oh mesmerizes his audiences on stage, and gradually begins to transform into someone of unequaled beauty. But why is Tomona blind? Why was Inu-Oh born with unique characteristics It is a story about the friendship of Inu-Oh and Tomona, who dance and sing to get to the truth and break each other’s curse.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.