Shochu brand Iichiko produces an anime short which leaves us warm and fuzzy inside -- Jun 28
Iichiko, stylized as “iichiko,” is a high-grade shochu alcoholic beverage from Oita Prefecture. Every year since 1984, posters advertising Iichiko have been displayed in train stations throughout Japan.

They usually depict stunning natural vistas with a bottle of Iichiko somewhere in the frame. With 13 posters released per year, that makes for a total of just under 500 unique advertisements up until now. It’s these posters that served as inspiration for the company to recently produce a short animated commercial titled Iichiko Story: Wildflowers to the Ocean, which is the second in a line of animated “Iichiko Story” shorts. Specifically, the story focuses on two real-life posters that were released in 2001 and 2010, which depict a desert-like field of flowers and the clear ocean respectively.

To produce its vision, Iichiko called in author and filmmaker Masayuki Kusumi, who’s known for authoring The Solitary Gourmet manga and is a longtime Iichiko fan himself, to write the screenplay for his first animated production. A couple of big acting names were recruited to be part of the cast as well, including Suzuko Mimori (who plays the daughter, Suzuka, a 26-year-old illustrator), and Tarusuke Shingaki (Suzuka’s father, who provides some much-needed inspiration for her to go to art school). The animation is provided by Studio Live.

At only two minutes and 46 seconds, the animated short is over before you yourself can down a glass of Iichiko, but it leaves you with a heartwarming feeling long afterwards. ...continue reading

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