The Crunchyroll video-sharing website has announced that it will provide CoMix Wave Films' computer-animated Kaede Newtown and Yonna in the Solitary Fortress shorts in free streams and paid download-to-own versions. Music video director and illustrator Naoto Iwakiri wrote and directed the Kaede Newtown story about the first love of a fifth-grade boy living near Osaka, Japan. The Japanese band The Aprils and musical artist Tomovsky provide the soundtrack. In the story, Mikio Osawa is too shy to tell his classmate Haruko Tezuka that he likes her, until Haruko's friend tells Mikio that Haruko is moving away to a new town. CoMix Wave Films posted trailers and commercials for the project on its official website to mark its theatrical release last December. Crunchyroll will begin its release at 5:00 p.m. PT today.
After co-creating the computer-animated footage in Square's Final Fantasy VIII, Chrono Cross, Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Kengo Takeuchi created, wrote, and directed his own 34-minute theatrical short called Yonna in the Solitary Fortress. The siblings Yonna and Stan live in isolation on a fortress to protect Yonna's magical powers from the imperial government's many attempts to seize them. However, a boy appears at the fortress one day to draw Yonna out, even as Stan threatens to kill him. Crunchyroll will begin its release of this short next month.
CoMix Wave Films was involved in the anime productions of Grrl Power, Kakurenbo, and Neko no Shūkai. It also produced the 5 Centimeters Per Second, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and Voices of a Distant Star projects from the one-man anime crew of Makoto Shinkai.
Image © Codomo Inc./CoMix Wave Films/SPACE SHOWER TV Inc./Mars Sixteen © Kengo Takeuchi/CoMix Wave