By Jonah Morgan
Having just started running a few weeks earlier on Japanese television, our visit to the TV Tokyo Medianet and Nippon Animation booths at TIFFCOM revealed the North American license for Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge was still up for grabs. Directed by fan favorite anime supervisor Shinichi Watanabe (aka Nabeshin of Excel Saga fame), the original story is already available in book form in the USA through the original “Wallflower” manga by Tomoko Hayakawa courtesy publisher Del Ray. That combination alone ensures this TV series is one of the hot properties to watch for future release in America and beyond.
Flyers and promotional material obtained by the original Japanese anime companies at trade events like the business days of the Tokyo Anime Fair or TIFFCOM are really special one-off items. Sometimes there are real nuggets of previously unknown information to be read in them. Most of the time the language is aimed at prospective buyers and representatives of potential licensees in prime foreign markets like the USA. Based on seeds planted by the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the 20th and 21st centuries English has emerged as the first truly global language (the language of science, business, the internet, and the most common 2nd language people from entirely different parts of the world commonly use to communicate). As such, the convention these days for Japan’s anime sellers is to have something printed in English.
The show title at the top center of the flyer for Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge reads broadly in English: “How to make a Cinderella”. Now given the several titles this story is already known by, does it really need another one? TV Tokyo assured us this was not an official title they were giving it but rather a tentative they were shopping it around with. Getting back to the one off special nature of these promotionals, it’s an interesting trivia item none the less. Continuing, with smaller subtitle text out to the right of the title it reads: “(Out of a Splatter Movie Addict Young Lady Absolutely Convinced Shi is Ugly and Gloomy)”. The the writeup follows: “Met Sunako, our protagonist, a born horror movie addict, who is depressed of her conviction that she is ugly and plain. After a case of heartbreak, Sunako locks her[self] up in a mansion owned by her aunt, saying: ‘I hate myself as I am so ugly.’ Her aunt, very concerned of the young girl’s attitude, talks four hyper nice looking boys into making a deal: The boys are offered free lodging in her gorgeous mansion should they be successful in ‘bringing her up’ to be a nice lady who is confident of herself. The boys have no reasons to reject the proposal, thus their odd life kicks off, with Sunako ‘dazzled’ by the boys’ shining beauty and ever aggravating her complex. Will they ever make it to help her to regain her lost self esteem and drag her out of her seclusion? ‘How to make a Cinderella Out of a Splatter Movie Addict Young Lady Absolutely Convinced Shi is Ugly and Gloomy’ is a wacky off-beat comedy that deals with the contemporary question of inferiority complex, an issue none of us are free from in a uniquely humorous way. (25 half-hours [episodes]) “