Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (2022)

Director: Ayumu Watanabe Run Time: 97 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2021

Starring: Cocomi, Ikuji Nakamura, Izumi Ishii, Natsuki Hanae, Shinobu Otake

Country: Japan
Language: Japanese

About the film:

Awarded Special Mention for Best Animated Feature at the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival. Based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Kanako Nishi, Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (2022) is a heartwarming and moving comedy-drama about an unconventional family and the bonds that they share in their sleepy seaside town.

Brash single mother Nikuko is well-known for her bold spirit, much to the embarrassment of Kikuko, her pensive yet imaginative daughter. In contrast to her mother, Kikuko wants nothing more than to fit in as she navigates the everyday social dramas of middle school. Life in the harbor is peaceful until a shocking revelation from the past threatens to uproot the pair’s tender relationship.

About the filmmaker:

Born in Tokyo in 1966, acclaimed director Ayumu Watanabe debuted as a key animator at Studio Mates in 1986 before joining Shin-Ei Animation two years later. He directed the short theatrical Doraemon: A Grandmother’s Recollections (2000), the feature film Doraemon: Nobita’s Dragon (2006), and transitioned to freelance directing in 2011. His other works include the TV anime Space Brothers (2012-2014) and After the Rain (2018). His Children of the Sea (2019) won Grand Prize in Animation at the 23rd Japan Media Arts Festival Awards, and his most recent feature, Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (2022), won the Excellence Award.

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