Is Studio Colorido the next Studio Ghibli? 10th-anniversary festival celebrates online on YouTube in May 2022

Netflix and Studio Colorido will embark on a collaboration together. Pic credit: Netflix

Is Studio Colorido the next Studio Ghibli? Animation Studio Colorido has just signed a multi-year deal with Neflix to co-produce three anime films.

The first one, Drifting Home (Ame Wo Tsugeru Hyouryuu Danchi), premiers on September 16, 2022. It will be produced by Twin Engine. Fans of Penguin Highway, Burn the Witch and A Whisker Away are excited to see what magic Studio Colorido will bring to Drifting Home.

Studio Colorido’s first film was Penguin Highway, which was released in 2018 and viewed in more than 30 countries.

A Whisker Away was exclusively distributed on Netflix in 2020 and made it into their top 10 movie rankings. A Whisker Away was directed by Tomotaka Shibayama alongside Junichi Sato. The screenplay was written by Mari Okada and the music was composed by Mina Kubota. The film’s opening song entitled Hana ni Borei and the ending song entitled Usotsuki were both sung by the Japanese rock duo Yorushika.

Poster visual for upcoming film Drifting Home.
New English poster visual for the upcoming film Drifting Home. Pic credit: Netflix

Hiroyasu Ishida directed Penguin Highway in 2018 at the young age of 29. Drifting Home will be his 2nd feature film that he will direct at the age of 33. Hiroyasu Ishida won the 42nd Japan Academy Prize for Animation of Excellence and the Fantasia International Film Festival Kon Award (Best Animation Award).

Drifting Home: Adorable puppy love, supernatural mysteries, and adventure awaits…

The plot revolves around Kousuke and Natsume who are childhood friends. Their relationship becomes strained as they grow older, however, and begins to develop ‘puppy love’ for each other. Due to these new awkward feelings, the two sixth graders begin to avoid each other since they don’t know how to act around each other anymore.

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One day, during summer vacation, they decide to visit an old housing complex where they grew up that is scheduled to be demolished. The place holds a lot of precious memories from their childhood spent together.

While exploring the housing complex they are suddenly swept up in a mysterious supernatural phenomenon. When they regain consciousness they discover that the housing complex has drifted out into the middle of a mystical ocean and that their friends are also trapped there with them. Kousuke, Natsume, and their friends will have to work together to figure out a way to get back to their previous reality before it’s too late.

A new trailer from Netflix has just been released for the film.

Drifting Home | Official Teaser #2 | Netflix
Official Netflix trailer for Drifting Home.

The legacy of Studio Colorido began with Penguin Highway

Penguin Highway was originally a Japanese sci-fi novel written by Tomihiko Morimi that was published in 2010. Later, it was picked up for a manga serialization in Media Factory’s Monthly Comic alive from March 27, 2018, to February 27, 2019. Due to the manga’s success, an anime film adaptation by Studio Colorido was made and premiered in August 2018.

The plot revolves around a young fourth-grader named Aoyama-kun. When penguins suddenly appear in his village he sets out to investigate the mysterious reason behind this phenomenon. He discovers that it is somehow related to the power of a young witch who works at a dental clinic.

Aoyama-kun and the witch surrounded by penguins.
Aoyama-kun and the mysterious witch are surrounded by penguins. Pic credit:

The film possesses the same surreal and whimsical qualities that anime film enthusiasts came to expect from Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. Penguin Highway set the ‘theme’ for the next films that Studio Colorido would animate.

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Hiroyasu Ishida directed the film, Yojiro Arai oversaw character design, Makoto Ueda wrote the screenplay, and Umitaro Abe composed the music. The movie’s theme song is entitled Good Night and was sung by the popular and renowned Hikaru Utada whose songs have always had a very whimsical, fairy tale feel to them.

The film premiered at Crunchyroll Expo in San Jose on September 2, 2018, and a wider release on April 12, 2019. The film is now available on DVD Blu-ray and Digital from Shout! Factory.

Whoever thought they’d see a coke can get turned into a penguin?

Watch the trailer for Penguin Highway here:

Penguin Highway - Official Trailer
Trailer for Penguin Highway.

Studio Colorido teams up with Bleach creator Tite Kube next!

Burn the Witch was originally a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo, who is best known for his manga Bleach. In July 2018, it was published as a one-shot in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. After that, it was decided that there would be a serialized continuation of the one-shot in Weekly Shonen Jump with a season release schedule.

Four chapters were published from August to September 2020 and it’s considered to be ongoing series. Studio Colorido produced the Burn the Witch anime film and it premiered in Japan on October 2, 2020.

Burn the Witch was directed by Tatsuro Kawano. The film is distributed by Shochiku. The theme song for the film is entitled Blowing and is sung by Nil. On October 1, 2020, Crunchyroll streamed the film in a three-episode format. Viz Media is set to release the series on DVD.

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Poster visual for Burn the Witch featuring Noel and Ninny.
Noel and Ninny patrol Reverse London in search of wayward dragons. Pic credit:

The story of Burn the Witch takes place in the Bleach universe, which as any true anime otaku worth their salt knows is filled with evil spirits called Hollows and the Shinigami or Soul Reapers who defeat them. In the anime/manga Bleach, high school student Ichigo Kurosaku has the ability to see ghosts and one day gains soul reaper powers from Rukia Kuchiki. After that, he battles Hollows at her side.

Burn the Witch is about two witches named Noel Niihashi and Ninny Spangcole, who work for the Western Branch of Soul Society, which is located in Reverse London (an alternate version of London that exists in another dimension). Noel and Ninny are protection agents working for a mysterious organization known as Wing Bind that deals with dragon conservation and management. Their top responsibility is to protect the dragons and make sure they don’t hurt any of the innocent civilians in London, who are unable to see the dragons that are flying around them.

This particular movie has a fantasy, medieval feel to it with added surreal elements. Watch the official Crunchyroll trailer for Burn the Witch here:


Studio Colorido gained renown after its success with A Whisker Away

In the story A Whisker Away, Miyo Sasaki is an optimistic, peppy high school girl despite her relationship being strained with her father ever since he remarried. The way her new stepmother tries to act like her new mother irritates Miyo and stresses her out.

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Miyo develops a crush on one of her classmates – Kento Hinode. Focusing all of her time and energy on her crush and coming up with strange ways to show she likes him manages to take her mind off of her own problems.

These ‘demonstrations of love’ only serve to confuse Hinode, however, about Miyo’s true intentions. Miyo begins to lose hope that her feelings will ever get across to Hinode successfully when a supernatural opportunity presents itself where she’s able to use a mask to turn into a cat. In her cat form, she’s finally able to get close to Hinode and gain his affection.

Screenshot from the film A Whisker Away featuring Miyo.
Miyo contemplates whether or not she should continue using the magical cat mask. Pic credit:

Hinode names the adorable white cat with blue eyes ‘Tarou’ after a pet he used to have. When Miyo realizes that she’s unable to help Hinode with his real-life problems, which she learns about while in cat form, she understands that she’s going to have to make a tough choice – continue to be close to Hinode as Tarou or reveal her identity, and risk losing Hinode’s affection in order to help him as her human self.

Check out the trailer for A Whisker Away, which is currently streaming on Netflix:

A Whisker Away | Official Trailer | Netflix
Official Netflix trailer for A Whisker Away.

Upcoming film from Tomotaka Shibayama set for 2024 is still untitled

Not much is known about the upcoming film from Tomotaka Shibayama who directed the popular hit A Whisker Away.

“The new film I am currently planning is a tale of a mysterious love and it takes place during a winter season. I would like to deliver a work that will be an uplifting experience for everyone, while carefully depicting the extraordinary things that come suddenly in daily lives and the emotional growth of the characters. We hope you will enjoy it.”

Tomotaka Shibayama
released visuals for shibayamas 2024 feature film
Released visuals for Tomotaka Shibayama’s 2024 feature film. Pic credit: Netflix/Twitter

Koji Yamamoto, the president of Studio Colorido, made a statement on their official website concerning their deal with Netflix.

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“Netflix connects Japanese films with users around the world. In the next 10 years, we want to continue to make original works that are unique to [Studio] Colorido with confidence,” Yamamoto said. “We will use this milestone of 10 years since our founding as an opportunity to work with Netflix to deliver such ‘works that are uniquely [Studio] Colorido to the world.”

Studio Colorido is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary and they will have an online festival on YouTube May 6, 2022! Make sure you go to Twin Engine’s YouTube Channel to check it out.

スタジオコロリド 10周年記念Movie

It is also worth mentioning that Studio Colorido had a hand in Pokemon: Twilight Wings.

Fans can only speculate what the third film in the Netflix collaboration will be about, but it’s sure to be filled with whimsy and fantasy.

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