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The Sasaki and Peeps launch event at Anime NYC 2023 began with a screening of the recently released trailer, which led to a discussion between host Allie Norado and producer Kadokawa Kōsuke Arai. This was Arai’s first time in New York, which excited him as a fan of American TV shows like 24, Heroes and Gossip Girl.
Arai was first introduced to Sasaki and Peeps three years ago through a pre-release sketch of the novel’s editor, who emphasized to the producers its potential for an anime adaptation.
Arai describes the show, “This story is about a 40-something company employee and his partner a Java sparrow who is actually in disguise, a sage from another world . And you see a lot of crossover between modern day real life and fantasy life.”
Voice actress Aoi Yūki, who plays Peeps, could not appear in person but provided a special introduction video featuring two stuffed animals that differ in her personality. Yuki is an animal lover—when talking about memories of her previous visits to the United States, she mainly focuses on the squirrels in the park. She keeps a pet Java sparrow and talks about how she imitates the birds’ natural sounds in her recordings.
Then it was time for the official launch. They showed the first half of the double-length first episode that will premiere on Crunchyroll in January 2024. The dominant mood of this first half is cuteness and light-hearted fun. It’s the kind of comedy that inspires smiles rather than roars of laughter. It’s as fun as you’d expect an anime with a cute witch bird as the main character, while also being unabashed about the premise’s strange comedic potential as the salaryman hero protein.
Sasaki is exactly like that. a worker is grateful to be working even when he is having a hard time getting by. However, Peeps wants less birdseed and more wagyu. So, using his new pet’s magic, Sasaki develops a new side hustle: traveling between words and selling common goods from his world as valuables. in the other world. In the final few seconds of the premiere, the story’s quieter economic focus seems to shift toward more action. However, this episode is conveyed in a somewhat low-energy fashion.
After the screening, Norado asked Arai about the characters. He pointed out that Oshi no Ko’s Rie Takahashi and Demon Slayer’s Akari Kitō will voice supporting characters in this premiere but will play more prominent roles later in the film. He responded to a question about the comparison between being a salaryman and being an animator as “very nuanced”—one difference being that as a a producer, he is allowed to dress as casually as he wants instead of “wearing a suit.”
What are Arai’s three personal top tips for becoming a successful entrepreneur in Japan? #1: “Compassion and concern for others,” shown in the way Sasaki works to pamper Peeps. #2: a beautiful “sales smile”. #3: give business partners a “peace offering” equal to their body weight (such as yokan sweets) to show effort in an apology.
Sasaki’s favorite spell to relieve stress is the teleportation spell. This also happens to be the mantra that Arai says he likes to use to make his job more manageable—especially when traveling to international conferences like this one.
The panel’s final question was whether there were any memorable scenes viewers should pay attention to. Arai explained how the show’s original isekai set-up expanded to include magical girls, angels, and demons, and hopes audiences will enjoy the richness of the world. One last announcement before the giveaway: the band MADKID (The Rising of The Shield Hero) will perform music for the show.
Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.