Funimation arrives at New York Comic Con on a high: since its acquisition of Crunchyroll from AT&T, it now wields enormous power in the global anime market.
What it will do with that power remains to be seen, though one film it mentioned in its Comic Con panel points to one possibility. Sing a Bit of Harmony (image at top) is the company’s first feature co-production (with Tokyo studio J.C. Staff). Having already co-produced series, it may well expand this side of the business to rival the likes of Netflix, which produces original anime.
Funimation revealed at Comic Con that the film, which was previously announced, will come out theatrically in January 2022 in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. It is directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura.
It also announced that it has acquired Eureka: Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution, the third film in the Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution trilogy. The feature, which is directed by Tomoki Kyoda, will be released next year in theaters in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
The latest installment in the popular Eureka Seven franchise, Eureka: Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution was initially due to come out in Japan in 2019, but was delayed to summer 2021, then delayed again because of the pandemic. It is now set out in the country on November 26.
Here are the official synopses of the two films:
Sing a Bit of Harmony tells the story of the beautiful and mysterious Shion who transfers to Keibu High School where she quickly becomes popular for her open-hearted personality and exceptional athletic talent … but she turns out to be an AI (artificial intelligence) in the testing phase!
Shion’s goal is to bring chronic loner Satomi “happiness.” But her strategy is something no human would expect: she serenades Satomi in the middle of the classroom. After finding out that Shion is an AI, Satomi and her childhood friend, engineering geek Toma, steadily warm up to the new student.
Along with the popular and attractive Gotchan, the strong-willed Aya, and judo club member “Thunder,” they become more and more moved by Shion’s singing voice and earnestness even as her antics bewilder them. But what Shion does for Satomi’s sake ends up involving them all in some serious pandemonium. Get ready for the heartwarming story of a not quite market-ready AI and her classmates!
Eureka: Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution is set after the events of the previous film. Eureka has lived alone in atonement for ten years, hated by the world and blamed for the chaos that destroyed everything. In a fateful encounter, she receives an order to protect Iris, a new “Eureka,” who has the ability to produce Scab Corals.
It’s a fateful meeting between the former Eureka, who has lost her powers, and Iris, who fears her powers. When Eureka is asked to put her life on the line as a new crisis arises, will Eureka have the strength to protect Iris and the world? What future awaits her at the end of her journey?