GKIDS has announced at its Anime NYC industry panel that it has acquired the North American rights for the 2014 anime film Giovanni’s Island. The film will be released on home entertainment platforms in 2023.
The film’s production team consisted of Mizuho Nishikubo (Next A-Class) as director, Nobutake Itou (Inu-Oh) as character designer, as well as Shigemichi Sugita and Yoshiki Sakurai (Recovery of an MMO Junkie executive producer) as screenwriters. Atsuko Fukushima (Poupelle of Chimney Town) is credited with the original character designs and Masashi Sada (Space Brothers) composed the musical score. Production I.G handled the animation production.
The main voice cast of Giovanni’s Island consists of Kouta Yokoyama and Tatsuya Nakadai as Junpei Senou, Junya Taniai as Kanta Senou, Yuusuke Santamaria as Hideo, Kanako Yanagihara as Micchan, Yukie Nakama and Kaoru Yachigusa as Sawako, Masachika Ichimura as Tatsuo Senou, Saburo Kitajima as Genzou Senou, Hiroshi Inuzuka as Chief, and Polina Ilyushenko as Tanya.
The film won the Jury Distinction prize at Annecy Film Festival in 2014, and also won Best Animated Film at the 69th annual Mainichi Film Awards in 2015. It was also awarded the Satoshi Kon Award for Excellence in Animation at the Fantasia Film Festival in 2014, the Excellence Prize at the 18th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2014, and the Excellence Prize at the 38th Japan Academy Prize in 2015.
GKIDS describes the story of Giovanni’s Island as:
Brothers Junpei and Kanta live in Shikotan, a tiny fishing island that has been spared from the devastations of World War II. The two children are named after Giovanni and Campanella from their late mother’s favorite book, Night on the Galactic Railroad, which becomes a source of solace in the aftermath of Japan’s defeat.
When Soviet forces arrive with their families to settle in the island, Junpei meets Tanya, the daughter of the commander. Despite their language barrier and growing tension, the children soon form an unlikely friendship.