The Apothecary Diaries light novel series is getting a TV anime adaptation that will begin airing this year. A pre-animated “project PV” and teaser visual have been released.
Norihiro Naganuma (The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 1) is serving as director and series composer of the mystery anime with Akinori Fudesaka (Summer Time Rendering and Komi Can’t Communicate storyboarder) as assistant director and Yukiko Nakatani (Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure) as character designer. TOHO animation STUDIO and OLM are credited with the animation production.
Other staff include Misato Aida (Eternal Boys) as color designer, Katsumi Takao (Pokemon: Harukanaru Aoi Sora) as art director, and Rumi Ishiguro (Akiba Maid War) as photography director. Satoru Kousaki (Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-), Kevin Penkin (Made in Abyss), and Alisa Okehazama (The God of High School) are composing the music.
Meanwhile, Aoi Yuuki was announced as the voice of main character Maomao.
The Apothecary Diaries is based on the Shufunotomo-published series written by Natsu Hyuuga and illustrated by Touko Shino, which follows a girl with medicinal knowledge who becomes a food taster for an Emperor’s consort. The book series, which is published under Shufunotomo Infos’ Hero Bunko label, began in 2014 and has 12 volumes as of July 2022.
J-Novel Club describes the plot as:
In the East is a land ruled by an emperor, whose consorts and serving women live in a sprawling complex known as the hougong, the rear palace. Maomao, an unassuming girl raised in an unassuming town by her apothecary father, never imagined the rear palace would have anything to do with her—until she was kidnapped and sold into service there. Though she looks ordinary, Maomao has a quick wit, a sharp mind, and an extensive knowledge of medicine. That’s her secret, until she encounters a resident of the palace at least as perceptive as she is: the head eunuch, Jinshi. He sees through Maomao’s façade and makes her a lady-in-waiting to none other than the Emperor’s favorite consort… so she can taste the lady’s food for poison! At her lady’s side, Maomao starts to learn about everything that goes on in the rear palace—not all of it seemly. Can she ever lead a quiet life, or will her powers of deduction and insatiable curiosity bring her ever more adventures, and ever more dangers?
The Apothecary Diaries was originally a Shousetsuka ni Narou web novel that started publication in 2011. Prior to the light novel series, a single tankoubon volume was published under the Ray Books label (also from Shufunotomo Infos) in 2012. The light novels have inspired a Square Enix-published manga by Nekokurage (also available in English) and a Shogakukan-published manga (subtitled Mao Mao no Kōkyuu Nazotoki Techou) by Minoji Kurata.
Source: TOHO animation channel, @kusuriya_PR