Looks like all the sports anime are taking on less popular games or the ones that are just shown as a hobby. Games like Shogi, Go, and Mahjong are locally popular, especially in Japan, but not as much worldwide. Being indoor games, they are a means of recreation for all ages.
‘Pon no Michi’ will put Mahjong in the center, blended with some slice-of-life. This might look like an ‘old man’s game’ played with rectangular white tiles, but there is a lot of strategy and planning behind every move, which the anime aims to highlight.
On Tuesday, an official website for the original anime ‘Pon no Michi’ (The Way of Pon) was launched. It also revealed the first teaser, visual, the main voice cast, staff, and the release window of January 2024.
The short video starts with the main character Nashiko screaming, “New Utopia.” It then shows the four friends playing Mahjong in a room.
Five characters were revealed by the official website, along with voice artists revealed for four of them:
|Character||Voice Artist||Other Works|
|Nashiko Jippensha||Kaori Maeda||Elka (Summoned to Another World for a Second Time)|
|Pai Kawahigashi||Iori Saeki||Moe Yanagida (Tokyo Mew Mew New)|
|Izumi Tokutomi||Shion Wakayama||Takina Inoue (Lycoris Recoil)|
|Riche Hayashi||Yui Kondou||Road Camelot (D.Gray-man Hallow)|
The cast will also make an appearance for a stage event at the Chayamachi Oshi Festival in Osaka on June 11.
Look at the visual below that shows all four characters (clockwise from bottom) – Nashiko, Izumi, Riche, and Pai holding Mahjong tiles. The bird Chonbo is in the background.
|Animation Production||Studio OLM||Pokémon, Yo-kai Watch|
|Director||Tatsuma Minamikawa||Fire Force|
|Screenwriter||Tatsuma Minamikawa||Fire Force (Storyboard)|
|Character Design||Negi Haruba||The Quintessential Quintuplets (Creator)|
|Character Design||Kenji Ōta||One Piece (Key Animation)|
|Music||Yūko Takahashi||Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It|
|Music||Takuma Sogi||Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It|
|Music||hisakuni||Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It|
|Music||Rico Ohashi||My Girlfriend is Shobitch (Theme Song Composition)|
The color and designs look fresh, and the animation is on par. We might also get to see how Nashiko brings the Mahjong parlor back into action, just like Hayato revived his grandma’s coffee house in ‘The Café Terrace and Its Goddesses.’
About Pon no Michi
Pon no Michi (The Way of Pon) is an original anime series written and directed by Tatsuma Minamikawa. IIS-P is credited for the story and the anime is produced by Studio OLM. It will air in January 2024.
Taking place in Hiroshima Prefecture’s Onomichi City, Nashiko Jippensha, a high-school student was kicked out of her house. She finds out that her father’s Mahjong parlor is now vacant.
Nashiko decides to rebuild the place into somewhere everyone can gather, play Mahjong, have tea, and relax.
Source: Official Website, Comic Natalie
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