‘Children of the Sea’ director Ayumu Watanabe’s newest film, ‘Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko,’ comes to U.S. theaters this spring

Image via GKIDS

Animated film distributor GKIDS announced today it will distribute Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko in a limited U.S. theatrical release in June. The dramedy, from acclaimed Children of the Sea director and Komi Can’t Communicate chief director Ayumu Watanabe and Studio 4°C (Berserk: Golden Age Arc), will be released with English-language subtitles.

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko premiered in Japan last year and has won several awards, including the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence Award, a Hochi Film Award for Best Animated Picture, and more. The popular Japanese Actor and comedian Sanma Akashiya produced the film with a script from Satomi Ooshima and music by Takatsugu Muramatsu (When Marnie Was There).

The film’s synopsis reads:

Brash single mother Nikuko is well-known for her bold spirit, much to the embarrassment of Kikuko, her pensive yet imaginative daughter. In contrast to her mother, Kikuko wants nothing more than to fit in as she navigates the everyday social dramas of middle school. Life in the harbor is peaceful until a shocking revelation from the past threatens to uproot the pair’s tender relationship

GKIDS released a new teaser for the film, though the distributor did not announce plans to produce an English-language dub.

Watanabe’s directorial debut came in 1998 with a Doraemon short film. He would go on to direct numerous television series, including A-1 Pictures’ recent Ace Attorney anime adaption. Watanabe also directed several Doraemon films before gaining traction among English-language speaking fans for his 2019 feature Children of the Sea, based on Daisuke Igarashi’s Iyashikei manga about teenagers with supernatural connections to aquatic life.

GKIDS and Fathom Events will host fan preview events at participating theaters on Thursday, June 2, and Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko will release in select U.S. theaters on Friday, June 3. Ticket presales open Friday, April 29.