November 23, 2021

GKIDS Acquires North American Rights To “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko”


GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, announced today it has acquired the North American distribution rights for FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO (Gyoko no Nikuko-chan). Planned and produced by Japanese comedy legend Sanma Akashiya and his love to the original novel by Kanako Nishi, FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO is the latest feature from lauded Studio 4°C (Children of the Sea, Tekkonkinkreet, Mind Game, MFKZ), and esteemed director Ayumu Watanabe (Children of the Sea). FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO follows the lives of loud and boisterous single mother Nikuko and her quiet daughter Kikuko, whose otherwise quiet life in a small seaside village is frequently disrupted by her mother’s comedic antics. 

GKIDS will release FORTUNE FAVORS LADY NIKUKO theatrically early next year. The deal marks the next collaboration between the two companies, following GKIDS’ local distribution of previous STUDIO 4°C works Children of the Sea (from Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko’s director Ayumu Watanabe), MFKZ, Mind Game, Genius Party, and Genius Party Beyond.

“We’re thrilled to work with director Ayumu Watanabe and creative producer Sanma Akashiya on a film that puts their unique artistry and talents on full display,” said GKIDS’ president David Jesteadt. “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko is a big-hearted coming-of-age story with unforgettable characters and a poignant mix of comedy and drama, that is sure to leave an impact on audiences here next year.”

In celebration of the announcement, Director Ayumu Watanabe stated:

“To everyone in the United States! This is terrific news! I am very excited that this film will be shown to you all. Occasionally, I feel that I am inspired by the art that is American entertainment. I’m revealing this for the first time here, but back when Nikuko didn’t have a soundtrack or theme song, and I was planning out this film, there was a song I always listened to. I heard that a long time ago, Americans hummed this song to overcome predicaments. It’s a great story that makes you perceive the power of entertainment. It had a substantial influence on the spirit of this movie. It would be nice if that’s conveyed to you all! Many thanks to the excellent song from America, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”…”

From creative producer Sanma Akashiya, acclaimed director Ayumu Watanabe (Children of the Sea) and STUDIO 4C (Tekkonkinkreet, Mind Game, Animatrix) Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko is a heartwarming and moving comedy-drama about an unconventional family, based on the popular novel by Kanako Nishi.
Nikuko is a brash, jolly, scattered, and passionate woman in an otherwise sleepy seaside town in northern Japan. She’s also the single mother of 11-year-old Kikuko, who is her opposite in many ways. Kikuko is a string-bean of a young girl, pensive, quietly curious, and methodical in how she approaches life in this small harbor town.

Nikuko embarrasses Kikuko as any mom of a preteen would, but Nikuko’s bold spirit makes her especially well-known in a town where Kikuko herself wants nothing more than to simply blend in. As Kikuko navigates the everyday social dramas of middle school, enhanced with touches of magical realism from her ever-present imagination, a shocking revelation from the past threatens to uproot the pair’s tender relationship.


Title: Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko
Creative Producer: Sanma Akashiya
Director: Ayumu Watanabe (Children of the Sea)
Original story: Novel “Gyoko no Nikuko-chan” by Kanako Nishi (GENTOSHA NOVELS)
Screenplay: Satomi Oshima
Art Director: Shinji Kimura (Tekkonkinkreet, Children of the Sea, Dorohedoro)
Supervising animation director: Kenichi Konishi (The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Children of the Sea)
Music : Takatsugu Muramatsu
Cast: Shinobu Otake, Cocomi, Natsuki Hanae
Country: Japan
Studio: STUDIO 4°C
Year: 2021
Genre: Drama/Comedy/Coming-of-age
Run time: 96 minutes
© 2021 Kanako NishiGENTOSHA, MOVIZ/ “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko” Production Committee

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