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

Fortune-Favors-Lady-Nikuko-560x238 GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko”

Latest Feature From Acclaimed Studio 4°C
And Director Ayumu Watanabe
A Collaboration With Creative Producer Sanma Akashiya

What You Need to Know:

  • 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.
  • Fortune-Favors-Lady-Nikuko-560x238 GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko”
  • 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. 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.”

    GKIDS’ president David Jesteadt.

  • 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”…”

    Fortune-Favors-Lady-Nikuko-560x238 GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko”


    From creative producer Sanma Akashiya, acclaimed director Ayumu Watanabe (Children of the Sea) and STUDIO 4°C (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

    Production: YOSHIMOTO KOGYO CO., LTD.

    Year: 2021

    Genre: Drama/Comedy/Coming-of-age

    Run time: 96 minutes

    © 2021 Kanako Nishi・GENTOSHA, MOVIZ/ "Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko" Production Committee


GKIDS is the producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021. GKIDS also handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others; as well as the critically acclaimed television series, Neon Genesis Evangelion. GKIDS also hosts ANIMATION IS FILM (AIF), an annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions.


Yoshimoto Kogyo is a Japanese entertainment powerhouse that manages 6,000 talent personnel and has a capability of establishing comprehensive strategies that involve planning, production, PR and distribution in the entertainment industry. The talent roster includes comedians, actors/actresses, artists and athletes; there are multiple Yoshimoto live theaters located throughout Japan and Yoshimoto produces 5,000 TV shows annually.

Long list of productions include Netflix original Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot by Sanma Akashiya, Amazon original HITOSHI MATSUMOTO Presents Documental (format name LOL), anime ODDTAXI and anime feature Poupelle of Chimney Town.

About STUDIO 4°C

Studio 4°C is an animation production studio that produces animated film and video of the highest quality. Centered around founder, chief executive officer, president, and producer Eiko Tanaka, the studio has consistently created works that emphasized individuality and sought the possibilities of expression through film. Major works include Katsuhiro Otomo’s Memories (1995), Princess Arete (2001) directed by Sunao Katabuchi, Annie Award-winning The Animatrix (2003), Masaaki Yuasa’s Mind Game (2004) which won the Animation Division Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival, and Tekkonkinkreet (2006) that was shown at the Berlin International Film Festival and won Animation of the Year by the Japan Academy Film Prize Association.

In recent years, the studio produced Genius Party (2007), Berserk: The Golden Age Arc Trilogy (2012), Harmony (2015), Mutafukaz (2017), Poupelle of Chimney Town (2020) to acclaim in the animation industry. Children of the Sea (2019) was nominated for an Annie Award, won the Animation Division Grand Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival and Best Animation Film at the Mainichi Film Awards.

The name of the studio comes from the fact that water is most dense at 4°C, with the intent to always guarantee productions of the highest quality.

Source: Official Press Release

Fortune-Favors-Lady-Nikuko-560x238 GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko”
Now this is another film I can't wait to see!
Fortune-Favors-Lady-Nikuko-560x238 GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to “Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko”
Mee too! It looks so good!