Three of Chiikawa’s characters wave at the camera. Pic credit: Chiikawa Anime
Chiikawa, short for Nanka Chiisakute Kawaii Yatsu (Something Small And Cute), a manga series serialized online on Twitter by Nagano, has had its anime adaptation confirmed for April of 2022.
Chiikawa is a massive hit in Japan, with its posts by Nagano typically getting over 80,000 likes on average and the series ranked in the top sold-out series on Amazon despite only having two tankobons out so far. The series is a sort of nonsense comedy, combining cute characters with distressing situations to create both heightened comedy and truly touching emotional moments with little to no dialogue. Rather than speaking, the characters typically communicate in sound effects — think of the series as the anti-Pop Team Epic in terms of its execution.
Chiikawa is no stranger to collaborations, either — the series is known for doing lots of collaboration cafes, putting out merch in a variety of anime retailers, and even having pop-up shops all over Tokyo. The official merchandise account alone has over 150,000 followers, speaking to the popularity of the series. It’s no wonder that it was picked up for an anime!
The animation studio behind the project is Doga Kobo, known for their work on Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, YuruYuri, Umaru-chan, Love Lab, and the upcoming Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie. They’re characterized by their expressive animation and focus on moe, romcoms, comedy, and yuri anime. With that focus, it will be interesting to see how they tackle the characters of Chiikawa, who are some of the top-selling LINE stamps because of their expressiveness.
As mentioned previously, Doga Kobo is the studio behind the project. Takenori Mihara is set to be the director, known for their work on Itoshi no Muco, another slice of life comedy series. Haruka Aoki will be making her voice acting debut as Chiikawa. Shugo Tokumaru, a Japanese singer-songwriter, will be working on his first-ever anime composition project with Chiikawa. He’s known for how widely his songs are used in Japanese commercials and in how he creates all his instrumentation by hand, so it will be interesting to see how he tackles the process of scoring an anime.
Chiikawa is currently planned to start airing on April 4, 2022 through Fuji Television’s morning news program Mezamashi Terebi. The episode count for the series is as of yet unknown — it’s possible that it airs as a morning program with a shorter runtime.