Shingo Natsume, the director of Space Dandy, Boogiepop and Others, ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. and the first season of One Punch Man, speaks about the new original anime Sonny Boy, which he's writing, directing and storyboarding, in an interview video screened at Funimation's panel for Anime Expo Lite.
Sonny Boy's first episode had a limited 24-hour streaming premiere on YouTube from June 18-19. The first two episodes streamed on July 3 as part of the Anime Expo Lite virtual convention. The series will officially premiere on Japanese TV on July 16. Funimation will be streaming the series in the United States.
When asked to describe the series, Natsume said, "It's a 'castaway' type show. A class of 9th graders enter an alien dimension. It's a sort of a multi-protagonist story about youth... Put simply, the theme is like, a coming-of-age story."
Natsume went on to discuss his literary influences in crafting this original story: "I've always liked stories about adventure and read them as a child. For example, Two Years' Vacation and Robinson Crusoe. I've always wanted to do something like that, and luckily I got the opportunity to do just that for this project. So I thought this would be a good time to do the thing I've wanted to do, and do something original. That's how the project ended up this way."
Natsume expressed that he is enjoying the freedom that comes with creating an original anime that isn't based on a manga or other pre-existing source material, saying "For this show, Sonny Boy... How should I say it... Well, it's not based on an existing story. So I can try to go for something I've never done before. In that sense, compared to shows that are based on existing works, you can expect this show to be different-looking. We use a lot of new techniques that I haven't tried before. I'd like to say that it would betray your expectations, in a good way. Something fresh, hopefully. That's what I think."
The official summary of Sonny Boy is as follows:
Empty classrooms, boring days. It was supposed to be a normal summer vacation just like any other. Suddenly, the school begins to drift through another dimension, and 36 boys and girls are left there, awakening to their supernatural abilities. Amidst the whirlpool of questions that come to mind one after another, survival in a supernatural world begins.
Directed by Shingo Natsume, Sonny Boy premieres on Funimation on July 16.