This will be a celebration of the legendary, as great animators strut their stuff.

Earlier today, Studio Ponoc announced that they’re working on a new anime project. The initiative, called the Ponoc Tanpen Gekijō (Ponoc Short Films Theater), will be an anthology of anime shorts.

The anthology will be presented as a series of individual feature presentations, called “volumes”, which will include several shorts that are bound by a specific theme. The first volume, which hits Japanese theaters on August 24, will be titled Modest Heroes (Chiisana Eiyū: Kani to Tamago to Tōmei Ningen lit. Small Hero – Crab and Egg and Transparent Human –).

English and Japanese trailers, as well as a key visual were revealed for the feature, in addition to the first cast, crew, and plot details.

We break the details down below.


The 30-second promo begins with footage of animators busy working at their craft, producing animated segments, coloring, and so on. The promo then cuts to colored storyboards, which feature the major stories found within the first Volume.




The visual is taken from the Kanini & Kanino story, featuring the short’s leads a top a sunken branch.


Three shorts will be included in Modest Heroes:

  • Kanini & Kanino: A fantasy tale about two crab siblings. Run Time: 15 minutes.
  • Life Ain’t Gonna Lose (Samurai Egg): A human drama that displays the love between a mother and her son. Run Time: 15 minutes
  • Invisible (Tōmei Ningen): A self-proclaimed “spectacle action” short that focuses on the lonesome trials of an invisible man. Run Time: 14 Minutes


Each of the shorts will feature a different director:

  • Kanini & Kanino: Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Mary and The Witch’s Flower, The Secret World of Arrietty)
  • Life Ain’t Gonna Lose: Yoshiyuki Momose (Ghiblies Episode 2, Space Station No. 9)
  • Invisible: Akihiko Yamashita (A Sumo Wrestler’s Tail)

All three directors previously worked at Studio Ghibli on projects. Kanini & Kanino will be Yonebayashi’s first original feature.


The confirmed cast includes:

  • Joe Odagiri
  • Machiko Ono
  • Min Tanaka
  • Yasutaka Nakata
  • Takatsugu Muramatsu

Sources: Otakomu, Comic Natalie