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The Ayaka: A Story of Bonds and Wounds original anime project will premiere in 2023. Pic credit: GoRA/Studio Blanc

A brand-new original anime project titled Ayaka: A Story of Bonds and Wounds produced by Studio Blanc and GoRA will premiere in 2023!

On October 26, 2022, the anime project got an official website and Twitter, which dropped quite a lot of info about Ayaka, including the main staff and cast, a key visual, and a teaser PV, all of which we’ll present hereby.

Let’s get started with the first teaser PV, which you can see immediately below.

Ayaka: A Story of Bonds and Wounds cast and staff

The Ayaka original anime project is being directed by Nobuyoshi Nagayama (Love Flops) at Studio Blanc. GoRA is in charge of series scripts.

For those unfamiliar with GoRA, suffice it to say that it is a group consisting of seven anonymous authors who go by the following names: Kouhei Azano, Yukako Kabei, Yashichiro Takahashi, Hideyuki Furuhashi, Suzu Suzuki, Tatsuki Miyazawa, and Rei Rairaku.

GoRA previously worked on the K anime (a.k.a. “K Project”); Ayaka will be their first project in 10 years (when K debuted).

The first key visual for Ayaka: A Story of Bonds and Wounds. Pic credit: GoRA/Studio Blanc

GoRA has provided commentary for the occasion, saying (the Ayaka project) is “finally announced.”

“This will be the first original anime that I have written and scripted as a GoRA project in about 10 years since the K anime series, starting from the worldview and character settings. After many training camps, the script is completely finished. All other work is also on track. It is a story of an idyllic island, mysterious arts, family and feuds. If you like K and other works of the GoRA project, I am sure you will enjoy it. Please stay tuned!”

GoRA comments on the Ayaka original anime project announcement

Additional staff members include:

  • Naoya Tanaka — production designer
  • Redjuice (The Empire of Corpses) — original character designer
  • Misaki Kaneko (Smile Down the Runway) — finalized character designer
  • Kana Shibue (Sasaki and Miyano) — music composer
  • King Records — music producer
  • Ryou Tanaka (Bit Grooove Promotion) — sound director

The main cast has been announced alongside their respective characters, as follows:   

  • Yuuto Uemura (My Hero Academia’s Amajiki Tamaki) as Yukito Yanagi
  • Takuma Terashima (Bleach’s Ruri’iro Kujaku) as Jingi Sagawa
  • Takahiro Sakurai (Mob Psycho 100’s Reigen Arataka) as Haruaki Kurama
  • Yuuichirou Umehara (Golden Kamuy’s Vasily) as Aka Ibuki

The Ayaka: A Story of Bonds and Wounds plot

Apparently, Ayaka follows the four main characters who live on Ayaka Island (Ayakashima). Depicting the bonds of the male characters (“men who each have their own destiny,” as per the official synopsis), Ayaka opens by introducing Yukito Yanagi, an orphaned boy who is taken to his hometown by Jingi Sagawa, an unruly youth claiming to be Yukito late father’s apprentice.

The catch is that Yukito has a unique power to control water and there’s more to Jingi than meets the eye!

Ayaka promises to be a thrilling watch as various hints (including those of shinigami) suggest. The title is labeled supernatural.

Ayaka: A Story of Bonds and Wounds: Meet the main characters!

Character designs for the Ayaka main characters: Yukito Yanagi, Jingi Sagawa, Haruaki Kurama, and Aka Ibuki (left to right). Pic credit: GoRA/Studio Blanc

The four seiyuu voicing the boys have commented on the script they’ve seen so far. Thanks to that, we get the first glimpse at the four main characters and the story setting, so let’s take a look at what the seiyuu have to say.

Yuuto Uemura (Yukito Yanagi) says that the setting is “interesting” and inspires him to imagine the lives of the island’s inhabitants. “What will happen next” is the right question to ask.

“I really enjoyed reading through the script because it is filled with numerous exciting elements. It is also a story of Yukito’s growth, so I look forward to seeing how he changes with the support of the islanders who warmly watch over him. The battle scenes are stunning!”

Scilicet, Yukito has turned himself into an introvert of sorts, as his abilities have made him wary of his surroundings. He interacts with others but a little, but that’s likely to change with the appearance of the three remaining boys!

Takuma Terashima (Jingi Sagawa) is a fan of GoRA’s past productions, in his own words. He “feels the appeal” of GoRA’s works in the way the settings are created. The elements make for a “very exciting production,”  Terashima has been quoted as saying.

“Since this is an original work, we, the voice actors, do not yet know what will happen next, and we look forward to receiving the script every single time.”

Takahiro Sakurai (Haruaki Kurama) can feel the “world view” and the project’s “unique tempo.” He says he enjoys the “retro look” and the “nostalgia in the air.”  

“I hope you will enjoy this pop and light-hearted story woven by the characters.”

Namely, Kurama Haruaki is aloof and difficult to decipher. He is a sort of superior figure, acting as an elder, but he has a laid-back atmosphere around him. Seiyuu Takahiro Sakurai says the character is “enigmatic,” and he hopes to get that impression across through his voice acting.

Yuuichirou Umehara (Aka Ibuki) talks about mitama (souls of the deceased) who inhabit the island and a fraction opposing those who do evil.

“This may sound like a difficult story, but if you understand that it is like Onmyoji, I felt that it is familiar to the Japanese, where animism is deeply rooted.”

Ibuki has a deep-rooted anger and he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to methods he uses to achieve his goals. This aspect of Ibuki’s character “worries” Umehara, but he also finds it “cool.”

Quite a lot of info for the first mention of Ayaka: A Story of Bonds and Wounds and it would appear that both bounds and wounds will be plentiful!

That being said, Ayaka indeed sounds original and we’re looking forward to unraveling further announcements.

Hopefully, you are too, so stay tuned!