Anime NYC 2023: The Sasaki and Peeps Anime Premiere – All the Announcements from Anime NYC 2023
ANN’s coverage of Anime NYC 2023 sponsored by Yen Press and Ize Press!
The Sasaki and Peeps premiere event at Anime NYC 2023 started by showing the recently released trailer, leading into a discussion between host Allie Norado and Kadokawa producer Kōsuke Arai. This was Arai’s first time in New York, which excited him as a fan of American TV shows like 24, Heroes, and Gossip Girl.
Arai was first introduced to Sasaki and Peeps three years ago via a pre-release draft of the light novel from its editor, who emphasized to the producer its potential for an anime adaptation.
Arai described the show, “This story is about a corporate salaryman around 40 years old and his partner who’s a Java sparrow, who’s in disguise, really, a sage from a different world. And you’ll see a lot of crossover between the modern-day real life and the fantasy life.”
Voice actress Aoi Yūki, who plays Peeps, couldn’t appear in person but provided a special video introduction holding two different plushes of her character. Yuki is an animal lover — when discussing her memories of visiting the States in the past, she primarily focused on squirrels in parks. She had a Java sparrow pet and talked about how she imitated the bird’s natural sounds in her recordings.
Then, it was time for the premiere itself. They showed the first half of a double-length first episode that will premiere on Crunchyroll in January 2024. The overriding mood of this first half is one of cuteness and mild amusement. It’s the sort of comedy that inspires smiles more than big laughs. It’s as pleasant as you’d expect an anime with a cute wizard bird as its main character to be while also as non-plussed about the outlandish comedic potential of its premise as its nonchalant salaryman hero.
Sasaki is a worker who’s grateful to be working even if he’s struggling to get by. Peeps, however, wants less birdseed and more wagyu. So, using his new pet’s magic, Sasaki develops a new hustle: traveling between words and selling ordinary goods from his world as precious valuables in the other world. In the last few seconds of the premiere, the quieter economic focus of the story appears to shift in a more action-oriented direction. However, the twist was delivered in a somewhat low-energy fashion.
After the screening, Norado asked Arai about the characters. He pointed out how Oshi no Ko‘s Rie Takahashi and Demon Slayer‘s Akari Kitō voice supporting characters in this premiere but will play more prominent roles later in the series. He answered a question about the comparisons between being a salaryman and being an animation producer as being “very nuanced” — one difference is as a producer, he’s allowed to dress as casually as he wants as opposed to being “armored in suits.”
What are Arai’s personal top three tips for being a successful businessman in Japan? #1: “Compassion and caring for others,” demonstrated by how Sasaki works to accommodate Peeps. #2: a good “sales smile.” #3: offering business partners a “peace offering” with physical weight (such as yokan treats) to show effort in an apology.
Sasaki’s favorite spell to reduce stress is a teleportation spell. This also happens to be the spell that Arai says he’d want to use to make his work more manageable — especially when traveling to international conventions like this one.
The final question of the panel was if there were any memorable scenes viewers should pay attention to. Arai explained how the show’s initial isekai set-up expands to include magical girls, angels, and demons and hopes audiences will enjoy the richness of the world. One final announcement before giveaways: the band MADKID (The Rising of The Shield Hero) will be performing music for the show.
Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.