Music is a vital part of anime, with the presence of a strong and iconic soundtrack making or breaking the success of a series. Many series have eclectic and memorable music act as the backdrop to their stories, like Attack on Titan or My Hero Academia. For a few select anime, though, the music doesn’t just stay on the soundtrack. Music is the entire point of the show, with a story and world revolving around the pursuit of music-making like in Carole & Tuesday and Kids on the Slope, or a world oozing with style where the unique soundtrack feeds into the aesthetic of the entire series, like Samurai Champloo. Now, another creative anime series revolving around music is arriving soon, with original television series Listeners sharing details on the cast and crew responsible for the unique new project.
Listeners is described on the official website for the original anime as a “great adolescent symphony” set in a world where the concept of music doesn’t exist at all. The story follows a lonely boy who ends up meeting a mysterious girl named Myuu. The boy soon discovers that Myuu has an empty audio input jack on her body, and the chance encounter between the two of them soon sparks an unforgettable adventure in which they trace the boundaries and origins of the forgotten history of rock music.
While the voice cast for Listeners is made up of an iconic crew of well-known anime voice actors, only one of them is currently attached to a known character in the series. Central character Myuu is voiced by none other than Rie Takahashi, the renown voice actress responsible for voicing Megumin in KonoSuba, Emilia in Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-, and Mash Kyrielight in various Fate/Grand Order projects such as the original mobile game, Fate/Grand Order: First Order, Fate/Grand Order: Moonlight/Lostroom, and the currently airing anime Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia. She will also be voicing Emilia in the upcoming second season of Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- and Mash Kyrielight in the upcoming anime film Fate/Grand Order The Movie Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot.
The rest of the revealed voice cast for Listeners includes:
- Ayumu Murase
- Kouichi Yamadera
- Nana Mizuki
- Junichi Suwabe
- Sayaka Ohara
- Yoko Hikasa
- Rie Kugimiya
- Kana Hanazawa
- Taku Yashiro
- Yuto Uemura
- Jun Fukuyama
Considering the music-focused narrative of Listeners, it should come as no surprise that the original anime series is created by famed musician JIN, previously responsible for stylish anime series like Kagerou Daze and Mekaku City Actors. JIN is credited for the original story concepts of the series alongside Dai Sato and Taichi Hashimoto. Dai Sat previously worked on numerous iconic anime series such as Eureka Seven, Wolf’s Rain, Samurai Champloo, and Cowboy Bebop, while Taichi Hashimoto was previously a staff member on revisions. Each of the three creator’s production companies are also contributing to the series, with JIN’s 1st Place and Sato’s Story Riders credited with contributing to the original story for the project. On top of having an original story credit, Hashimoto’s company Slow Curve, which previously worked on revisions and Human Lost, is responsible for the planning, producing, and promoting of Listeners.
The anime itself is being produced by iconic anime studio MAPPA, who also produced anime such as Zombie Land Saga, Sarazanmai, Banana Fish and Kids on the Slope, as well as the currently airing series Uchitama?! Have you seen my Tama? and Dororo. Hiroaki Ando is directing the new anime at MAPPA, having previously worked on Gambo, Tweeny Witches, and the Ajin franchise. While pomodorosa is credited as the original character designer for Listeners (and also illustrated the recently revealed poster visual for the anime), Shinpei Kamada is responsible for adapting those original character designs for animation. Kamada will be assisted by Hatsue Koizumi and Shuuji Takahara, who are both credited as sub-character designers and chief animation directors. Artist L!th!um is credited as composer for the anime.
As for the rest of the creative staff on Listeners, mechanical designs are being handled by Hiroyuki Terao, while color design is being done by Junko Suenaga. Yoshio Tanioka is credited as the art director for the anime, while director of photography is Takashi Yanagida. CGI supervision is being handled by Tomohiro Kawahara, who will be working alongside CGI director Taisuke Goto and 3DCG studio Shiitake Digital. Editing on the anime will be done by Mutsumi Takemiya, and the sound director for the show is Kisuke Koizumi. Sound Effects are being handled by Mutsuhiro Nishimura, while audio company dugout is responsible for Sound Production on the series. Finally, DMM Music and Seitaro Shimizu of Edword Records are credited as Music Producers on the anime.
Additional details for Listeners, including new character reveals, series visuals and more, will be shared by JIN, Dai Sato, and Taichi Hashimoto on their upcoming “Listeners Gig #1” live-stream event. The Internet live-stream is set to broadcast on February 1st at 9p.m. JST, or 7a.m. EST.