Mori Chack’s adorable mauler Gloomy Bear is keeping his 20th anniversary celebration roaring with the approaching debut of his anime series Gloomy the Naughty Grizzly and the announcement of new voice stars. Actors from beloved series Demon Slayer and Cowboy Bebop have joined the show, which premieres April 12 on Tokyo MX — available worldwide.
Conceived by the Osaka-based artist as a sweet bear cub adopted by a little boy (named Pitty) who becomes increasingly wild as he grows up, Gloomy Bear first debuted as a character in 2000. His unusual relationship with Pitty — full equal parts cuteness, violence and surprising emotional depth — generated a wave of merchandise and high-profiled collaborations in Japan and eventually won fans all over the world.
Veteran voice actor Koichi Yamadera (Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop) has been cast as Gloomy, with Natsuki Hanae (Tanjiro Kamado in Demon Slayer) as Pitty. A special episode, featuring a chat between Chack, Yamadera and Hanae, will air ahead of the series premiere on April 4.
The series is directed by Kubotabee, whose animation style mash-up video for Livetune’s “Transfer” (directed with Fantasista Utamaro) made a big splash in 2012. Writers are Meg Yagi and Manami Morotome, Hitomi Sato is art director, Kunihiko Mita and Yumiko Abe are 3D CGI directors, Takumi Yoshida and Toshikazu Kano are cinematographers, and creator Mori Chack handles series composition and animation direction.
You can watch a special 20th anniversary video featuring Mori Chack here (in Japanese).