Deneice Leigh, co-founder of Houston’s Anime Matsuri event, announced on a presentation stream on July 17, 2022 that the event organizers have licensed the Genbanojō and Zip! Shimezo anime shorts from Nippon Animation. Anime Matsuri dubbed the half-hour shorts through its own newly created studio, with Vic Mignogna credited for ADR directing and voice acting. The Anime Matsuri 2022 event will host both dubs’ premieres on July 29, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. CDT. The July 17, 2022 stream featured Leigh, Mignogna, and Jacob Takanashi, the voice of the titular lead in Genbanojō.
In addition to Takanashi and Mignogna, the listed English voice casts include: Morgan Berry, Krystal LaPorte, Ashley Nichols, Jeff Johnson, Linda Young, Cynthia Cranz, Tiffany Vollmer, Haileigh Todd, Bryan Massey, Caren Sharpe, and Nola Klop. John and Deneice Leigh are the dub’s executive producers. Anime Matsuri’s announcement misspelled Young and Cranz’s names.
Leigh reported that Nippon Animation will be at the event’s premiere screening, as well as unspecified members of the English voice cast.
Nippon Animation confirmed with Anime News Network that it had licensed the English dub to an affiliate company of Anime Matsuri. While the July 17, 2022 announcement listed John Leigh and Deneice Leigh as the executive producers, Nippon Animation confirmed that it had only licensed the dub to the Anime Matsuri organizers.
Genbanojō is described as:
In a cone-shaped land named Kikyōgahara in Shin Province, there lives a girl named Hana. She is a gentle girl, who always thinks of her family, in particular her great-grandmother Chiyo, whom she affectionately calls “Granny.” One day, a traveling entertainment troupe named the Natsugawa Genzaemon Troupe happens by, and the villagers welcome them warmly. Upon finishing their performance and receiving their acclaim, the troupe’s leader spots Hana with some “oyaki,” his favorite food, and transforms into a fox in his excitement.
It turns out that the leader Genbanojō, and his companions O-Natsu and Shinzaemon, are all foxes who have taken on human forms. Genbanojō hastily negotiates with Hana, telling her that in exchange for keeping their secret, he will grant her one wish. She answers, “I want to let my Granny see the cherry blossoms.”
Zip! Shimezo is described as:
There is an honorable family of zipper yōkai who will close any zipper if they happen to find it open. Their son Chuck Shimezō is currently in training, but has so far not yet closed a single zipper. One day, he gets to know a boy named Hiroki, who forgot to close the zipper on his coin purse and lost 500 yen. They bond over talk of their nagging mothers. Together, they run away from home, and head to Hiroki’s grandfather’s place, but they are also stuck with Hiroki’s sister Chie.
Anime Matsuri 2022 is taking place July 28-31, 2022 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.