Former Nogizaka46 member, current professional mahjong player Nakada performs “Ponpopopon”
The official website for the original mahjong anime Pon no Michi (The Way of Pon) revealed on Friday that former Nogizaka46 idol group member and current professional mahjong player Kana Nakada will perform the opening theme song “Ponpopopon.”
The anime’s cast includes:
Kaori Maeda as Nashiko Jippensha
Iori Saeki as Pai Kawahigashi
Shion Wakayama as Izumi Tokutomi
Yui Kondou as Riche Hayashi
Akio Ōtsuka as Mahjong spirit character, Chonbo
Hibiku Yamamura as Haneru Emi
The anime will premiere in January 2024 in the “Animeism” programming block on TBS, MBS, and BS-TBS.
The anime is set in Hiroshima Prefecture’s Onomichi City, where a high school student Nashiko Jippensha was kicked out of her house. Without a place to play with her friends, she learns that the mahjong parlor that her father used to run is now vacant. She fixes the mahjong parlor and turns it into a place where she and her friends can have fun, cook, have tea, and sometimes play mahjong.
IIS-P is credited for the original story. Tatsuma Minamikawa (Fire Force, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry) is directing and writing the anime’s scripts at OLM. Negi Haruba (The Quintessential Quintuplets original creator) is drafting the original character designs, and Kenji Ōta (key animation, Pokémon XY) is adapting the designs for animation.
Other staff members include:
Tsukasa Unohana (Anima Yell!) launched a manga adaptation of the anime in Kodansha‘s Nakayoshi magazine on September 1.
Sources: Pon no Michi anime’s website, Mainichi Shimbun’s Mantan Web